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  • Writer's picturecrowdplod

WWC 2023 Day 3: Round-up

Day 3 of the FIFA Women's World Cup, and the United States, the two-time reigning champions, have finally made their tournament debut, but their match against Vietnam wasn't as straightforward as we all probably expected for The Star & Stripes.

The American team, currently ranked No. 1 in the world, was anticipated to dominate Vietnam, but the debutantes put up a decent fight and kept the game rather close, making the U.S. work for it.

Former World Cup winners Japan convincingly defeated tournament newcomer Zambia as we were unfortunately all expecting, while European champions England narrowly edged out Haiti in their World Cup debut. Denmark secured a late goal to secure a win against China, but not a huge amount to discuss in this game.

United States vs. Vietnam:

Instead of relying heavily on experienced players, USWNT manager Andonovski gave minutes to some of the younger women on Saturday, and it paid off, despite the fact that the team that took to the starting line-up had the lowest level of experience going into a game for the US Women's national team since the 1995 WWC.

Notably, 22-year-old forward Sophia Smith scored twice and provided a good assist in her World Cup debut. Midfielder Savannah DeMelo became the first player in U.S. team history to play in a World Cup match within her first two appearances for the country, all at the young age of 25. Striker Alyssa Thompson, just 18 years old, became the second-youngest player to represent the U.S. at the World Cup, too. Despite her first-time tournament appearance, 23-year-old defender Naomi Girma displayed composure and skill, looking like a seasoned player on the field.

Andonovski expressed his belief in these players, saying, "I don't want to say 'relief' or 'surprise.' I wholeheartedly believe that these players are capable of doing what they did." in his post-game interview.

Zambia vs. Japan:

The Copper Queens' faced a tough challenge in their first-ever World Cup match against Japan. They visibly struggled throughout the game, and the 5-0 defeat to Japan showed a significant gap in experience levels. The Japanese team dominated, registering 26 total shots, 11 of which were on target in contrast to Zambia's 0 SOT's in the match...

Japan's free-flowing style of play in attack clearly overwhelmed Zambia, with their quick and precise ball movement, exemplified by an impressive 602 completed passes which speaks for itself.

Zambia's chances in the tournament appear bleak, especially after goalkeeper Catherine Musonda received a late red card against Japan for a foul. Musonda had started in place of Hazel Nali, who was unfortunately ruled out of the World Cup due to injury.

England vs. Haiti:

The Lionesses began their World Cup campaign with a hard-fought victory against debutantes Haiti. England securing all three points, but it wasn't without difficulty this time out.

Georgia Stanway's penalty had to be retaken to break the deadlock against Haiti. The Haitian goalkeeper, Kerly Theus, initially saved Stanway's first attempt but was judged to have come off her line too early, leading to the retake, which Stanway fortunately converted.

Despite England being 49 places ahead of Haiti in the FIFA rankings, the tiny Concacaf nation showed their growing potential, causing problems for England's high-pressing fullbacks with their speed on the counter-attack.

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