Olympic Soccer 2021: USWNT's Bounce-Back Win Headlines Saturday's Results

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 24, 2021

United States' Christen Press (11) celebrates with Lindsey Horan after scoring a goal during a women's soccer match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Saitama, Japan. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
Martin Mejia/Associated Press

The United States women's national team rebounded from its opening defeat at the Tokyo Olympics with a blowout victory over New Zealand on Saturday.

The Americans took down the Kiwis 6-1, but the score could have been even more lopsided had a few more goals counted in the first half.

The USWNT went into the half with a two-goal advantage, but it had four goals disallowed because of offside calls in the opening 45 minutes.

Christen Press, Alex Morgan, Rose Lavelle and Lindsey Horan all scored for the USWNT, while a pair of own goals from New Zealand added to the tally.

The USWNT is now in good shape to secure second place in Group G behind Sweden, which is one of two teams with six points through two matches.


Saturday Women's Soccer Results

Group E

Great Britain 1, Japan 0

Canada 2, Chile 1


Group F

Netherlands 3, Brazil 3

China 4, Zambia 4


Group G

United States 6, New Zealand 1

Sweden 4, Australia 2


United States 6, New Zealand 1

The USWNT looked more like itself in the dominant win over New Zealand.

From the first minute on, Vlatko Andonovski's side had the look of the unit that entered the Olympics on a 44-match unbeaten streak.

Julie Ertz's introduction to the starting lineup was a massive help in earning the bounce-back result.

Ertz did not participate in any of the buildup games on home soil while recovering from injury. She entered as a halftime substitute against Sweden and played the entire match Saturday. The midfielder produced two assists and broke up countless passes in the middle of the park as New Zealand attempted to surge forward.

U.S. Soccer WNT @USWNT

Chef’s kiss for the service from @julieertz and the finish from @ChristenPress 👌 🎥 @NBCOlympics https://t.co/d7iicDvh9X

The USWNT was able to play with a high level of comfort early on. Lavelle netted the first of six tallies in the ninth minute.

The second goal was not scored until Horan beat Anna Leat right before halftime, but before that, four goals were taken off the board because of offside calls. Horan's goal came in her 100th appearance for the USWNT.

U.S. Soccer WNT @USWNT

A thing of beauty, those @LindseyHoran headers 👌 🎥 @NBCOlympics https://t.co/pV4c70aXoB

In the second half, the USWNT's onslaught continued, with Press and Morgan scoring off the bench and two own goals being forced.

The Americans were not perfect over 90 minutes since Betsy Hassett pulled back a goal for the Kiwis in the 72nd minute.

The three goals that followed the New Zealand tally aided the USWNT's goal differential, which will come into play on Matchday 3 against Australia.

The USWNT leads Australia by three on goal differential. If the Americans win or draw their final group-stage match, they will advance as the second-place team in Group G.

Sweden will likely top the group with a win over New Zealand. The Swedes put four goals past Australia in Saturday's other Group G contest.


Netherlands 3, Brazil 3

Two of the top challengers to the USWNT in its quest for gold played out a thrilling six-goal affair Saturday.

The Netherlands and Brazil were involved in a back-and-forth 3-3 draw that was the embodiment of the wild play going on in Group F.

Through four Group F games, the Netherlands, Brazil, China and Zambia have combined for 32 goals.

Vivianne Miedema bolstered her case to win the Golden Boot by scoring twice against Brazil. She opened the scoring in the fifth minute and gave her side a 2-1 advantage in the 59th minute.

Miedema is tied with Zambia's Barbra Banda on six goals, but the Dutch forward should have the inside track to the Golden Boot since Zambia will likely be eliminated in the group stage.

Brazil answered Miedema's second goal with two tallies in a three-minute span. Marta netted from the spot in the 65th minute, and Ludmila sent home a strike in the 68th minute.

The Netherlands secured a point through one of the best goals of the competition with a little more than 10 minutes remaining. Dominique Janssen sent a 30-yard free-kick into the upper-left corner of the net to level the contest at three goals apiece.

Telemundo Deportes @TelemundoSports

¡GO-LA-ZO 😎! ⚽ Dominique Janssen rescata a Países Bajos con un tiro libre imposible para Barbara #OlimpicosTelemundo #PaisesBajos 🇳🇱 3-3 #Brasil 🇧🇷 https://t.co/7goJqal5QX

Janssen's equalizer kept the Dutch on top of Group F by two on goal differential. The Netherlands put 10 goals past Zambia in their opener.

The dynamic of Group F could change on Matchday 3 since Brazil gets its shot at Zambia. The Netherlands likely need to beat China by three or four goals to remain in front.

The Group F winner will take on the Group G runner-up, which looks set to be the USWNT.


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