A USWNT win got the Americans off to a perfect start to the 2023 Women’s World Cup on Friday. Despite a valiant defensive effort by Vietnam, the Americans eventually cruised to a 3-0 victory.

Rising star Sophia Smith netted a brace for the USWNT, while captain Lindsey Horan put the finishing touches on the victory with a late goal.

Smith started the scoring for the Stars and Stripes in the 14th minute thanks to a clever assist from Alex Morgan.

Horan first sent a powerful, low pass towards Morgan near the edge of the box. The striker flicked the ball neatly into Smith’s path as she ran towards goal. Smith collected the pass and put her shot into the back of the net from nine yards away.

Smith adds second goal as USWNT win easily

The 22-year-old forward would grab her second goal of the match just before the halftime break. American defender Naomi Girma initially sent in a dangerous cross inside Vietnam’s box.

Goalkeeper Trần ThịKim Thanh attempted to punch away the lofted pass, but the ball eventually fell straight to Smith. The Portland Thorns star took a first-time shot from 15 yards away that would get by the opposing keeper. She is the second-youngest ever USWNT player to score multiple goals at a Women’s World Cup.

Horan essentially finished off Vietnam with a goal in the 77th minute. Smith, despite scoring the first two goals, set up the final strike for the captain. The forward won possession deep inside Vietnam’s box and then sent a pass against the grain to a wide open Horan. The captain cooly collected the ball, took a touch, and hit a strike into the open net.

Americans took 28 shots while limiting opposing offense

Vietnam, making their first ever Women’s World Cup appearance, played a solid defensive game utilizing a back five. Nevertheless, the USWNT controlled the match and recorded an impressive 28 total shots.

This was compared to the Asian nation not able to register a single shot in the game. Stars Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle entered the action in the second half as they stepped up their injury recovery.

The Americans will next face the Netherlands on Thursday, July 27th in the second match of Group E. The Dutch side is set to start their World Cup run early Sunday morning against Portugal.

Photo credit: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire