The United States women’s national team stormed back from their opening defeat in the Olympics to earn an emphatic 6-1 win over New Zealand at the Saitama Stadium on Saturday.
Goals from Rose Lavelle, Lindsey Horan, Christen Press and Alex Morgan, as well as two own goals, sealed the win for Vlatko Andonovski’s team.
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Betsy Hassett grabbed a consolation goal for New Zealand, but USWNT produced a stunning performance to earn its first win at the Olympics.
The U.S. went into the game looking to recover from the shock loss against Sweden in the opening match, which ended a 44-game unbeaten run.
Lavelle got USWNT off to the perfect start after nine minutes after she received Tobin Heath’s through ball and produced a composed finish.
Horan thought she had doubled the lead after 35 minutes, but her strike was ruled out by VAR for offside.
Just before the break, Horan scored from close range with a header, with Megan Rapinoe providing the assist.
With the team leading 2-0 at the break, U.S. first lady Jill Biden arrived in time to watch the side put the game away in the second half.
The Americans grabbed a third goal after 63 minutes when Abby Erceg headed into her own goal from Carli Lloyd’s flick on inside the box.
Nine minutes later, New Zealand capitalized on some poor defending to score through Hassett.
However, USWNT responded with late strikes from Press and Morgan, plus a C.J. Bott own goal, to seal a comfortable win.