FIFA U-17 WC: Weah scores hat-trick as USA crushes Paraguay to enter quarters

Weah, son of former AC Milan and Liberian legend George Weah, showed why Paris Saint-Germain has decided to invest in his talent.

Tim Weah's hat-trick propelled USA into the quarterfinals of the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017.   -  AP

Striker Tim Weah's spectacular hat-trick helped United States of America (USA) rout Paraguay 5-0 in the pre-quarterfinal of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, here today.

In a fast-paced encounter, USA put up its best performance of the tournament; making it to its sixth quarterfinal of the U-17 showpiece event.

USA 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.

Weah, son of former AC Milan and Liberian legend George Weah, showed why Paris Saint-Germain has decided to invest in his talent. 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.

Weah opened his account with a clinical first touch finish with his left foot, directing a perfect low cross from the right by Ayo Akinola in the 19th minute.

His second goal was result of a spectacular shot from the left edge of the box, which curled around the diving goalkeeper to hit the right corner of the net.

The third was a simple and easy chance after Weah was nicely set up by Carleton in front of an open goal.

USA captain Sargent had another impressive game on Monday, as he set up Carleton for USA's third goal in the 63rd minute. Sargent got his name on the scoresheet in the 77th minute with Carleton assisting him this time.

As for Paraguay, it could not muster a single clear scoring chance. It laid siege of the American citadel only for a brief period - towards the end of the first half - but either the quality of the final pass was poor or its forwards were wayward, with the USA defence refusing to budge.

USA could have won by a bigger margin, but Chris Goslin's free kick from well outside the box hit the bar and moments later, Akinola's effort was cleared from the goal-line by a Paraguay defender.

The Americans, who had beaten India 3-0 in their campaign opener, will now play the winner of tomorrow's pre-quarterfinal match between England and Japan. The quarterfinals will be held in Margao on October 21.

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