Sophia Smith scored twice for USA in the opening half as the two-time defending champions kicked off their Women’s World Cup campaign with a 3-0 victory over tournament first-timers Vietnam on Saturday, Abbeylivenetwork.com reports.
The top-ranked Americans have put their trust in the next generation this year and were rewarded with a showstopping performance from the 22-year-old forward, who also provided the assist for co-captain Lindsey Horan’s goal in the second half.
Vietnam were scarcely able to breach the final third on their World Cup debut but goalkeeper Tran Thi Kim Thanh dived to her right to save Alex Morgan’s first-half penalty in one of several good chances the U.S. spurned.
The heavily American presence in the crowd of 41,107 roared with pleasure as Megan Rapinoe, who plans to retire at the end of this year, took the field midway through the second half but the 38-year-old also missed a good scoring chance.
The U.S. next face the Netherlands on Thursday in their second Group E game, a rematch of the 2019 World Cup final.