The United States wins and convinces against Vietnam in its debut with Rapinoe as a substitute

The North American national team turned its first appearance in this cup into a formality, as the winner of the last two titles won 3-0 over an Asian team that was making its historic first appearance in the competition.

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The United States started its journey in the oceanic lands on the right foot. The Stars and Stripes beat Vietnam 3-0, in their first Women's World Cup appearance in Australia and New Zealand. The North Americans won effortlessly in the encounter in Auckland, which takes place on the first day of Group E.

In front of more than 41,000 spectators, they, led by Vlatko Andonovski, took to the field without one of their logos, Megan Rapinoe. The striker has been suffering from a calf injury since June, prompting her coach to manage the OL Reign star's playing minutes.

Without Rapinoe, but with Alex Morgan, it did not take long for the USA to show their attacking prowess. Portland Thorns player Sophia Smith opened the scoring in the 14th minute with a cross shot into the area.

Vietnam could only endure the constant attacks of the United States, which controlled the duel at will. The Video Assistant Referee intervened in the 43rd minute to award a penalty kick to Team USA. Morgan, a veteran, launched the attack and saw how it was stopped by goalkeeper Thanh Tran. Vietnam celebrated it as a goal. This is the fourth missed penalty kick, out of six that have been taken so far in the tournament.

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But the American superiority was completed a few minutes later, and before the end of the first half, with Smith's second goal, after a review by the video assistant referee.

Monologue from us to reassert themselves as favorites

The United States has updated its eleventh schedule for the supplementary period. Megan Rapinoe came in for Morgan, and Savannah DeMelo replaced Rose LaValle. Rapinoe thus added her 200th match wearing the national team jersey, while Demelo had just completed her first match as first base player for her country. The Racing Louisville player is one of 14 players to make her debut in the Women's World Cup featuring the Americans.

Lindsay Horan scored in the 77th minute and the match turned into a defeat.Vietnam ended the match without a shot in the opponent's penalty area, and possessed 27% of the ball, compared to 50% for the Americans.

American striker Megan Rapinoe competes for the ball against Vietnam's Thi Van Su Ngan in the United States' first appearance at the 2023 Women's World Cup. Auckland, New Zealand, July 21, 2023. © AP/Abby Barr

Rapinoe was active on the left wing, in a duel in which she was able to limit her participation. Her teammates expressed their desire to win their third title in a row, which is unprecedented in the history of the tournament, and would be the perfect farewell for her.

Rapinoe, who is also a well-known activist, announced earlier this month that she would retire from football at the end of the current season. The dream of lifting the trophy started well and now continues against the Netherlands, a team they defeated in the final four years ago in France.

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