- Tim Weah scored a hat-trick in USA’s 5-0 win over Paraguay
- Paris Saint-Germain youngster thrilled with spectacular second goal
- Striker is determined to take Stars and Stripes to the final on 28 October
When it mattered most, Tim Weah stepped up and delivered for USA to take them to the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017.
His hat-trick against Paraguay in New Delhi led the Stars and Stripes to an emphatic 5-0 win – a scoreline few would have predicted after the way the South Americans had performed in the group stage.
Weah’s first goal proved to be the winner, 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. His right-footed strike is sure to be a strong candidate for goal of the tournament.
FIFA.com spoke to USA’s hat-trick hero after Monday’s big win to get a sense of what the result meant to him and his side.
What were your immediate emotions after scoring that spectacular second goal?
“At first, I didn’t know what to do. I was just so excited. It’s one of those shots where you just hit it and see where it goes, but the form that I used to shoot it was just perfect and I thought ‘Wow, what a one in a million chance to be in a World Cup and score an amazing goal like that’. There was just blood rushing through my veins and I was just going crazy. I was so happy and proud of my team-mates, and that showed in the celebration.”
Were you determined to put in a performance against Paraguay?
“I talked to my parents and they told me to get after them, but to myself, I really felt that I didn’t have the best start to this World Cup, so I felt like this would be the right time to help my team win. I just came out there with the right determination, the right hunger, to get the win. I feel I came out here, did the hard work, got my three goals. I’m very proud of myself.”
Before the match, did you and your team-mates speak about the importance of performing in the knockout stages?
“We had a lot on our shoulders, being the first [USA] team in 19 years to qualify for a quarter-finals [of a World Cup]. It’s a really big thing. With our men’s team being knocked out [of Russia 2018 contention], it was a little down for us, but we took that on us to lead our country to victory and that’s what we came out here to do. It was really just a perfect match from us and I’m really proud of the guys and of our success so far. Now we just have to take it into the quarter-finals.”
You spoke before about coming to India to win the title. With England or Japan being your quarter-final opponent, do you feel USA will triumph at this competition?
“After tonight, I feel that we have everything that we need to take us to the final. Whether we get England or Japan, I know this team is down for a fight, down for anything. We’re Americans, we don’t give up, we work hard. Going into those next games, I feel that the boys will be determined and we’re going to get the job done.”