In the opening match of the Women’s World Cup, Sophia Smith led the way with two goals for the United States, securing a 3-0 victory against tournament newcomers Vietnam. The reigning champions, aiming for an unprecedented three consecutive titles, also saw Lindsey Horan score a goal.
The match drew parallels to the Americans’ dominant 13-0 win against Thailand in the 2019 World Cup opener.But Vietnam was surprisingly resilient, kept the game closer than expected, and goalkeeper Tran Thi Kim Thanh stopped Alex Morgan’s first-half penalty attempt.
Morgan attempted to rebound her missed penalty, but she was knocked to the ground while clutching her calf. However, she swiftly returned.It was just her second penalty miss for the United States.
Smith, one of 14 Americans playing in their first World Cup, showed why she was named both U.S. Soccer’s Player of the Year and the National Women’s Soccer League MVP last year with her two first-half goals.
Sophia Smith scored off a pass from captain Lindsey Horan in the 14th minute. Smith and Horan celebrated with a choreographed handshake after the goal. She scored again in first-half stoppage time to make it 2-0 going into the break. The United States was at first flagged as offside before a video review confirmed the goal.
After the Tokyo Olympics, the U.S. team strengthened itself by incorporating young talent like Smith and Trinity Rodman following their acceptance of a disappointing bronze medal. Among the veterans, 38-year-old Megan Rapinoe made her 200th international appearance against Vietnam.