USWNT Opens 2023 World Cup with 3-0 Victory Over Vietnam
The U.S. Women’s National Team made a strong start to their 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign, securing a convincing 3-0 win against Vietnam in their opening match at the historic Eden Park. But would you have expected anything less? What was a surprise was who become a star during the match. With a standout performance from forward Sophia Smith, who became the second youngest USWNT player to score multiple goals in a World Cup game, led the way for the USA.
From the outset, the USA asserted its dominance, piling up a staggering 28-0 shot advantage against a determined Vietnam defense. Though Vietnam tried to thwart the American attack with a compact 5-4-1 formation, the USA continued to push forward relentlessly.
The opening goal came in the 14th minute, thanks to a brilliant piece of play orchestrated by midfielder Lindsey Horan. She delivered a perfectly timed pass to Alex Morgan, who cleverly flicked the ball with her heel into the path of Sophia Smith. The young forward made no mistake with her finish, driving a low shot through the legs of Vietnam’s goalkeeper Tran Thị Kim Thanh, marking the fastest goal at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The USA had numerous chances to extend their lead further, but Tran Thị Kim Thanh’s heroics in goal denied them on several occasions. The Vietnamese goalkeeper notably saved a penalty from Alex Morgan in the 44th minute to keep the score at 1-0. It is important to know that Tran Thị Kim is only 5’5” and she played like she was 6’5” in the match. With a different keeper, this match would have been 8-0 to the USA.
However, Smith was not to be denied her second goal. In the seventh minute of stoppage time before halftime, she capitalized on a clearance from Tran Thị Kim Thanh following a cross from defender Naomi Girma. With a composed finish, Smith doubled the USA’s lead, demonstrating her prowess in front of goal.
In the second half, USWNT legend Megan Rapinoe earned her 200th cap after coming on as a substitute for Alex Morgan in the 63rd minute. This milestone made her the 14th player in U.S. Women’s National Team history to reach the mark, adding to her illustrious career.
The USA continued to dominate proceedings and sealed the match in the 77th minute with a goal from captain Lindsey Horan. The midfielder showcased her composure and power as she struck the ball from the center of the penalty box, leaving Vietnam’s defenders with no chance.
Notably, eight players made their Women’s World Cup debuts in the match, including Racing Louisville rising star Savannah DeMelo, who also earned her first USWNT start. The youthful energy and talent brought by these players added to the team’s impressive performance.
With the victory against Vietnam, the U.S. Women’s National Team extended their remarkable streak of 13 consecutive wins at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, further solidifying their status as one of the favorites for the title.
(Photo by USWNT)
Looking ahead, the USA will face a formidable challenge against the Netherlands on July 27, followed by a final group stage match against Portugal on August 1. The team’s strong start in the tournament bodes well for their ambitions to reclaim the World Cup crown. As the journey continues, fans around the world eagerly await to witness the next chapter of this historic tournament.
(Photo by USWNT)
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