USA U-17 coach John Hackworth said that his side’s progress to the quarters cannot erase the pain of the senior team failing to qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia.
“I don’t think anything is going to take away that pain (of failing to qualify). It’s a completely different level."
“We talked about it internally and I told these guys that the responsibility of doing something for US soccer fell on them. Hopefully with this performance tonight we have shown the world we are a footballing nation developing many superstars of tomorrow,” Hackworth remarked.
Meanwhile, Paraguay U-17 coach Morinigo indicated that his side had succumbed to nervousness after conceding the first goal very early.
“Today US were the better team. After the first goal, the boys became very nervous. It was going really well in the opening stages,” Morinigo said.
Despite the humbling score line towards the end, Morinigo was proud of his players and said they were soldiers who had given everything in battle.
“Our team has really good soldiers. They fight every time they come onto the field. They never give up and they always give me what is needed for them,” the coach said about his players.
Asked what caused his side to completely fall away in the second-half, Morinigo indicated that his side’s push for a way back into the match played into the USA’s hands.
“We opened up our defensive lines and boundaries which was taken advantage of by the USA,” he said.
USA U-17 coach John Hackworth also added that he was very proud of the current bunch at his disposal and that they are really fun to coach.
When asked if weather conditions in Kolkata could challenge his side for their quarter-final clash after struggling with the humidity at Mumbai, Hackworth replied that Mumbai had presented other challenges apart from humidity which had taken its toll on his side.
“We are prepared for that (Kolkata’s humidity). There were other challenges in Mumbai apart from the humidity which were difficult to handle for my side.”
USA midfielder Blaine Ferri had to be taken off in the first-half after injuring himself during a tackle but the American coach expressed optimism that he would be available for the quarter-finals.
“Blaine Ferri has an ankle sprain and we are hopeful to have him back for the next match after discussions with my medical staff."