Alex Morgan scored a record-tying five goals as the United States opened its Women’s World Cup campaign with a tournament-record 13-0 win over Thailand in Group F on Tuesday in Reims, France.
After the match, their were questions about the U.S’s aggressive style of play. Manager Jill Ellis defended her team’s approach.
“This is a world championship, so every team here has been fantastic to get to this point. And I think that to be respectful to opponents is to play hard against opponents. It’s a tournament where goal differential is important,” Ellis said.
Thailand, no. 34 in the world, was clearly outclassed. The team has shown progress on the world stage before this, making its World Cup debut in 2015. Thailand finished third in its group but earned its first win, a 3-2 victory over Ivory Coast.
The group-leading U.S., who had a 39-2 shot advantage to improve to 6-0-2 in World Cup openers, takes on Chile before playing Sweden in its last match before the knockout rounds begin.
Sweden, who defeated Chile 2-0 earlier Tuesday, ousted the U.S. in the teams’ last meeting in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.