The USWNT would begin their bid to repeat as World Cup champs and once again reach the Olympics against Haiti in Monterrey, Mexico.
Is there a true first choice roster for this team? The talent is so deep and even with injuries it can find capable replacements for absent players. One surprise is perhaps Casey Murphy starting in goal, but the NC Courage netminder would get a look in the net for the tournament opener.
Haiti brought a young roster with only four players over the age of 25 to the tournament. And while they’re riding high on a solid campaign to qualify for the W Championship, would have their work cut out for them facing the USA. Most of their roster plays in France with a handful of players in the USA or Haiti domestic league.
In the end, the USA would win 3-0 thanks to a brace from Alex Morgan and a late goal by Midge Purce. While the team dominated possession and in the second half completely shut down the Haiti attack, there were some rough moments from the backline that may show room for improvement as the tournament progresses.
Gifs of some goals and some shady defense
The USA would start off dominating the game and pushed forward to find an opening goal. Haiti stayed compact and did well at the start to break up American attacks and stop the team from creating much danger. But it wouldn’t last long.
In the 17th minute whatever success Haiti had was undone as Mallory Pugh sent a cross to the near post from the right wing. It found Alex Morgan who directed it into the net with the outside of her boot to make it 1-0.
It wouldn’t be too much longer before it was 2-0. This time it was a cross from Kelley O’Hara sent in over the top to near the top of the six yard box that Morgan headed home.
Haiti did make things tough for the USA as Melchie Du Mornay found herself one v. one with Becky Sauerbrunn and had a point blank chance at goal. Casey Murphy was up to the task though and kept the lead at 2-0.
A huge save from Casey Murphy. pic.twitter.com/3C9pjGe7zc— Attacking Third (@AttackingThird) July 4, 2022
Another Haiti chance would materialize when Emily Fox took Nerilia Mondesir down inside the box. Roselord Borgella beat Murphy on the shot sending the keeper the wrong direction, but the shot hit the post and the score stayed at 2-0.
ROSELORD BORGELLA'S PENALTY ATTEMPT IS HIT OFF OF THE POST. pic.twitter.com/JV38mhqOZu— Attacking Third (@AttackingThird) July 4, 2022
Borgella’s night would get stranger as she lunged into a challenge on a 50/50 ball with O’Hara with her studs up. Initially a red card was given, but it was rescinded when the referee reviewed the call with VAR and changed it to a yellow. The half would wind down with Haiti gaining some momentum and getting a few good chances but the Americans doing enough and getting a little lucky to go into the locker room at 2-0.
The second half began and it was somewhat quiet though Midge Purce would come in for Sophia Smith. Around the 60th minute, Pugh looked to be fouled in the box, but a VAR review did not award a penalty. Just after the play Rose Lavelle would come off for Ashley Sanchez.
There would be more subs and a lot of the Stars and Stripes dominating possession. In the 68th minute Sophia Huerta and Kristie Mewis came in for Kelley O’Hara and Lindsey Horan and in the 74th Pugh came off for Megan Rapinoe.
The changes looked to make a difference as Rapinoe played a ball to Purce that the forward created an own goal from in the 78th minute, but VAR once again stepped in and overturned what looked to be a favorable play for the USA.
Midge would score when a ball fell to her near the penalty area. She had plenty of space and put the third goal of the game calmly into the net.
MIDGE PURCE FINALLY GETS HER GOAL. pic.twitter.com/UktMkX5Fta— Attacking Third (@AttackingThird) July 5, 2022
That would be the final score as the game ended 3-0. For Haiti, there was perhaps some bad luck with the missed penalty, and while it was a loss, a plus side is that the team held the USA to three goals and kept their goal differential in the group manageable. The United States might have shown that the backline is vulnerable as the early chance from Du Mornay and the penalty showed.