Tottenham Hotspur
11:45 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
 By Mark Rodden

Timothy Weah vows to work on his finishing after U.S. fall to Ireland

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno says the days of players having a divine right to play for the United States are over after their World Cup qualification failure.

United States attacker Timothy Weah was disappointed not to add to his international goal tally after impressing again in the Americans' 2-1 friendly defeat to the Republic of Ireland on Saturday.

Weah, 18, became the fourth-youngest goal scorer in USMNT history when he netted in Monday's 3-0 win over Bolivia in Philadelphia.

But a youthful U.S. squad found the going tougher in Dublin on Saturday, when they fell to a 2-1 defeat to a much more experienced Irish side.

Alan Judge scored a last-minute winner for Ireland after Bobby Wood had given the visitors a half-time lead, but Paris Saint-Germain winger Weah was happy to have got through 90 minutes on his third appearance for his country.

"Irish national teams are usually very physical," Weah told ESPN FC after the game. "They're always a bit bigger. But I felt like we gave it our ultimate. Unfortunately we took the goal at the last minute but it's something to learn from and it's something to build off of.

"I'm really glad to get this experience. I'm really proud of the team... It's a friendly so we just have to get back in training and work on it for the next game. We'll play Ireland again and we'll get our revenge."

Weah, whose father George is the president of Liberia as well as a former AC Milan and PSG striker, was a lively presence on the right of the U.S. attack.

The pacy teenager caught the eye in the first half with an incredible piece of invention to chest the ball around an Irish defender, and then had two chances to restore the visitors' lead in the second half.

First, he drew a save from Irish goalkeeper Colin Doyle with a volley on the turn inside the penalty area, before pouncing on a defensive error only to blast a shot narrowly over the bar.

The youngest player in a starting XI that had an average age of just over 23 years, Weah suggested that those chances showed that he needs to fine-tune his game.

"With me missing the opportunities, I think I still have a lot of work on," he admitted. "I'm only 18 and playing on this big stage, sometimes you have to be really good in front of the goal.

"I feel like that's something that I really have to work on, and that's something that I'm going to work on in training. I'm kind of bummed to not score, but it's always good playing at this level and showing that I can compete.

"Also, with the service, it'll come... once the guys just get confidence in me. We've only played together for three games so it'll come. I'm taking every day step by step, and just being really patient. I'm just working with them to gain everyone's trust and I feel like I'm going to jell [with the team] completely well."

The New York native will next return to his adopted homeland of France, where the U.S will face a stern test against one of the World Cup favorites in Lyon next Saturday.

A hugely talented France squad features three of Weah's PSG teammates, including star attacker Kylian Mbappe, and it is a measure of his rapid progress that he should get a chance to take to the field with them at international level.

Weah's recent success for the U.S. senior team, after all, comes off the back of breaking into the PSG first team. He made three league appearances for the French champions in the 2017-18 season, which included a first start in a 0-0 draw against Caen on the final day of the campaign.

"Getting games with PSG was just a confidence booster for me," Weah said after the Ireland game. "Coming into the national camp, I didn't expect to get as much game time as I'm getting. But I'm glad the coach has so much confidence in me to get me out there and get me some games.

"For now, I'm just building my confidence each game. I feel like I'm getting better but there's still a lot of work to do. I'm so thankful to get these opportunities and now it's just go back in training, work hard and just get there."

Mark covers European football for ESPN FC. Twitter: @mrodden


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