WORLD CUP EYE- OPENER!

The Denver Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Anne M. Peter­son

Alex Mor­gan gets a lift Tues­day as Team USA play­ers — in­clud­ing Mal­lory Pugh, sec­ond from left — cel­e­brate af­ter Mor­gan scored her fifth goal dur­ing the Amer­i­cans’ 13- 0, record- set­ting vic­tory over Thai­land in a Women’s World Cup mis­match in Reims, France. Pugh and fel­low Coloradan Lind­sey Ho­ran also scored for the Amer­i­cans.

REIMS, Thai­land was never a real threat to the U. S. na­tional team. Even so, the three­time Women’s World Cup cham­pi­ons had no de­sire to go easy on a lesser op­po­nent in their open­ing game.

Goals mat­ter in the group stage. And state­ments mat­ter in soc­cer’s big­gest tour­na­ment.

“Ob­vi­ously we have the ut­most re­spect for every­one we play, but it’s the World Cup,” said cap­tain Me­gan Rapi­noe.

Alex Mor­gan tied the tour­na­ment record with five goals and the United States opened with a his­toric 13- 0 rout of Thai­land on Tues­day night. Samantha Mewis and Rose Lavelle each added a pair of goals for the United States, which broke the record for goals and mar­gin of vic­tory in a World Cup game.

Rapi­noe, Lind­sey Ho­ran, Mal­lory Pugh and Carli Lloyd also scored. The pre­vi­ous record mar­gin was Ger­many’s 11- 0 vic­tory over Ar­gentina in 2007.

Mor­gan tied Michelle Ak­ers’ record for World Cup goals, set in the quar­ter­fi­nals against Tai­wan in 1991. The team’s seven dif­fer­ent scor­ers also set a tour­na­ment record.

Lloyd, 36, be­came the old­est Amer­i­can woman to score at a World Cup and joined Ger­many’s

Robert Cian­flone, Getty Im­ages

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