The two teams had no previous encounters. The United States, currently holding the top rank in the FIFA standings, sought to claim their third consecutive title. On the other hand, Vietnam, ranked 32nd in the world, made their inaugural appearance at the World Cup.
In an impressive display, Vietnam goalkeeper Tran Thi Kim Thanh successfully thwarted a penalty in the first half. However, the U.S. team remained in complete control throughout the match, emerging victorious and claiming the top spot in their group. This victory places them ahead of the upcoming match between the Netherlands and Portugal on Sunday.
The United States exhibited excellent control of the ball, consistently pushing Vietnam deep into their own territory from the start. However, despite Lindsey Horan’s attempt to challenge goalkeeper Kim Thanh with a shot in the penalty area, the U.S. was unable to find the back of the net.
In the 14th minute, the relentless pressure led to a breakthrough goal. Alex Morgan demonstrated her skills by delivering a perfectly timed through pass, allowing Sophia Smith to capitalize on her World Cup debut for the reigning champions. The goal was executed with precision, showcasing Smith’s talent on the international stage.
|Jul 22, 2023; Auckland, NZL; USA midfielder Lindsey Horan (10) celebrates after scoring a goal against Vietnam in the second half of a group stage match in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup at Eden Park. Mandatory Credit: Jenna Watson-USA TODAY Sports|
In pursuit of their initial goal, the United States continued to apply sustained attacking pressure, while Vietnam remained committed to their defensive strategy.
Vietnam’s goalkeeper, Kim Thanh, showcased heroics throughout the match, preventing further goals with timely interventions and impressive reflex saves. One notable save came in the 44th minute, where she used her foot to deny Alex Morgan’s penalty shot.
Unfortunately, despite Kim Thanh’s efforts, Smith managed to score two goals from outside the box, giving the U.S. team a comfortable two-goal lead during stoppage time.
In addition, she was unsuccessful in utilizing another opportunity for assistance when Horan successfully scored a third goal for the United States during the second half.
Vietnam had limited chances to attack and when they did, the U.S. defense quickly shut them down. As a result, Vietnam failed to register any shots on goal, while the U.S. had 28 attempts.
|Jul 22, 2023; Auckland, NZL; USA forward Megan Rapinoe (15) battles for the ball against Vietnam midfielder Duong Thi Van (16) in the second half of a group stage match in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup at Eden Park. Mandatory Credit: Jenna Watson-USA TODAY Sports|
The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup will showcase a total of 32 teams, which will be organized into eight groups of four teams each. A grand total of 64 exhilarating matches will be played during the tournament.
The matches are being held at six venues in Australia and four venues in New Zealand.
Vietnam has made history by qualifying for its first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup edition. This achievement marks a significant milestone in the country’s football history.
The team will be facing Portugal in Hamilton at 2:30 pm on July 27, followed by a match against the Netherlands in Dunedin at 2:00 pm on August 1.