US thrash New Zealand in World Cup warning

US thrash New Zealand in World Cup warning

American women tuning up to defend title later this year

US players celebrate scoring against New Zealand in a friendly match in Wellington on Wednesday. (Photo: AFP)
US players celebrate scoring against New Zealand in a friendly match in Wellington on Wednesday. (Photo: AFP)

WELLINGTON: Alex Morgan scored her 120th international goal as the United States thrashed New Zealand 4-0 in a friendly in Wellington on Wednesday to fire a World Cup warning.

Forward Mallory Swanson netted twice and Lynn Williams was also on the scoresheet for the world's top-ranked side, six months before the Americans defend their title in New Zealand and Australia.

The match was the first of the year for the Americans, who will be pursuing a third World Cup crown in a row.

Coach Vlatko Andonovski said he wants his team get familiarised with the stadiums, training venues and travel before the month-long global showpiece starting on July 20.

The US will play their three World Cup pool games in Wellington and Auckland and potentially return to those cities for a quarter-final and semi-final.

They spurned a host of chances in the first half but capitalised on their dominance after the interval with four goals in 20 minutes.

Swanson's headed opener came via a cross from Trinity Rodman, the daughter of former National Basketball Association star Dennis Rodman.

Star striker Morgan doubled the lead before Swanson grabbed her second and Williams capitalised on another assist from Rodman.

The four-time world champions will play a two-match series against the 24th-ranked New Zealanders, which concludes in Auckland on Saturday.

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