World Cup 2023 - USA, Japan assert dominance on Match Day 3.
USA and Japan turned heads with big wins on Match Day 3.
United States' quest for three consecutive FIFA Women's World Cups got off to a perfect start as the World number one easily accounted for Asian minnows, Vietnam.
The party started early for the United States as Sophia Smith got on the end of a neat Alex Morgan flick to finish low and hard past the Vietnamese keeper on 13 minutes.
Just prior to half time, USA had a chance to make it 2-nil from the penalty spot following a VAR review for a foul inside the box on Trinity Rodman.
USA star Alex Morgan stepped up but was denied from the 11-yard spot by a huge save by Vietnam keeper Kim Thanh, much to the delight of the Vietnamese fans.
It wouldn’t take long for the USA to make amends for their earlier miss as the ball found its way to Smith who seemingly slotted home United States’ second, only to be denied by the offside flag against Morgan.
Following a VAR review, the goal was allowed to stand, sending United States into the break with a two goal buffer.
The second half saw the Vietnamese goal peppered in the second half as USA asserted their dominance with Smith then turning provider to set up Lindsay Horan and seal a big opening win.
Meanwhile, 2011 World Cup winners Japan thrashed Zambia 5-nil in Hamilton as part of Group C
Following a promising start, Japan thought they had the opener as Mina Tanaka found the back of the net only to be denied by a VAR decision for offside.
It wouldn’t be long for the dominance to pay off for Japan as Zambia failed to deal with the Japanese attacking threats despite the heroic efforts of Zambian keeper, Catherine Musonda.
Japan were rewarded just before half-time as Hinata Miyazawa found the net assisted by Minami Tanaka. The floodgates opened in the second half as Zambia had little answers for Japan's tenacity. Tanaka would eventually be rewarded with a goal in the 55th minute after having two goals disallowed by VAR earlier in the match. Hinata Miyazawa added to her tally to put Japan out of reach, but the goals didn't stop there with Jun Endo adding a fourth. Zambian hero Musonda would then turn to villain as she was red-carded after a second yellow. Awarding a penalty to Japan.
Riko Ueki dispatched her penalty at the second attempt after an encroachment call on the Zambian substitute keeper making it a 5-nil rout for Japan. European Champions England failed to impress after they struggled to break down Caribbean minnows Haiti. It took an 28th Georgia Stanaway for England to get past a defensively minded Haitian side. Finally in the last match of Match Day 3, Denmark met China at a packed Perth Rectangular Stadium. It took an 89th minute header by Amalie Vangsgaard to break the hearts of the Chinese fans, sending Denmark on an even keal with England at the top of Group D.