Published: Mon, October 16, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Weah's hat-trick flattens Paraguay in pre-quarters

Weah's hat-trick flattens Paraguay in pre-quarters

US had finished third in Group A while Paraguay had topped Group B and today's encounter was expected to be a tight one but in the end, it proved to be a lopsided contest as the South American side never seemed to turn up. 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.

The Paraguay defence had no clue about how to stop the consistent onslaught of US attacks and the cracks started showing in the second half. Fed by Akil Watts, with three defenders converging, Sargent, at the edge of the goal area, spun away from the goal with two touches and laid it back for Carleton.

Keep an eye out for this guy, as we could be seeing more of him in the future.

Paraguay coach Gustavo Morinigo, however, knows the task his side awaits: "The US is really a complicated team, the individuals, the captain himself, it has one of the best players and the team is really good", Morinigo told reporters during the pre-match press conference.

In the 15th minute Paraguay had a chance to take the lead but Alan Rodriguez's shot was superbly blocked by goal keeper Justin Brace. However, they were shocked by a desperate Colombia in a must-win game for the South Americans.

Paraguay came out strong but the U.S. took the upper hand after Weah's first goal.

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"This team is capable of producing a strong performance and bouncing back".

So how excited should American fans get? Consider the ball that sprung Weah for his opening goal.

Weah made a clinical first touch finish with his left foot for his first goal, directing the ideal low cross from the right by Ayo Akinola in the 19th minute.

Weah, whose father placed as a striker for AC Milan and at present contest election of President of Liberia, reduced Paraguay to a state of helplessness and their misery ended when referee Ovidu Hategan blew the whistle signally end of the match. Andrew Carleton capped off a solo run with a attractive finish to add another goal to his tally and later, turned provider for Josh Sargent who drilled the ball into the top right corner of the goal to provide the proverbial "icing on the cake".

The US will now take on the victor of England and Japan in the quarterfinal round of the U-17 World Cup on October 21.

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