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Saturday, July 20, 2024

USA beat Vietnam in Women’s World Cup


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Auckland, July 22 (UNI) USA have laid down the gauntlet to the other FIFA Women’s World Cup title hopefuls with a 3-0 victory over Vietnam in Eden Park here on Saturday.

It was always going to be a challenge for the World Cup newcomers, who put in an almighty shift on their tournament debut.

The Stars and Stripes made their early dominance felt when 22-year-old Sophia Smith broke the deadlock with a tidy finish under Vietnamese goalkeeper Tran Thi Kim Than after just a quarter of an hour, the FIFA reported.

Vlatko Andonovski’s side would continue to push and could have doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time when Alex Morgan stepped up from the spot, but she saw her spot-kick well saved by Tran. Smith would find the second in first-half stoppage time, though, drilling home to double her – and her nation’s – tally.

Vietnam did well to repel USA’s onslaught after the break until Lindsay Horan was teed up in the penalty area by Smith, and finished confidently to make it three.

USA pushed hard for their fourth goal but the Vietnamese defence held firm. The newcomers acquitted themselves well against the might of the four-time champions and will take confidence into the rest of the tournament.

USA coach Vlatko Andonovski said, “I feel great. We want to win every match, so it’s one down and now we move on to the next. We created a lot of opportunities and wanted to score more goals, but it is what it is. Hopefully we can improve on that and bring some of the good things we did today when we play the Netherlands. We take everything game by game and that match against the Dutch is now our focus.”

Vietnam coach Mai Duc Chung said, “I am very pleased with the team’s fighting spirit today. Before the match, we promised that we might be outmatched in terms of skills, but we would definitely not be outmatched in determination and spirit.”

USA forward and VISA Player of the Match Sophia Smith said, “I feel good. I came into with the mindset of doing whatever it takes to help this team win and that’s what I’ve done. I feel relieved because I was a bit anxious going into the tournament, so it’s nice to have a win under our belts.

It’s so exciting to be at this World Cup. Every moment today was fun and the crowd was amazing.

I think this has been a good way to start but I know we have more to give.”

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