Weah hat-trick helps US storm into quarterfinals

USA U-17 team concluded the group stage at third position in Group A

Goals: Weah (Akinola) 19, Weah (Vassilev) 53, Carleton (Sargent) 63, Sargent (Carleton) 75, Weah (Carleton) 77.

Six days after the USA senior team failed to qualify for next year's World Cup, the U17s reached the quarterfinals of its Federation Internationale de Football Association tournament for the first time since 2005.

So instead the USA played Paraguay, a team that won all three group stage games but wasn't really tested against the likes of Mali, New Zealand and Turkey.

U.S. in the process kept their unbeaten record on this pitch, having beaten India (3-0) and Ghana (1-0) in the league matches.

Paraguay had been ideal in group play, beating 2015 runner-up Mali (3-2), New Zealand (4-2) and Turkey (3-1).

Weah's first goal proved to be the victor, but many on the final night of tournament action at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium will remember the Paris Saint-Germain youngster's second goal early in the second half. He lived in Florida until at age 9, when the family moved back to New York, where he played for BW Gottschee and the New York Red Bulls Academy. 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 United States of America defence refusing to budge.

Weah's second goal was a world-class stunner, an effortless blast from the top left corner of the penalty area that had to remind some people of his father's goal-scoring heroics.

Weah's second was one of the best strikes of the tournament.

Following his second, Andrew Carleton added the USA's third soon after.

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

The Paraguayans, on the other hand, waited impatiently for the referee to blow the final whistle but Weah was in no mood to leave the field without getting the match ball as he scored his hat-trick from Carleton's ground cross inside the box, thereby inflicting a demoralising 0-5 loss to the Morinigo-coached side. Timothy Weah with a hat-trick, along with Andrew Carleton and skipper Joshua Sargent (1 goal each), was the star of the night for the Yanks. "After the first goal, the boys became very nervous".

They got their deserving second goal eight minutes into the second half when Weah weaved past couple of defenders before unleashing a right-footed flick which gave Valencia keeper Huesca no chance at the right post. The US who are the second team to qualify for the quarter-finals in this tournament, will face the victor England and Japan in the next round.

Related News: