KENYA BROWN - Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Monday night belonged to Timothy Weah as he bagged a hat-trick to help the United States Under-17's to the quarterfinals of the U-17 World Cup with a thumping of Paraguay.
After suffering a loss to Colombia in their final Group A game last week to drop them to third place, they were put in a tricky situation in which they could have either faced Germany, Iran or the South American team in the second round. With Paraguay determined as the next opponent for the US, it was expected to be a tough encounter. But who knew the young Americans had it in them to put on this display.
Weah scored his and the team's first goal in the 19th minute when he ran into the area to meet a low cross from teammate Ayo Akinola.
The Paris Saint Germain product's first goal was an easy one, but his second in the 53rd minute could be considered the goal of the tournament. After collecting a pass from Indiana Vassilev on the left, Weah would go one-on-one with Paraguayan defender Jesus Rolon, cut inside to his right and unleash a wicked shot that goalkeeper Diego Huesca would not get his hands on.
The US was in cruise control and their teamwork was excellent throughout as they went on to add a third goal in the 63rd minute. Josh Sargent would find Andrew Carleton at the edge of the area and the forward one-timed his shot past Huesca.
Sargent would then add a fourth for the Americans in the 74th minute when Carleton released him with a through ball and the captain's shot would hit the underside of the crossbar before going into the goal.
Weah rounded out the scoring for the US three minutes later. Akinola would make a run towards the Paraguayan defense before passing the ball over to Carleton, who then found a wide open Weah in the area. He had no problems as he curled his shot around Huesca.
A great night for the young Americans as their run in the World Cup takes a bit of the sting out of the senior team failing to qualify for Russia 2018.
The US now awaits the winner of the game between England and Japan.