USWNT vs New Zealand Result: US Soccer bounces back in SheBelieves Cup with a lopsided win
The US national team defeated New Zealand 5-0 on Sunday to secure their first victory at the 2022 SheBelieves Cup. The win at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California puts the USWNT in first place in the round robin tournament. Ashley Hatch and Mallory Pugh scored for the USWNT while New Zealand defender Meikayla Moore was burdened with three own goals in the first 36 minutes.
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Midge Purce’s goal was converted into an own goal in the first half and Hatch scored just six minutes after coming on at half-time – full-back Sofia Huerta provided the service on every goal.
The USWNT, who suffered a goalless draw against the Czech Republic in their opening game, meet Iceland for the SheBelieves Cup title on Wednesday.
USWNT vs. New Zealand
⚽Meikayla Moore (OG): 5′, 6′, 36′
⚽Ashley Hatch (USA): 51′
⚽Mallory Pugh (USA): 90+3′
USWNT breaches the gate
The side got off to a quick start, forcing consecutive own goals from the fifth minute of the game. After a goalless draw against a frustratingly organized Czech Republic to open the tournament, the team scored five goals against New Zealand to claim their first win and goals of the new year.
Three forced own goals in the first half led to two credited goals in the second half after Hatch and Pugh came on in attack. Both players met for the fifth and final goal of the game.
Despite the large goal line, the difference in opposing tactics between the two games was evident. The USWNT was able to use more in attack as New Zealand left more space compared to the opening game against the Czech Republic.
The lack of more experienced players in the squad was an additional test among the tactical challenges for the younger core of players that coach Vlatko Andonovski had chosen for the tournament. The next generation will have one final test against Iceland and that could be a different test against a more experienced and physical team.
player of the game
Sofia Huerta made her debut at the tournament and was active for the team from the very first whistle. Her ability to stay active on offense while remaining steadfast on defense allowed her to cover a lot of ground for the team. The full-back recorded two shots with two on target while completing 83% of her passes.
Her service and combination with Purce in the 6th minute of the game resulted in the team’s go-ahead goal, and she later recorded the assist on Hatch’s goal to open the scoring in the second half.