Sophia Smith defeats Colombia 3-0, unleashing USWNT attack

To Laken Litman
FOX Sports Writer

Commerce City, Colorado – in the first tune-up match CONCACAFW ChampionshipServes as a qualifier for both the 2023 World Cup and the 2024 Olympics. U.S. Women’s Representative Defeated Colombia 3-0 on Saturday.

This was the first of a friendly relationship between the two Columbia Second Coming Tuesday night in Salt Lake City (ESPN 10 pm ET).

The US attack failed to take advantage of the scoring chances in the first half, but in the classic form it eventually destroyed Colombia, scoring three goals in the second half. Sophia Smith Have a brace Taylor Corniec Added one with her senior national team debut.

“Our main focus is on the final third combination, to create space and carry out the opportunities we create,” Vratko Andnovsky told the team three days after the match. He talked about what he wants him to do for the next match.

Here are three points from the match.

First cap, first goal

Midfielder Taylor Corniec scored with her first senior USWNT cap. The 23-year-old played in the match in the 73rd minute Megan Rapinoe With a free kick, the United States wins 3-0 in the stop time.

“I was very excited, I was very excited,” Corniek said after the match. “I think the first thing I said was that I couldn’t feel my feet, but that meant everything to me. That was my dream since I was little. And scoring is a plan. It wasn’t part of, but it’s a good perk. “

The 6-foot-1 Corniec is the tallest field player in the USWNT match, an inch ahead of Samantha Mewis. Naturally, this makes her the perfect target for set pieces. It also makes Rapinoe the perfect teammate to build a mall at a celebration. That’s exactly what she did.

“It’s obviously ridiculous to have such a goal,” said Rapinoe, who made her first USWNT appearance since October last year. “I had no way this would happen. Like the first cap, this is perfect. And obviously, it was my first game in a long time, so at a very special moment for her. It was a special moment. It was a moment when I became a part of it. “

Corniek knew in advance that he would win the first cap. Andnovsky was happy with last week’s training and wanted to make sure he would play a game like this for a few minutes before qualifying.Corniec San Diego Wave teammate Alex Morgan Helped calm her nerves.

“We wanted to give her time to overcome the stress, nerves and anxiety of her first cap,” Andnovsky said. “She believes she’ll need her when she’s in a tournament, so what she sees is pretty much what Taylor wants to see. Speed ​​up play and dominate boxes and aerial challenges. A little touch to stand up. “

The attack begins in the second half

It took some time for the US attack to build chemistry and find its rhythm. Colombia’s backline came in and goalkeeper Catalina Perez lit out despite a dangerous scoring chance from Smith. Mallory Pugh When Rose label..

“It’s frustrating, but sometimes those games just take time,” Rapinoe said. “I think that’s the key, especially in some of these early days. [upcoming] The CONCACAF game knows where the space is so you don’t get frustrated or stick to the process. It’s not transitional at all, so you can’t really go out and play.

“But I think we need to understand where the space is and move in groups to unlock that space. For such teams, we need to do that as a group. “

When Smith from Colorado scored his first goal in the 54th minute, she knelt down and raised her arms to celebrate. And she is relieved.

“We needed that first goal to get things going,” said Smith, who played full for 90 minutes.

Both Smith’s goals were backed by Ravel, who won the ball in defense and did not get enough credits to create a play like the goal set for Smith.

“I think Rose was great,” said Andnovsky. “She’s great when she finds Rose in an area where she can handle the ball quickly, turn around and move forward. She can dribble and set the line, open the game for us, and it’s clear. She is very creative and has the ability to find one of the forwards on the field with a good scoring chance. “

Andnovsky is not worried about missing PK

This was a good precursor to the United States in a physical match ahead of the CONCACAF W Championship (July 4-18). However, the United States missed two featureless penalty kicks, and Perez saved a lot of penalty shootouts. Lindsey Horan And Ravel.

Andnovsky isn’t worried, but he said Horan and Ravel were USWNT’s top choices for the penalty shootout.

“Yes, that’s probably the best scoring opportunity you can have as a team,” Andnovsky said. “But it’s part of the game and it’s a goalkeeper’s credit. I thought she did a great job. With two good saves, I’m definitely going to work a little more. Both Lindsey and Rose are very good. I believe it is a good penalty kicktaker. “

Andnovsky noted that Ravel took a decisive penalty kick in a dramatic quarter-final shootout with the Netherlands at the Tokyo Olympics last summer. This helped the United States advance to the semi-finals.

“There is no doubt that they will succeed in the future,” Andnovsky said.

Laken Litman covers FOX Sports’ college football, college basketball, and soccer. She previously covered college football, college basketball, the US Women’s National Soccer Team, the Sports Illustrated Olympics, USA Today and the Indianapolis Star. Her first book, co-written with Rizzoli and Sports Illustrated, entitled “Strong Like a Woman” was published in the spring of 2022 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Title IX.

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Sophia Smith defeats Colombia 3-0, unleashing USWNT attack

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