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HomeOther SportsSophia Smith scores twice as the United States cruises to a 3-0...

Sophia Smith scores twice as the United States cruises to a 3-0 victory in the tournament’s opening round

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As a new-look, Sophia Smith scored twice and assisted another. United States defeated Vietnam 3-0 on Saturday to begin their quest for a third straight Women’s World Cup triumph.

Sophia Smith, a newcomer, scored two goals and assisted another. With a 3-0 victory over Vietnam on Saturday, the United States began their quest for a third consecutive Women’s World Cup triumph. The USA’s energetic forward Smith, one of six starting players making their World Cup debuts, completed a nice move to start the scoring at Eden Park in Auckland in the 14th minute. In front of little over 41,000 spectators, Smith scored once more in stoppage time of the first half after veteran Alex Morgan was denied from the penalty spot earlier.

In the 77th minute, after legendary veteran Megan Rapinoe had came off the bench to earn her 200th cap, she then assisted captain Lindsey Horan for the third goal.

“I believe it was a strong beginning for our team in this competition. The 22-year-old Smith continued, “I also know that we have a lot more to contribute, a lot more to do, and small things to work on.

As debutants Vietnam averted the disgrace that befell Thailand at the 2019 World Cup, when they were destroyed 13-0 by the United States, Vlatko Andonovski’s championship favourites wasted a number of opportunities.

For an American team looking to win a record third straight championship, who will also face Portugal and the 2019 runners-up Netherlands in Group E, there is undoubtedly space for improvement.

But for many members of their team, as well as Andonovski, who took over as coach shortly after their victory in France 2019, this was their first time managing a World Cup match.

But now that the first game is in the books, attention instantly moves to game two, said Andonovski. “Unfortunately we didn’t capitalise on all the great opportunities that we created, and that is something we are certainly going to focus on in the lead-up to the next game.”

On Thursday, that will be a rematch of the 2019 championship final against the Dutch.

On their World Cup debuts, Smith and 21-year-old Trinity Rodman flanked Morgan in attack as Rapinoe started her final World Cup before retiring on the bench.

Additionally making their maiden World Cup appearances were right defender Emily Fox, centre back Naomi Girma, and midfielders Andi Sullivan and Savannah DeMelo.

“I must admit that I was pleased with the team’s performance. The coach said, “If you look at the team, I believe this is the first time this XI has played together.

“It was very encouraging to see some of the connections and combinations.”

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