Highlights from USA vs Vietnam, Women's World Cup (2023)

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12:35 a.m. ET, July 22, 2023

Our live coverage has ended. See how USA vs Vietnam unfolded below and follow the Women's World Cup here.

12:39 a.m. ET, July 22, 2023

US coach says team "deserved to score more goals"

From CNN's Tara Subramaniam in Auckland, New Zealand and Homero DeLaFuente

Highlights from USA vs Vietnam, Women's World Cup (1)

US coach Vlatko Andonovski thought his team should have scored more goals in their win over Vietnam.

The USWNT kicked off their 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup with a comfortable 3-0 victory in the Group E match at Eden Park in in Auckland, New Zealand.

"I wouldn't say that I expected more goals but with the way that we played and the opportunities that we created I sure wanted to see more goals and I thought that we deserved to score more goals," Andonovski told reporters Saturday.

With the USWNT looking for an unprecedented third consecutive World Cup title, Sophia Smith — starring in her first World Cup — opened the scoring with a low left finish in the 14th minute on an assist from Alex Morgan.

Morgan had a chance to double the UWSNT’s score in the 44th minute but had her penalty from the spot saved by Vietnam goalkeeper Tran Thi Kim Thanh.

However, Smith made it a first half brace, scoring her second goal seven minutes into extra-time to give USA a two-goal lead.

In the 77th minute, US co-captain Lindsey Horan added an insurance goal for the American women, firing in a cross from Smith into the back of the net.

And coach Andonovski was pleased with the performance of the US' young stars, saying they met his expectations.

"I wholeheartedly believe that these players are capable of doing what they did," he said.

"Besides Sophia [Smith], I thought [Emily] Fox and Trinity [Rodman] were really good on the right side, I thought Andi [Sullivan] was a key figure in the middle of the field in regaining possession of the ball in some important attacks and Naomi [Girma] in the back I thought she looked like she had three World Cups behind her, so comfortable."

Looking forward to the team's next game against the Netherlands in Wellington on Thursday, Andonovski said he believed the younger players will be "a little more encouraged" and have "less nerves."

12:19 a.m. ET, July 22, 2023

How the US became the dominant force in women's soccer

From CNN's Aimee Lewis

Highlights from USA vs Vietnam, Women's World Cup (2)

The United States women’s national team kicked off their 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup with a comfortable 3-0 victory against Vietnam in the Group E match at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand.

Should the USWNT lift the trophy next month, it would be the first time in history that a team — men’s or women’s — has won three consecutive World Cup titles.

But how did they become so dominant? Every dynasty has abeginning, that someone or something which sets in motion the line of succession; the visionary with the ambitious plan, aiming for a future others think fanciful; the iron-willed followers bringing it to fruition, leaving unshakable foundations from which others can build.

Anson Dorrance knew he was a pioneer during his eight years as head coach of theUS Women’s National Team(USWNT). It was obvious, he says. “You’re trying to do things that have never been done,” he tellsCNN Sport.

Any understanding of how and why the USWNT is women’s soccer’s dominant force, a four-time Women’s World Cup winner and favorite to win the next edition currently taking place in Australia and New Zealand, must start with Dorrance, the groundbreaker and the bricklayer.

Read all about the US history makers and the groundbreakers here.

11:44 p.m. ET, July 21, 2023

It's been a great start to the World Cup for US star Sophia Smith

From CNN's Homero De la Fuente

Sophia Smith's double against Vietnam makes her the second-youngest player in USWNT history to score multiple goals in a World Cup game.

Smith, age 22 years and 346 days, is also the 4th USWNT player ever to score two or more goals in their women’s World Cup debut.

To cap it off, the NWSL MVPwas also named Player of the Match against Vietnam by tournament organizers.

“It’s so exciting. Every minute of that game was fun and the crowd was amazing and I think it was a good place to start in this tournament but I know we have so much more to get to,” Smith said after the game.
“I feel relieved, I was a little bit anxious going into the tournament so its good to have a game under our belt and to kind of get a feel for it and know what to expect, but we know that the next two games are going to be hard and we’re just, you know, we’re going to celebrate this for a second but then put our focus into the next game.”

