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Weah goal sends United States to knockout stage of Under-20 World Cup

21:38 WAT 30/05/2019
Timothy Weah USA 2018
The Paris Saint-Germain teenager scored the only goal of a nervy victory over Qatar, which sees the U.S. advance to the last-16

Timothy Weah earned the United States a place in the Under-20 World Cup knockout stages with the lone goal in a 1-0 win over Qatar. 

The 19-year-old Paris Saint-Germain forward’s goal in the 76th minute ensured the U.S. a second-place finish in the group, and automatic qualification to the last 16, though a potential matchup with France awaits. 

After losing their opening game to Ukraine 2-1 and then rebounding with a 2-0 victory over Nigeria, the U.S. entered the contest knowing a victory would seal their place in the knockout stage while a draw would likely see them through. 

However, it wasn't an impressive first half for the Americans who, despite their favorites tag, looked second-best for most of the opening 45 minutes. 

The best chance of the half actually fell to Qatar, with David Ochoa rushing out for a save with his boot on a 1v1 chance in the 37th minute. There was a rebound opportunity on the empty net, but it was put wide to let the U.S. off. 

However, the U.S. nearly capitalized on an error late in the first half when Qatar goalkeeper Shehab Mamdouh spilled a cross into the path of the onrushing Sebastian Soto. 

But the striker hit it at a narrow angle, and put his chance into the side netting. 

Ochoa was tested again in the second half as Khaled Mohamed got in on him alone at a tough angle, but the keeper was able to snag the low shot cleanly. 

Moments after Mohamed’s opportunity, Weah made Qatar pay for their spurned chances. 

Mendez forced a turnover near the Qatar area and then played it into Weah, who then blasted his shot past Mamdouh to give the U.S. the advantage with his first goal of the tournament. 

The U.S. then had an opportunity to double their advantage after Brandon Servania was hauled down in the area, which saw a penalty awarded after VAR overruled the initial offside call. 

But Mandouh was equal to the task, stopping Mendez at full-stretch to keep Qatar in the match. 

The goalkeeper again was called into action late on as Weah was played in with a chance to double his tally and the U.S. advantage, but Mamdouh made the stop. 

Deep into stoppage time, Richie Ledezma hit a rocket from distance which struck off the crossbar and ensured a nervy final few minutes for the U.S. 

A 1-1 draw between Ukraine and Nigeria ensures the U.S. finish second in Group D and will face either France or Mali in the next round.  

While the USA did advance, it will be short two starters for the last 16 as both Mendez and Chris Durkin picked up yellow cards, which will see them suspended for the match.