- The United States beat Vietnam 3-0 at the start of the World Cup in Auckland in front of 41,000 spectators.
- Sophia Smith (2) and Lindsay Horan scored the goals.
- Vietnam guard Thi Kim Thanh Tran prevents worse things from happening.
The class difference in the first match of World Cup Group E was stark: the defending champions from the United States controlled the game from the ground up, wave after wave headed towards the Vietnamese goal, and the Southeast Asian team was unable to free itself from its own half.
However, the match ended “only” one-sided with a score of 3-0. There were two reasons for this:
- Even the Americans made a mistake from the best positions when assessing opportunities. Even veteran Megan Rapinoe, who came on after the hour mark, was not spared a bad finish.
- Vietnamese goalkeeper Thi Kim Thanh Tran was her team's best player and made many saves. The best came in the 44th minute when she saved a penalty kick (albeit a weak one) from Alex Morgan. The fact that Tran was “in a tunnel” when she conceded the first two goals made her the tragic heroine of the game.
Smith scores two goals
Both goals in the first half were scored by Sophia Smith. First, the 22-year-old rushed after Morgan made a deep pass (14th). In stoppage time, she scored from long range after the Vietnamese defense was too short.
The goal was initially disallowed due to alleged offside in the previous scene. After consulting VAR, referee Bouchra Karboubi reversed the decision.
In the 77th minute, Lindsay Horan, who had previously made mistakes several times, scored her goal. The 29-year-old scored a goal after the Vietnamese defense lost order.
Defender Julie Ertz, with her precise and amazing attacks, and winger Trinity Rodman (daughter of former basketball star Dennis) and Savannah DeMelo also stood out in terms of playing for the US national team.
SRF Live Broadcast, July 22, 2023, 2:50 AM; Bank of England
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