Back-to-back defending champions USA will next play against the Netherlands, in a rematch of the 2019 World Cup final, on July 27 in Wellington, New Zealand (July 26 in the US).

11:56 p.m. ET, July 21, 2023

US players react after the team's opening game victory

From CNN's Tara Subramaniam in Auckland, New Zealand

US veteran Kelley O'Hara spoke of the importance of introducing new players to the squad after the US victory over Vietnam.

Many young stars are in the US squad, which is bidding for its third consecutive title on the world stage.

"A lot of these players got their first World Cup game in, which is really exciting for them," O'Hara told CNN.

O'Hara, 34, said she had some words of encouragement for the younger players before kick-off.

"'Listen, you guys are built for this, like you're made for this moment. Go have fun, enjoy it. You've been playing soccer forever and you know what to do,'" she said.

"So yeah, just kind of given them that that boost of confidence and just you know, the little just arm around the shoulder and you guys got this."

One of those young players, forward Trinity Rodman, said the US team, "were in a really good mind space" going into the match.

Minutes after kick off, 21-year-old Rodman was taken off the field for a few minutes for treatment after she fell backwards in a challenge.

"I obviously didn't want to start with landing straight on my back," she said, adding that the adrenaline helped her play through the pain.

"I'm just gonna ice my back and be ready for the next game," she said.

This post has been updated.

11:18 p.m. ET, July 21, 2023

Back in the US, it's a dream Inter Miami debut for superstar Lionel Messi

From CNN's Homero De la Fuente

Lionel Messimade his long-awaited debut with Major League Soccer side Inter Miami with a flourish only the world’s top player could produce.

Playing in the Leagues Cup match against Mexican side Cruz Azul, Messiscored the game-winning goalin the final moments of the second half, curling in a magnificent free-kick strike from outside the box to seal the 2-1 Inter Miami victory at sold-out DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

“What I saw was the goal. I saw the goal, I knew that I had to score,” Messi told the Apple TV broadcast after the game. “It was the last play of the game and I wanted to score so we didn’t go to penalties. So it was very important for us to get this win, because it’s a new tournament this is going to give us confidence moving forward.”

Read more here.

11:15 p.m. ET, July 21, 2023

USA's Sophia Smith named Player of the Match

From CNN's Tara Subramaniam in Auckland, New Zealand

Highlights from USA vs Vietnam, Women's World Cup (3)

Double goalscorer Sophia Smith, who made her World Cup debut for the US today, was named Player of the Match, organizers announced Saturday.

And she almost grabbed a hat-trick. Smith came close to scoring a third early in the second half, only to be denied.

Defending champions Team USA lead Group E after their 3-0 win over Vietnam.

12:28 a.m. ET, July 22, 2023

FULL TIME: US beats Vietnam 3-0 in their World Cup opener

From CNN's Tara Subramaniam in Auckland, New Zealand

Highlights from USA vs Vietnam, Women's World Cup (4)

A huge roar from the 41,000-plus crowd greets the final whistle — and the reigning Women's World Cup champions are well on the way to defending their title.

Team USA lead Group E after a 3-0 win over Vietnam at Auckland's Eden Park on Saturday.

Newcomer Sophia Smith scored a first-half double and captain Lindsey Horan added a third in the second half in a dominating US performance that kept Vietnam's defense busy.

Vietnam goalkeeper Thi Kim Tranh Tran made some crucial saves — including a penalty from US veteran Alex Morgan.

The US are chasing a potential "three-peat" at this year's tournament.

Should the USWNT lift the trophy next month, it would be the first time in history that a team — men’s or women’s — has won three consecutive World Cup titles.

10:57 p.m. ET, July 21, 2023

Over 41,000 fans are watching at Eden Park as US plays Vietnam

From CNN's Tara Subramaniam in Auckland, New Zealand

A crowd of 41,107 is attending the match at Eden Park today, tournament organizers just announced.

That's pretty close to a sell-out.

Last month, ticket sales for the tournament overtook the previous edition held in France, making this likely to be the most attended standalone women’s sporting event in history, according to governing body FIFA.

More than a million tickets had been sold by June.

And Americans from coast to coast have flocked to the tournament. Read more about them here.

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