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Back-to-back wins for Hayes as US women down Korea 3-0

USA women's national team players celebrate after Crystal Dunn's opening goal in a 3-0 friendly win over <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/teams/republic-of-korea/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:South Korea;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">South Korea</a> (Adam Bettcher)

The United States women's national soccer team continued their winning ways under new coach Emma Hayes on Tuesday with a 3-0 friendly victory over South Korea in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Veteran Crystal Dunn, striker Sophia Smith and 16-year-old debutant Lily Yohannes scored the goals in another impressive victory for the US, who are building towards next month's Olympics after a disappointing World Cup campaign last year.

English coach Hayes made nine changes to her starting line-up for her second game in charge following her team's 4-0 win over the Koreans in Saturday's opening friendly.

The boldest move saw Hayes start veteran defender Dunn as a right winger, the first time the 31-year-old has played in an advanced role for the US team since 2017.

That adventurous selection paid off after just 13 minutes, when a flowing US counterattack ended with Jenna Nighswonger arrowing a cross into the penalty area which Dunn tucked away at the far post to make it 1-0.

The hosts controlled play for the remainder of the half although goalkeeper Casey Murphy was forced into a spectacular diving save at the half-hour mark after Ji So-yun's free-kick looked destined for the net.

The US looked instantly more threatening after Hayes made a wave of substitutions after 62 minutes, bringing on Smith, Trinity Rodman, Mallory Swanson and Sam Coffey for Alex Morgan, Nighswonger, Rose Lavelle and Lindsey Horan.

The injection of pace and movement from Smith, Rodman and Swanson in particular was instrumental in doubling the US lead on 67 minutes.

The high-pressing Rodman surged forward from midfield and crossed low into the box, finding Swanson, whose back-heeled flick was gathered by Smith to finish from an acute angle.

The biggest cheer of the night however came in the final 10 minutes when teenager Yohannes, who had replaced Korbin Albert after 72 minutes, made it 3-0.

Rodman was once again instrumental in the goal, crossing from the right and finding Yohannes, who coolly swept home a low finish for a memorable goal on her international debut.

rcw/nro