USA responded to their opening 1-0 defeat to Japan with a resounding 6-0 victory over Paraguay in Group C at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 in Concarneau on Thursday evening.
It was a move of individual brilliance from 17-year-old Sophia Smith in the 15th minute that saw USA score their first goal at France 2018. Picking up the ball in the middle of the park, Smith exchanged a pass with Viviana Villacorta, before dribbling past two opponents and driving in a left-footed shot past Paraguay goalkeeper Isabel Ortiz.
The Stars and Stripes then doubled their lead in the 39th minute when a fierce right-footed shot from Smith was parried by Ortiz and then poked in by Savannah Demelo, who made no mistake from close range.
Demelo got her second goal on the evening five minutes later when she latched on to the end of a cut-back pass by Erin Gilroy and placed a left-foot shot into the far corner of Paraguay’s goal.
The second half started right where the first left off, with USA remaining dominant. Ashley Sanchez added a fourth for the North American side just a minute into the half. Smith dribbled down the right flank at pace before cutting back a pass, finding a wide open Sanchez, who finished with ease.
Smith got her second of the evening a few minutes later when Villacorta played her through on goal with a well-timed through ball and Smith slotted a shot past Ortiz before it kissed the post and went in for USA’s fifth.
Demelo completed her hat-trick in the 78th minute, thanks to substitute Abigail Kim’s low cross, which found the attacking midfielder open at the far post. She finished off her chance to wrap up a successful second match of the tournament for Jitka Klimkova’s side.