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USWNT bounces back with 6-1 win over New Zealand

The US women’s soccer team struggled in its opener, but took care of business in its second match of group play.

USA’s players celebrate their opening goal during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games women’s group G first round football match between New Zealand and USA at the Saitama Stadium in Saitama on July 24, 2021. Photo by AYAKA NAITO/AFP via Getty Images

The US women’s soccer team got a much needed bounce-back victory Saturday evening in Tokyo, securing a 6-1 win over New Zealand to gain its first points of the Olympic soccer tournament.

Rose Lavelle got the USWNT on the board in the ninth minute on an assist from Tobin Heath. The team had several goals disallowed due to offsides before getting its second goal on the board in the 45th minute on a Lindsey Horan header.

New Zealand hurt their cause in the 63rd minute when Abby Erceg headed a ball into her own goal to give the USWNT a 3-0 lead. The Kiwis managed to get on the board in the 74th minute on a Betsy Hassett goal, but the US scored a pair of late goals to send it home 6-1.

The win was expected, but getting the four-goal differential was a big help as the US looks ahead to its group finale against Australia. The two squads are tied with three points and sitting three points back of first place Sweden. The USWNT enters the match with a +2 goal differential while Australia has a -1 goal differential. The first tiebreaker is goal differential so Australia needs to win to secure second place in the group.