Video: QPR youngster Michael Petrasso shows his first-team potential with Canada's Under-23s

The 20-year-old winger has scored three goals in as many games at the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship.

Canada’s Under-23 national team are only one win away from securing a spot at Rio 2016 thanks in large part to Queens Park Rangers winger Michael Petrasso.

Currently competing at the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship in the USA, Benito Floro’s side advanced to the semi-finals last night with a 2-2 draw in their third and final group game against Cuba, in which Petrasso grabbed his third goal of the tournament.

The 20-year-old attacker opened the scoring in the 26th-minute of Tuesday’s match at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Colorado, when he pounced on a poor back pass to give his side the lead with a composed chip.

Cuba would equalise seven minutes later through Arichel Hernandez but Molham Babouli restored Canada’s advantage seven minutes after the break when his free-kick from the edge of the box crept under the opposition goalkeeper’s outstretched hands.

Hernandez’s second goal of the game late on meant that Les Rouges had to wait a few hours before their place in the knockout rounds was assured but the USA’s subsequent 4-0 thumping of Panama saw them progress as Group A runners-up behind the hosts.

They can now guarantee their place at next summer’s Olympics with a victory on Saturday against either Honduras or Mexico, when their star man Petrasso will look to continue his impressive run of form.

The tournament’s joint-leading scorer, the QPR prospect bagged his first goal in the 3-1 opening defeat to the States before adding another strike and an assist in the 3-1 win over Panama, and he now goes into the semi-finals filled with confidence after making it three in three against Cuba.

“It’s going good for me,” he told CanadaSoccerTV after the Cuba draw. “Going three for three gives me a lot of confidence going forward and for the next round. We’re now one game away from potentially qualifying for Rio, which would be a dream come true.”

While the focus is very much on Canada for the moment, Petrasso’s international displays also have to be doing his chances of breaking into QPR’s first-team the world of good.

A product of Toronto FC’s academy, the pacey wide man originally joined the Championship club in 2012 but he has so far made just one 14-minute substitute appearance for them during their 2013-14 promotion season.

Nevertheless, he remains a highly-rated prospect at Loftus Road and has enjoyed productive loan spells at Oldham Athletic, Coventry City, Leyton Orient and Notts County, respectively, over the past two campaigns, along with earning a new deal until 2017.

Having conceded a league-high 20 goals in their first 10 games, Chris Ramsey’s side could really do with some defensive help rather than an injection of playmaking youth but, if Petrasso keeps performing at his current level once he returns to training in north London, then he will prove almost impossible for the Hoops boss to ignore.

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