New Delhi : United States and Germany toyed with their opponents to secure their places in the quarterfinals of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Germany displayed power and flourish to outclass Colombia 4-0 in a disappointing contest while the United States, powered by a hat-trick by Tim Weah, decimated Paraguay 5-0.
The US goal in the 19th minute was a gem. Andrew Carleton started the process with a splitting through ball to Ayo Akinola, who let go of a square pass in front of the goal for Tim Weah to tap it in on the run. It was the perfect execution of one-touch football as the United States stunned Paraguay with a class act.
Weah improved upon his effort in the 53rd minute with a spectacularly angled strike from outside the box, the ball finding the roof of the net. A goal each from Carleton and Josh Sargent later left Paraguay in helpless.
A turnout of 34, 895 was witness to a clinical show by Germany, playing its first match at this venue. Two goals by Jann-Fiete Arp and a strike each by John Yeboah and Yann Bisseck confirmed Germany as the team to watch in the remaining stage of the tournament.
The Germans had done their homework. Tight marking left the Colombian forwards frustrated and Germany relied on swift counter-attacks to make its point. The two goals in the first half confirmed the German tactics
Yeboah won the ball just outside the box, laid it in the path of Arp, who was foiled but the ball slipped out of the diving goalkeeper Kevin Mier’s grasp. Arp, seeing the ball lie loose, came up with a deft left-footer which sailed into the far corner in the seventh minute.
Yeboah should have knocked in the second one, but his curling left-footer thudded into the crosspiece as Colombia had a providential escape. The Germans gave the opponents a torrid time and the Colombian defence ran out of breath when stretched on the flanks.
The German pressure on Colombia increased mainly through the versatile Yeboah, who showed splendid control on the right flank. His speedy forays were complemented by Arp, and the pair was relentless in its pursuit of a second goal. It fructified in the 39th minute through a corner when Sahverdi Cetin floated the ball into the goalmouth and the tall Bisseck rose to meet it with a form header that crashed into the back of the net.
The second half gave Colombia little respite. Yeboah was on the target four minutes into the second session after Arp ran a splendid solo and released the ball for his onrushing partner to score. And then Arp scored his second in the 65th minute, breaking in alone, as Germany made the next stage in style.