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Sophia Smith scores twice as the United States defeats Vietnam 3-0 in the FIFA Women’s World Cup

<p>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.</p>
<p>At Eden Park in Auckland, in the 14th minute, energetic forward Smith, one of the six starters for the USA making her World Cup debut, produced a nice play.</p>
<p>In front of a crowd of little over 41,000, veteran Alex Morgan was then denied from the penalty spot before Smith scored once again late in stoppage time of the first half.<img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-89270″ src=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/www.theindiaprint.com-cm-gehlot-claims-that-the-rajasthan-government-supports-the-manipuri-students-download-2023-07-22t172300.244.jpg” alt=”” width=”1073″ height=”559″ srcset=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/www.theindiaprint.com-cm-gehlot-claims-that-the-rajasthan-government-supports-the-manipuri-students-download-2023-07-22t172300.244.jpg 311w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/www.theindiaprint.com-cm-gehlot-claims-that-the-rajasthan-government-supports-the-manipuri-students-download-2023-07-22t172300.244-150×78.jpg 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 1073px) 100vw, 1073px” /></p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>“I believe it was a strong beginning for our squad in this competition. The 22-year-old Smith said, “I also know that we have a lot more to contribute, a lot more to accomplish, and little things to work on.</p>
<p>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 favorites wasted a number of opportunities.</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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.”</p>
<p>On Thursday, that will be a rematch of the 2019 championship final versus the Dutch.</p>
<p>On their World Cup debuts, Smith and 21-year-old Trinity Rodman flanked Morgan in attack as Rapinoe started her last World Cup before retiring on the bench.</p>
<p>Additionally making their maiden World Cup debuts were right back Emily Fox, center defender Naomi Girma, and midfielders Andi Sullivan and Savannah DeMelo.</p>
<p>“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.</p>
<p>“It was very encouraging to see some of the connections and combinations.”</p>
<p>Morgan wastes a chance to score.</p>
<p>After being knocked down in the first minute, Rodman, the daughter of former NBA player Dennis Rodman, required extensive treatment before contributing to the game.</p>
<p>However, Smith made the game-changing play, masterfully controlling and completing a lovely move after Morgan flicked on a ball by Horan.</p>
<p>Despite the one-way traffic, the score stayed 1-0 until shortly before halftime, when Hoang Thi Loan clipped Rodman in the area, and the Moroccan referee called for a penalty after studying the footage.</p>
<p>However, Morgan, who was taking part in her 19th World Cup game, watched goalkeeper Tran Thi Kim Thanh dive to the right and save her bad attempt.</p>
<p>Instead, Smith scored a second goal to make it 2-0 with eight seconds left in the first half by shooting under the goalkeeper’s legs and into the net after a Girma cross had been deflected away.</p>
<p>The goal was first disallowed before being awarded after a thorough second examination that determined there was no offside.</p>
<p>Just after the hour mark, Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle, the two goal scorers from the 2019 championship, joined the game to shouts.</p>
<p>Just before Smith seized on a Julie Ertz pass forward and provided a cutback for Lyon midfielder Horan to score, teenager Alyssa Thompson entered the game for her first-ever World Cup appearance.</p>
<p>Late in the game, Lavelle struck the underside of the bar, allowing Vietnam to advance to their first World Cup with a respectable score.</p>

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