Auckland football fans can expect a lot more goals than what they received on opening night when the United States take on Vietnam in Eden Park’s second match of the Fifa Women’s World Cup.
While the Football Ferns’ 1-0 upset win over Norway was thrilling in its own right, the net was only found once.
Expect a lot more goals on Saturday when world No 1 USA – who are chasing a third straight World Cup title – open their tournament against 32-ranked minnows Vietnam, who are at the World Cup finals for the first time.
The matchup could be heading for a similar result to the Americans’ opening match of the 2019 World Cup, when they thrashed Thailand – who were also tournament debutants – 13-0.
However, United States coach Vlatko Andonovski says his side isn’t taking anything for granted and won’t be holding back.
“We’re preparing to see the best Vietnam team that has ever been on the field,” he said.
Andonovski said his side has a lot of respect for their opponents and referred to Vietnam’s friendly in June against world No 2 Germany, when they narrowly lost 2-1.
“If that is the team ... that’s what we’re preparing for,” he said.
“We do have a lot of respect for the team and the coach. They will fight ... They will put in a battle and they will make it as hard as possible for us.
“We’re going into this game to play with the best team, the best possible and get the result that is favourable for us.”
When asked if the match will end in another slaughtering like four years ago, Andonovski laughed.
“If that means multiple goals, we’ll accept it.
“We’ll see what happens, and we’ll talk after the game.”
Andonovski also confirmed his full roster of 23 players will be available for selection, with star players Rose Lavelle and Megan Rapinoe passed fit after struggling with injuries leading up to the tournament.
He said both are likely to be eased back into fitness with limited minutes.
The United States take on Vietnam at Eden Park at 1pm on Saturday.