Kolkata: Tournament favourites Germany and USA progressed to the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-17 World Cup after thrashing Colombia and Paraguay with margins of 4-0 and 5-0 respectively at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Delhi on Monday.
Facing Colombia, probably for the first time Germany were not the automatic favourites as they faced a side that had beaten the defensively superior USA to qualify. But Colombia, despite tasting success after switching tactics returned to its old fold and faced similar fate, this time at the hands of Germany who beat them 4-0. Captain Jan Fiete-Arp scored a brace (7th and 65th) while Yann Bisseck (39th) and John Yeboah (49th) chipped in with a goal each to help Die Mannschaft reach the quarters.
Germany’s strikers who found it hard to score during the group stages despite creating numerous chances had a fruitful day in the field as they exploited the loop-holes in the opposition defence to perfection. Three of the four goals were due to the defensive blunders committed either by Colombian goalkeeper Kevin Mier or the back four.
Not that Colombia didn’t find any opportunity to score. Los Cafeteros could have gone ahead twice in the opening minutes of the match but fluffed the chances and paid the price for it as the game progressed. Juan Penaloza who had scored three goals in the past two matches had an off day, while Leandro Campaz was not even started and by the time he was brought on Colombia were already down by two goals.
Germany meanwhile now will face the winner between Brazil and Honduras in the last pre-quarterfinal that takes place on October 18.
USA vs Paraguay
Facing a side that has scored 10 goals in three matches in the group stages, not many expected USA to have a cakewalk as it seemed throughout the match. Paraguay that had taken to offensive to cover up their defensive frailties in all the previous matches in the tournament failed in both resulting in a 5-0 thrashing in the hands of their CONCACAF opponents. Tim Weah scored a hat-trick, while Andrew Carleton and captain Josh Sargent chipped in with a goal each to bring up the win.
Playing in a 4-3-2-1 formation, the US wingers Ayo Akinola and Tim Weah had plenty of space to exploit and they did just that often running past the hapless La Albirroja defence and creating ample chances. Son of Milan legend and a previous Ballon D’Or winner George Weah, Tim Weah has a memorable match as he opened the scoring in the 19th minute making a perfect run before firing his shot into the goal to give USA the lead.
A wonderful curled effort after a delightful first touch from outside the box saw him double the lead in the 53rd minute and he finished it off with a composed finish from a clever Josh Sargent pass to complete a well deserved hat-trick against the South Americans.
“I don’t score a lot of beautiful goals as most of them are tap-ins. But, I am really proud of my goals today and I would like to thank (Andrew) Carleton and Josh (Sargent) for their brilliant assists. It was really a special performance for me,” said Weah after the match.
Paraguay meanwhile looked completely out of sorts as USA dominated the game throughout. They did have their chances and opened up the otherwise tough US defence occasionally towards the end of the first half, but either the crosses or final balls were not up to the mark or their forwards were wasteful.
USA will now face the winner of the Engalnd vs Japan pre-quarterfinal match tomorrow in the quarter-finals on October 21.
Delhi – Germany 4 (J. Arp 7′, 65′ Y. Bisseck 39′ J. Zamora49′) beat Colombia 0
USA 5 (T. Weah 19′, 53′, 77′ A. Carleton 63′ J. Sargent 74′) beat Paraguay 0