Alex Morgan scores 5 goals as United States routs Thailand in World Cup opener
Alex Morgan tied a tournament record with five goals and the defending champion US national team opened the Women’s World Cup with a 13-0 rout of Thailand on Tuesday night in Reims, France.
Samantha Mewis and Rose Lavelle each added a pair of goals for the United States, which set 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 2007.
Morgan tied Michelle Akers’s record for World Cup goals, set in the quarterfinals against Taiwan in 1991.
The team’s biggest margin of victory was a 14-0 win over the Dominican Republic in a 2012 Olympic qualifier in Vancouver.
‘‘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.’’
The Americans led, 3-0, at the break and then broke the match open in the second half, with the players celebrating goal after goal.
‘‘Obviously we have the utmost respect for everyone we play, but it’s the World Cup,’’ said Rapinoe.
Up next for the United States is World Cup newcomer Chile on Sunday in Paris.
Asked repeatedly about the lopsided score, US coach Jill Ellis wondered if a 10-0 victory in a men’s World Cup would elicit the same questions.
‘‘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, and as Alex said, it’s a tournament where goal differential is important,’’ Ellis said.
The 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.
The Americans, ranked No. 1 in the world, 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 scorers against Thailand set a record for most in a Women’s World Cup game.
The last time the Americans played in this tournament, Lloyd had a hat trick in the first 16 minutes and the United States beat Japan, 5-2, in Canada for the trophy.
The US team 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 Cal.
‘‘They were disappointed of course, they intended to make an impression in this first match and they were disappointed,’’ coach Nuengrutai Srathongvian said through a translator. ‘‘Yes, they are all athletes and they will be resilient. We've got two more games to play and we need to bounce back.’’
Sweden 2, Chile 0 — Kosovare Asllani’s goal after a weather delay broke up a scoreless stalemate as Sweden won its opener in Rennes, France.
Thunder prompted a delay in the match in the 72nd minute. It was resumed about 40 minutes later.
Asllani’s goal, Sweden’s 60th in World Cup play, came in the 83rd minute. Madelen Janogy came in off the bench and added a goal in stoppage time for the Swedes, who are ranked No. 9 in the world.
Chile suffered a blow in the 59th minute when Maria Urrutia was injured and had to be stretchered off. It was about the same time that heavy rains moved in at Roazhon Park.
Netherlands 1, New Zealand 0 — Jill Roord came off the bench and scored in stoppage time to lift the Netherlands in Le Havre, France.
The Netherlands controlled possession throughout the game but couldn’t get by New Zealand goalkeeper Erin Nayler until Roord’s breakthrough header.