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The United States women’s soccer team bounced back in a big way on Saturday, beating New Zealand 6-1. The victory came after a disappointing and surprising loss to Sweden in the Americans’ opening game earlier this week.
The game was played in a nearly empty stadium, a common theme at this year’s rare Olympics, which are held without spectators due to the coronavirus pandemic. But there was at least one person in the stands cheering for Team America: First Lady Jill Biden.
Team USA started the game strong, with Rose Lavelle scoring in the first 10 minutes. Lindsey Horan and Christen Press also scored later in the game. Overall, the goals from this match were a bit tricky: at least three were disallowed in the first half for offside calls against the USA, and two of the USA team’s points came from an own goal, accidentally scored by the New Zealand team against itself.
The United States came to these Games looking to become the first women’s team to claim Olympic gold after winning the World Cup, which they did in 2019. Saturday’s win against New Zealand makes that goal still a possibility.
The team heads to the coastal city of Kashima on Tuesday for a match against Australia, which will conclude their Group G game. The best teams from each group will head to the quarterfinals.