The U.S. women’s soccer team lost in the opening match. They pledged to defeat New Zealand with a ruthless performance.
They rebounded strongly.
Before First Lady Jill Biden, the Americans cruised to a 6-1 win over New Zealand at the Tokyo Olympics.
Biden arrived just in time to see the United States win the second half at Saitama Stadium.
In the opener, Sweden defeated the United States 3-0. This was the first loss for the team since January 2019, snapping a 44-game streak of unbeaten play. Since 2017, the Americans have not been held scoreless.
The Americans, however, vowed to regain the tournament’s control. Kelley O’Hara, defender of New Zealand, said that the United States must be “ruthless against New Zealand.”
“Sweden was an excellent team, and we didn’t play our best. When you do that against a top competitor, they’re going to punish. Crystal Dunn stated that it wasn’t the best performance. “I believe we went into Game 2 knowing that it’s not possible for us to go from being a truly great team two days before to being a terrible team today.”
Rose Lavelle scored from a Tobin Heath pass in the ninth minute, giving the United States an early lead. This was the team’s first goal at the Olympics. The Americans won the half despite not scoring any goals, which was a contrast to their lackluster start against the Swedes.
Lindsey Horan scored a header in final minutes of the second half to give the United States a 2-0 lead at the break. This was Horan’s 23rd international goal, and it was her 100th appearance on the national team.
Horan described it as surreal: She was celebrating her 100th cap, while the First Lady watched in a stadium that had been empty.
Horan stated, “I think my approach to this game — obviously in your head that 100th cap is coming up — but I didn’t want that factor to be a major part of today.” “I believe we wanted to do the right thing and my focus was on helping the team win. It’s a great feeling to score a goal, and it’s also nice to have a supporter in the stands.
New Zealand could have had it worse, but the United States allowed four goals in the first period, all offside.
Abby Erceg scored an own goal to extend the lead to 3-0 for the U.S. in the 64th minute. New Zealand managed to avoid the defeat with Betsy Hassett’s goal in 72nd.
Christen Press, who was substituted in the second half, scored from the centre of the box in 80 minutes off a feed by Julie Ertz. Alex Morgan scored in regulation. In stoppage time, another New Zealand own goal closed the game.
“Look, I think we had a fantastic 80 minutes from our perspective and unfortunately the last 10 mins kind of let us down on the scoreline,” New Zealand coach Tom Sermanni stated. “From a effort perspective, the players can’t be faulted, they put blood, sweat, and tears on the field tonight against a very strong team.”
Vlatko andonovski, the U.S. coach, made five changes in the starting lineup against Sweden. He gave Carli Lloyd the start, Megan Rapinoe was for Press, Megan Rapinoe was for Press, Emily Sonnett was for O’Hara, Tierna Davidson was for Captain Becky Sauerbrunn.