Morgan, U.S. rout Thailand
Ties record with 5 goals
REIMS, France — Alex Morgan tied a tournament record with five goals and the defending champion
U.S. national team opened the Women’s
World Cup 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. Lindsey Horan, Megan Rapinoe, Mallory Pugh and Carli Lloyd also scored. The previous record margin was Germany’s 11-0 victory over Argentina in
Morgan tied Michelle Akers’ record for World Cup goals, set in the quarterfinals against Taiwan in
“We really just came into the game really wanting to showcase ourselves,” Morgan said. “Every goal matters in this tournament and that’s what we were working on.”
Asked repeatedly about the lopsided score, U.S. coach Ellis wondered if a
10-0 victory in a men’s
World Cup would elicit the same questions.
“Getting off on the right foot is important,” Ellis said. “But we also feel like we’ve got more to do. So were going to stay humble and go back to work.”
The two teams were the last to kickoff in the group stage for the monthlong tournament. Host France opened the World Cup before a sellout crowd in Paris on Friday night with a 4-0 victory over South Korea.
Ranked No. 1 in the world, the Americans had dropped only one match in their previous 38, a loss to France in Le Havre in January. The team is 7-1-2 overall this year, with six straight wins going into the World Cup and its seven
different scorers against Thailand set a record for most in a Women’s World Cup game.
The last time the Americans played on the world’s biggest stage, Lloyd had a hat trick in the first 16 minutes and the United States beat Japan 5-2 in Canada for the trophy.
The U.S. pounced early against Thailand, too, on Morgan’s header in the 13th minute off Kelley O’Hara’s precisely placed cross. Mewis, Lavelle and Horan were all making their World Cup debuts.
“When you get a deluge of goals like that, it’s a good feeling. It builds confidence,” said Ellis.
Thailand, ranked No. 34 in the world, was clearly outmatched even though the team has shown progress on the world stage. Making its World Cup debut in 2015 four years ago,
Thailand finished third in its group but earned its first win, a 3-2 victory over Ivory Coast.
At the final whistle, Lloyd and Christen Press were seen consoling the Thailand goalkeeper. Morgan put her arm around Thailand’s Miranda Nild, who was wiping away tears on the pitch. Nild and Morgan both played college soccer for the California Golden Bears.
“They were disappointed of course, they intended to make an impression in this first match and they were disappointed,” coach Nuengrutai Srathongvian said. “Yes they are athletes and they will be resilient.”
The World Cup comes at a time that female players across the globe are seeking better treatment and pay. The U.S. national team has long championed equal rights, and players collectively filed a lawsuit earlier this year that alleges discrimination by the U.S. Soccer Federation and are seeking pay equitable with that of the men’s national team.
The players say the lawsuit is on hold while they’re in France.
Ellis made some lineup moves for the match in the absence of defender Becky Sauerbrunn, who the team said was held out as a precaution with a minor quad injury.
Julie Ertz was moved to the backline for Tuesday night’s game and Mewis got the start in the midfield.
Sauerbrunn, at her third World Cup, was a steadying force for the U.S. defense in Canada when the U.S. went
540 minutes without conceding a goal.
Morgan, U.S. Soccer’s
2018 Player of the Year has
106 international goals.
The United States’ Megan Rapinoe, right, congratulates teammate Alex Morgan after Morgan scored her fifth goal during a World Cup match against Thailand on Tuesday in Reims, France.