Striker Tim Weah lived up to his famous surname with a spectacular hat-trick that enabled the United States of America rout Paraguay 5-0 in the pre quarter-final of the Federation Internationale de Football Association U-17 World Cup, here today.
They now face an uphill task against another South American powerhouse, Paraguay, who have won all their three Group B matches in the under-17 World Cup.
Sitting next to Weah at a post-match news conference, US coach John Hackworth was asked whether this win would compensate for the senior national team’s loss last week at Trinidad and Tobago, which eliminated the Americans from the big World Cup in Russian Federation next year.
The US coach John Hackworth said the exit of the US senior team from the World Cup qualifiers saddened the under-17 team in India. “The players are in good shape and ready, but we need to be at our best on the pitch”, United States coach John Hackworth said ahead of the game.
“It’s easy when you have a bad result for everyone to think so negative and no more so than when you miss a World Cup”, Hackworth added.
Today, they played their first game in the knockout rounds against Paraguay, who were previously undefeated and by any metric do not suck. USMNT fans probably feel like shit right now and will continue to feel like shit for the next five years, but with U-17s doing so well and the strong crop of U-20 players coming through, at least there is hope on the horizon. His hat trick was the first hat trick by any USA player in the knockout stage of a World Cup at any level. Tim Weah grew up in NY and Florida, and he joined Paris Saint-Germain’s youth system three years ago. “So hopefully the coach, Unai Emery, is satisfied with what I’m doing so far, so hopefully I’m starting at the end of the season”.
Weah opened his account with a clinical first touch finish with his left foot, directing a flawless low cross from the right by Ayo Akinola in the 19th minute. I don’t score a lot of attractive goals. But for the misdirected shots and some super saves by goal keeper Diego Huesca, the margin of victory would have been much higher.
Weah, Carleton, Joshua Sargent created problems galore for their rivals with their tactical brilliance. The 17-year-old struck in the 19th, 53rd and 77th minutes while Andrew Carleton and captain Josh Sargent joined the American party in the 63rd and 74th minute in front of a boisterous 34,895 spectators at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
American midfielder Chris Durkin got his second yellow card of the tournament and is suspended for the quarterfinal.