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U-17 World Cup: US face Paraguay in pre-quarters

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New Delhi, Oct 15: The United States will look to a strong comeback after a blip against Colombia when they face Paraguay in a Round-of-16 clash here on Monday.


The US defeated India and Ghana, before losing to Colombia 1-3 in Group A to qualify in the knock-out stage.

The previous match could also be a case of being content knowing that you have qualified for the next round. Hence, the US will hope to return to winning ways as they return to the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium after the loss in Mumbai.

"This team is capable of producing a strong performance and bouncing back. The players are in good shape and ready, but we need to be at our best on the pitch," US coach John Hackworth said ahead of the game.

The US have a very good forwards in captain Josh Sargent, Tim Weah, Chris Goslin and Ayo Akinola. They also have a very stable defence, marshalled by Sergino Dest and Chris Durkin, which stood tall against the all-attacking Ghana side.

On the other hand, Paraguay kept a hundred per cent record in the group stages defeating Mali, New Zealand and Turkey in Group C.

According to official stats, Paraguay, along with Iran, finished the group phase with 10 goals (3.33 per game). The fact that these were shared among seven players, including some substitutes, meant that the South Americans have plenty of attacking options. 

The US need to control attacking midfielder Alan Rodriguez (two goals), who has already proved that he is a special talent.

Paraguay coach Gustavo Morinigo, however, knows the task his side awaits: "The US is really a complicated team, the individuals, the captain himself, it has one of the best players and the team is really good," Morinigo told reporters during the pre-match press conference.

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