U.S. Women’s National Team Beats Vietnam 3-0 To Open 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

U.S. Women’s National Team Beats Vietnam 3-0 To Open 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

Match Summary

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (July 22, 2023) – The U.S. Women’s National Team earned a convincing 3-0 win against Vietnam in their opening match at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The victory was achieved through a strong performance from forward Sophia Smith, who scored two goals, and midfielder Lindsey Horan, who added another goal. The match took place at the historic Eden Park in front of a crowd of 41,107 mostly American fans.

USWNT’s Strong Opening Record

The win against Vietnam improved the USWNT’s record in opening matches at the FIFA Women’s World Cup to 7W-2D-0L. The team has now won their last four tournaments with an opening victory. Furthermore, the USWNT has set a new record for most consecutive wins in the competition, with 13 consecutive victories.

Upcoming Matches

The U.S. will now face the Netherlands on July 27 at Wellington Regional Stadium in Wellington/Te Whanganui-a-Tara for their second Group E match. Their final group play will be against Portugal on Aug. 1 back at Eden Park in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau. The matches will be broadcasted on FOX, Telemundo, Universo, and Peacock for viewers in the United States.

Vietnam’s Defensive Efforts

Vietnam, one of the eight debutants in this year’s tournament, played a tough defensive match against the USWNT. They adopted a compact 5-4-1 formation, aiming to pack their defensive third whenever the USA was in possession. Despite their efforts, Vietnam was unable to prevent the USA from dominating the proceedings.

Physical Start and Early Scare

The match started off with a physical tone as Vietnam made their presence known with several fouls. In the first minute, forward Trinity Rodman fell hard after a challenge and required attention from the medical staff. However, she was able to return to the field moments later.

Opening Goal by Sophia Smith

The USA created numerous scoring chances throughout the match. In the 14th minute, midfielder Lindsey Horan played a brilliant, driven pass from near midfield towards Alex Morgan at the top of the penalty box. Morgan cleverly flicked a first-time pass with her heel into Sophia Smith’s path as she ran into the left side of the box. Smith took a touch and fired a low shot with her left foot through the legs of goalkeeper Tran Thị Kim Thanh, opening the scoring. This goal marked the fastest goal at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup thus far.

Near Miss and VAR Review

The USA continued to threaten in the attack, almost doubling their lead in the 44th minute. A VAR review awarded the USA a penalty kick for a foul on Trinity Rodman moments earlier. Alex Morgan stepped up to take the penalty, but Tran Thị Kim Thanh made an impressive diving save to deny her attempt.

Sophia Smith Strikes Again

Sophia Smith proved to be a key player for the USWNT as she scored her second goal just before the halftime whistle. In the seventh minute of stoppage time, goalkeeper Tran Thị Kim Thanh came off her line and punched away a cross from defender Naomi Girma. However, the ball fell directly to Smith just inside the box, and she finished with her left foot from 15 yards out.

Megan Rapinoe’s Milestone

In the 63rd minute, forward Megan Rapinoe entered the match as a substitute for Alex Morgan, earning her 200th cap for the USWNT. Rapinoe, who announced her retirement at the end of the 2023 NWSL season, became just the 14th player in U.S. Women’s National Team history to reach this milestone.

Lindsey Horan Seals the Victory

The USA capped off the match in the 77th minute with a goal from Lindsey Horan. Captaining the squad for the first time at a world championship event, Horan finished with a poised and powerful strike from the center of the penalty box. Sophia Smith set up the goal by stripping the ball from a defender inside the penalty area on the right side, then passing it back to Horan, who smashed her shot past several Vietnam defenders.

Debuts and Notable Stats

By the end of the match, eight USA players made their Women’s World Cup debuts, including Savannah DeMelo, Naomi Girma, Emily Fox, Andi Sullivan, Sophia Smith, Trinity Rodman, Alyssa Thompson, and Sofia Huerta. Sophia Smith’s goals marked her first career World Cup goals, her 13th and 14th career goals, and her first and second scores of 2023. She became the 34th USWNT player to score at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Alex Morgan’s assist on Sophia Smith’s first goal was her 50th career assist and her fifth all-time at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. With Smith’s assist and two goals in this match, 16 of the USA’s 21 goals in 2023 have been scored or assisted by a player under the age of 25. At 22 years and 346 days of age, Sophia Smith is the second-youngest player in USWNT history to score multiple goals in a World Cup game and the youngest since Cat Whitehill in 2003. She is also the youngest USWNT player to score multiple goals in her World Cup debut. After entering the match in the 75th minute, Alyssa Thompson became the second-youngest player to appear for the USA at the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the fourth teenager all-time to appear for the USWNT at the WWC. Lindsey Horan’s goal marked her third career World Cup goal and the 28th of her international career. With her assist to Horan, Smith has now recorded assists in back-to-back games, also setting up Rodman’s opening strike against Wales in a previous match. In a positive note, Rose Lavelle, who had been sidelined with an injury, made her return to the field and looked sharp, hitting the crossbar late in the match.

Lineups and Statistics

USA: Alyssa Naeher; Emily Fox, Naomi Girma, Julie Ertz, Crystal Dunn; Andi Sullivan, Lindsey Horan (Capt.), Savannah DeMelo; Sophia Smith, Alex Morgan, Trinity Rodman. Substitutes: Megan Rapinoe, Sofia Huerta, Kelley O’Hara, Ashley Sanchez, Lynn Williams, Alana Cook, Emily Sonnett, Casey Murphy, Aubrey Kingsbury, Kristie Mewis. Head coach: Vlatko Andonovski.

VIE: Tran Thi Kim Thanh; Tran Thi Thu Thao, Le Thi Diem My, Luong Thi Thu Thuong, Tran Thi Thu, Hoang Thi Loan; Tran Thi Hai Linh, Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy, Thai Thi Thao, Nguyen Thi Tuyet Dung; Huynh Nhu (Capt.). Substitutes: Pham Hai Yen, Duong Thi Van, Nguyen Thi My Anh, Chuong Thi Kieu, Ngan Thi Van Su, Dao Thi Kieu Oanh, Khong Thi Hang, Tran Thi Thuy Nga, Tran Thi Thuy Trang, Vu Thi Hoa, Nguyen Thi Thuy Hang, Nguyen Thi Thanh Nha. Head coach: Duc Chung Mai.

Match Details

Scoring Summary:

  • USA – Sophia Smith (Alex Morgan) 14th minute
  • USA – Sophia Smith 45+7th minute
  • USA – Lindsey Horan (Sophia Smith) 77th minute

Stats Summary:

  • Shots: USA 28, VIE 0
  • Shots on Goal: USA 7, VIE 0
  • Saves: USA 0, VIE 4
  • Corner Kicks: USA 10, VIE 0
  • Fouls: USA 13, VIE 13
  • Offside: USA 5, VIE 0

Misconduct Summary:

  • USA – Lindsey Horan (Caution) 56th minute
  • VIE – Huynh Nhu (Caution) 75th minute

Officials:

  • Referee: Bouchra Karboubi (MAR)
  • Assistant Referee 1: Fatiha Jermoumi (MAR)
  • Assistant Referee 2: Soukaina Hamdi (MAR)
  • 4th Official: Ivana Martincic (CRO)
  • VAR: Juan Martinez (ESP)
  • AVAR 1: Ella De Vries (BEL)
  • AVAR 2: Michelle O’Neill (IRL)

Visa Player of the Match: Sophia Smith