During a six-minute span in the second half, Sophia Smith turned the game on its head. (John Leyba-USA TODAY Sports)

Sophia Smith scored twice within a six-minute span in the second half to spark the U.S. women’s national team to a 3-0 win over Colombia in an international friendly at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. on Saturday night.

The game kicked off a two-match preparation for the USA for the qualifying for the 2023 Women’s World Cup. These two teams will meet again at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah on Tuesday, June 28 at 10 p.m. ET.

Goalkeeper Casey Murphy recorded the shutout before a sellout crowd of 17,143.

Rose Lavelle started both of Smith’s scoring sequences

After heading the ball away from a Colombia player, the 2019 Women’s World Cup Bronze Ball winner quickly passed to Smith, whose shot deflected off goalkeeper Catalina Perez and into the net on the left side in the 54th minute.

Smith, a 21-year-old forward from Windsor, Colo., doubled the Americans’ lead on the hour after Lavelle caused another turnover. Lavelle passed to Smith, who drilled a 12-yard shot home. Smith has six international goals, five this year.

Lavelle had an opportunity to add to the lead, but Perez saved her penalty kick in the 69th minute by diving to her right. It was Perez’s second PK save of the night as she denied Lindsey Horan, going to the right side as well in the 45th minute.

Second-half substitute Taylor Kornieck, who earned her first cap, closed out the scoring in the 90th minute, as she headed in Megan Rapinoe’s free kick for her first international goal.

The USA’s first half can be best described by two words – domination and frustration. The Americans enjoyed a huge possession advantage and had several opportunities to find the net. A superb performance by Perez kept the game scoreless at halftime.

Perez denied Lindsey Horan’s point-blank header in the 41st minute and again on a penalty kick four minutes later after Carolina Arias fouled Sofia Smith in the box.

There was more frustration as halftime substitute Ashley Sanchez hit the crossbar with a shot in the 50th minute.

The USA will attempt to qualify for the 2023 Women’s World Cup at the Concacaf W Championship in Monterrey, Mexico next month. The Americans will meet Haiti on July 4, Jamaica on July 7 and Mexico on July 11 in the group stage.


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