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Anatomy of a goal: Sophia Smith’s World Cup opener vs. Vietnam is a promising sign for the USWNT

The U.S. pulled off a moment of brilliance against Vietnam.

4 min read

It’s official: the United States women’s national team’s World Cup title defense is underway.

The USWNT downed tournament debutants Vietnam by a 3-0 scoreline in their first match on Friday evening U.S. time. Now, that 3-0 scoreline might not exactly scream dominance - especially when compared to the 13-0 scoreline in the 2019 World Cup’s opener - there’s really no other way to describe the performance for the United States.

The U.S. recorded 28 shots, with seven of those on target, while preventing Vietnam from recording even one chance. Three of those shots found the back of the net, with the first and eventual game-winner coming just 14 minutes into the match.

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Let’s dig into the sequence that put the U.S. on top, and what it could mean for the United States moving forward at this World Cup.

Anatomy of a goal

To break down the United States’ early success, it’s important to understand how Vietnam approached this game defensively.

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