U-17 WWC: USA’s Kuhlmann nets three in win over Paraguay

USA's Civana Kuhlmann (pictured) celebrates scoring a hat-trick against Paraguay in the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup on October 1, 2016, Zarqa, Jordan. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)

ZARQA, Jordan – Civana Kuhlmann scored three goals and the United States earned a 6-1 win over Paraguay in the Group D opener for each in the 2016 FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup at the Prince Mohammed International Stadium. 

The 17-year-old forward became the first American to record a hat-trick in the biennial event. 

Frankie Tagliaferri put the CONCACAF champion ahead 1-0 in the 11th minute, when she collected a pass inside the penalty area from Brianna Pinto, took a touch to her right to lose a defender and fire into the left side of the net. 

Three minutes later, the lead was doubled as Pinto found Kiara Pickett with a long ball down the right flank. Pickett eluded a challenge and played a cross on the ground from the edge of the penalty area to Kuhlmann near the top of the six-yard. The striker settled the ball and placed it inside the left post with her right foot. 

In the 49th minute, Kuhlmann extended the lead to 3-0. Off a third corner kick in quick succession, left-back Kate Wisener ran onto a loose clearance. She slipped a pass to Kuhlmann, who took another deft touch to make space at the top of the box and snapped a left-footed into the right side of the net from 13-yards out. 

Paraguay pulled one back in the 54th minute through a header from Limpia Fretes off a corner kick, but the U.S. restored its three-goal cushion in the 69th minute. Ashley Sanchez dribbled down the left side and crossed into box for Kiara Pickett to right-foot home from six yards. 

Sanchez got her name on the scoresheet in the 81st minute, beating goalkeeper with a right-footed effort from 17-yards out. 

Kuhlmann’s historic performance was punctuated with three minutes remaining normal time. Fourteen-year-old Lia Godfrey freed herself off the dribble and played a square ball for Kuhlmann to unleash into the upper-right corner on the net for the final margin. 

Next match: October 4, 2016, v Ghana  

2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

October 1, 2016: Prince Mohammed International Stadium – Zarqa, Jordan (Att: 2, 078)

USA-Paraguay 6-1 (2-0)

Frankie Tagliaferri 11’; Civana Kuhlmann 14’, 49’, 87’; Kiara Pickett 69’; Ashley Sanchez 81’ / Limpia Fretes 54’

USA: Laurel Ivory; Naomi Girma, Karina Rodriguez, Kiara Pickett, Kate Wiesner; Alex Spaanstra, Briana Pinto, Jaelin Howell (Lia Godfrey 84’), Frankie Tagliaferri (Sophia Smith 67’), Ashley Sanchez, Civana Kuhlmann (Adrienne Richardson 88’). Head Coach: B.J. Snow

Paraguay: Heidi Salas; Maria Vecca, Daysy Bareiro, Limpia Fretes, Yessica Cabanas, Cinthia Arevalo (Katia Martinez 46’), Fabiola Sandoval, Rosa Mino (Jennifer Gonzalez 67’), Deisy Ojeda (Vanessa Arce 46’), Jessica Martinez, Dahiana Bogarin. Head Coach: Nelson Basualdo

R: Anastasia Pustovoitova (Russia); AR1: Ekaterina Kurochkina (Russia); AR2: Oleksandra Ardasheva (Ukraine); 4th: Esther Azzopardi (Malta)