Defending champion United States starts the World Cup with an easy win against Vietnam, Japan chops up debutant Zambia and England is released with a fright against Haiti

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The soccer players of the United States started the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand with an easy victory. The defending champion was too strong for Vietnam and won 3-0. Japan also achieved a smooth victory. They won 0-5 against World Cup debutant Zambia. England narrowly beat Haiti 1-0.

Sophia Smith scored twice for defending champion United States before the break. The four-time world champion did not have too much trouble against World Cup debutant Vietnam in front of more than 40,000 spectators in Auckland, but was careless with the chances. Alex Morgan missed a penalty shortly before the break and numerous opportunities remained unused after the break. Only captain Lindsey Horan managed to deepen the score in the 77th minute: 3-0. Megan Rapinoe came on for the US after the break, with which the figurehead of the team played her 200th international match.

On Thursday, the US will play its next group match against the Netherlands, a repeat of the World Cup final four years ago.

Japan is chopping up debutant Zambia

Japan, the 2011 world champion, had little trouble with World Cup debutant Zambia. The African ladies held out for a long time, but just before the break Hinata Miyazawa broke the spell for the Japanese women. Ten minutes after the break, Mina Tanaka doubled the score. Striking: Tanaka had already scored twice, but the goals were rejected for offside just as many times. So three times a charm.

Miyazawa and Endo deepened the score, in injury time the Zambian goalkeeper Catherine Musonda received her second yellow card, after which Riko Ueki converted the awarded penalty kick. 0-5, a flawless start for the Japanese at this World Cup.


England comes off with a fright against Haiti

European champion England won 1-0 against Haiti in Brisbane. The only goal also came from a penalty kick, successfully converted by Georgia Stanway. Her first attempt was stopped by Kerley Theus, but Haiti’s goalkeeper had come off her line too early.

Substitute Roseline Eloissaint still had the chance to equalize for World Cup debutant Haiti 10 minutes before the end, but goalkeeper Mary Earps prevented a debacle for the English women with a great save.

© AP

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