New Delhi: There will be little margin for error but a buoyant Paraguay will still fancy their chances when they lock horns with USA in a pre-quarterfinal clash of the FIFA U-17 World Cup on Monday.
Paraguay are on a high having entered the round of 16 with an all-win record.
They have an impressive tally of scoring 10 goals in the three round robin matches, making it crystal clear that the South Americans have a potent strike force.
If their mental toughness was on display in the come-from-behind win against New Zealand, Paraguay were ruthless against Turkey and Mali in the first round.
Paraguay are aware that USA, despite a loss to Colombia that must have dampened their spirit after a great start, will pose their biggest threat so far in the tournament.
USA kicked off their campaign with a 3-0 win over hosts India and then saw off two-time champions Ghana in an intense battle. However, they were shocked by a desperate Colombia in a must-win game for the South Americans.
Going by the way Paraguay have played in the tournament, USA will certainly have their task cut out and will hope their star forward and Werder Bremen target Josh Sargent fires at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, a venue where they have already played two games. He is likely to have Atlanta United's Andrew Carleton as partner.
Then there is also Aki Akinola as well as Timothy Weah as options for USA.
After the elimination of the senior team from the 2018 World Cup race, fans back home are looking up to this young lot to salvage pride and give the Americans something to cheer about. So, the pressure will be on USA.
While Sargent has been impressive upfront, New York City FC midfielder James Sands anchored the central defense nicely, considering USA have conceded only three goals, all coming against Colombia. Chris Durkin, the DC United Homegrown player, has also been in excellent form.
USA: Alex Budnik, Carlos Joaquim Dos Santos, Justin Garces, Sergino Dest, Christopher Gloster, Jaylin Lindsey, James Sands, Tyler Shaver, Akil Watts, George Acosta, Taylor Booth, Christopher Durkin, Blaine Ferri, Chris Goslin, Indiana Vassilev, Ayo Akinola, Andrew Carleton, Jacobo Reyes, Bryan Reynolds, Joshua Sargent, Tim Weah.
Paraguay: Diego Huesca, Jesus Rolon, Roberto Fernandez, Pedro Alvarez, Alexis Duarte, Braian Ojeda, Antonio Galeano, Stevens Gomez, Fernando Romero, Julio Baez, Leonardo Sanchez, Angel Roa, Marcelo Rolon, Victor Villasanti, Luis Zarate, Anibal Vega, Fernando Cardozo, Blas Armoa, Jonathan Martinez, Giovanni Bogado, Alan Rodriguez.
Match starts 8pm IST.
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Updated Date: Oct 16, 2017 08:59:45 IST