April 20, 2024 6:09 am





Thrilling World Cup Starts: US and Japan Shine, England Fights for Victory

England Edges Past Haiti in Women’s World Cup Opener

European champions England have been touted as the prime challengers to a United States team chasing an unprecedented third World Cup crown in a row. But they will have to play far better than they did in front of nearly 45,000 spectators in Brisbane, where a youthful Haiti side making their World Cup debut could have snatched a point at the end.

England’s Unconvincing Victory

In their first match of the Women’s World Cup, England narrowly defeated Haiti with a score of 1-0. Despite being European champions, their performance was lackluster, and the youthful Haiti team almost secured a draw. A penalty by Georgia Stanway in the first half gave England the lead, but they relied on goalkeeper Mary Earps to make a crucial save in the dying moments of the match to preserve their win.

England, who have been embroiled in a dispute with the FA over bonuses, are aiming to add a first World Cup crown to the European title they won last year. However, their coach Sarina Wiegman emphasized the need for improvement, stating, “We need more ruthlessness.”

Wins for United States and Japan

In contrast to England’s labored performance, holders the United States and former champions Japan had convincing victories in their opening matches.

United States Dominates Vietnam

The United States defeated Vietnam 3-0 in a dominant display at Eden Park in Auckland. Sophia Smith was the standout player for the US team, scoring twice and assisting captain Lindsey Horan for the third goal. Despite their convincing win, the Americans were disappointed with their inability to convert more of their numerous scoring opportunities.

Japan Cruises Past Zambia

Japan displayed their superior skills against Zambia, winning 5-0. The Zambian team, the lowest-ranked in the tournament, struggled against Japan’s attack, and the scoreline could have been even more lopsided. Hinata Miyazawa scored twice, while Mina Tanaka, Jun Endo, and Riko Ueki also found the back of the net.

Upcoming Matches

The Netherlands will face Portugal in their upcoming match before their highly anticipated clash with the United States, a re-run of the 2019 final. Other title contenders, Sweden, France, and the Netherlands, will also be in action on Sunday.

Off the pitch, New Zealand’s squad faced a temporary evacuation from their hotel in Auckland due to a fire. Fortunately, all players and staff are safe.

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