USWNT bounce back in crushing 6-1 New Zealand win
The United States women’s national team picked up their first victory and three points of Group G in the Olympic football tournament on Saturday.
The United States women’s national team suffered a surprise loss against Sweden in their debut at the Olympic Games and knew they had to turn the page quickly with two games left in Group G. The USWNT crushed New Zealand 6-1 on Saturday on matchday 2 and climbed up to second place with one game left.
“I always welcome the criticism,” Megan Rapinoe said Saturday after the US responded by thrashing New Zealand. “For women’s sports, criticism in the media still needs to get better.”
“It says to me that people are watching the games and understand the importance of games and understand different teams,” Rapinoe said. “I don’t mind that stuff. I think everything they said was right. We didn’t play well. Sweden did get the better of us.”
USWNT seals berth to the next round
This is the United States that everyone was expecting to see on their Olympic opener and they ensured they put the criticism behind them. In the ninth minute Rosa Lavelle scored the first one of the night for the United States, followed by a header from Lindsay Horan before the break to make it 2-0.
New Zealand scored an own goal in the 63rd minute and the United States was ‘kind’ enough to give one back nine minutes later. Then Christen Press found the back of the net in the 80th minute to make it 4-1 and Alex Morgan delivered another seven minutes later.
New Zealand scored a second-own goal in stoppage time to give the United States women’s national team a 6-1 win, a result that almost ensures the USWNT a berth in the knockout stage at the Tokyo Olympics.
“The beauty of the sport is you learn a lot every game, regardless if you win or lose,” midfielder Julie Ertz said. “I actually think you learn more when you lose.”
“Being in a position where all of my career we are one of the best teams or the best team in the world, if you can’t take that kind of criticism, then you are probably not going to be here that long,” Rapinoe said.
The USWNT will play their final group stage game on Tuesday against Australia, where a draw will be enough for them to advance to the quarter-finals.