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U.S. breaks records in opening Women's World Cup game, dominates Thailand 13-0

The U.S. Women's National team are the defending champions and the favorite to win the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. But no one predicted them setting a World Cup records Tuesday in their 13-0 routing of Thailand to open their title defense.

You've already heard it called a record-breaking win. But which records did they break?

  • Most goals scored by a team in a World Cup match — men's or women's
  • Largest margin of victory in a World Cup match
  • Tie: Most goals scored by a player in a World Cup match   
  • Most individual goal scorers in a single Women's World Cup match

The previous record for most goals scored by a team was set by the Germany women's national football team Women's during the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup. In group stage match, Germany beat Argentina by a 11-0 scoreline. The record eleven-goal margin of victory in that match was also put to rest by the U.S. Women's 13-goal conquest Tuesday.

Team captain Alex Morgan scored five goals for the U.S., tying the most goals scored by a single player in a FIFA Women's World Cup match. She now shares the record with Michelle Akers who scored five goals as a member of the U.S. Women's National Team in the 1991 quarterfinal match against Chinese Taipei.

Seven different women scored for the U.S.: Alex Morgan, Rose Lavelle, Linsey Horan, Sam Mewis, Megan Rapinoe, Mallory Pugh and Carli Lloyd. That sets a new record for most individual goal scorers from a team in a Women's World Cup match. Only five of the German players scored goals in their 2007 match versus Argentina.

Here's the list of all 13 goals scored by the U.S.:

  • 12' — Alex Morgan (USA)
  • 20' — Rose Lavelle (USA)
  • 32' — Linsey Horan (USA)
  • 50' — Sam Mewis (USA)
  • 53' — Alex Morgan (USA)
  • 54' — Sam Mewis (USA)
  • 56' — Rose Lavelle (USA)
  • 74' — Alex Morgan (USA)
  • 79' — Megan Rapinoe (USA)
  • 81' — Alex Morgan (USA)
  • 85' — Mallory Pugh (USA)
  • 87' — Alex Morgan (USA)
  • 90'+2 — Carli Lloyd (USA)

Sportsmanship and over celebrating?

Some have criticized the U.S. women for over-celebrating each of their 13 goals, calling the USWNT "ruthless" in some newspaper headlines. Former Canadian national team players specifically called out Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan for "classless behavior." Even former U.S. men's national team forward Taylor Twellman tweeted his displeasure with the celebrations. 

Of course, the U.S. women beg to differ with that assessment. Megan Rapinoe, one of the goal scorers who was called out for celebrating after scoring the ninth goal for the U.S., was quick to quip back in a post-game interview.

"Honestly, if anyone wants to come at our team for not doing the right thing, not playing the right way, not being the right ambassador, they can come at us," she told Fox. "I think our only crime was an explosion of joy last night. We've been pretty pent up, as well. We've had kind of a heavy lead-up, obviously everything off the field ... So, if our crime is joy, then we'll take that."    

USWNT vs. Thailand highlights and recap

The U.S. came out of the gate strong, dominating possession and keeping the ball in Thailand's half of the field. They found the back of the net in the fifth minute on their third shot. But after VAR (video assistant referee) review, the goal was called back because a U.S. player was in an offside position.

Morgan corrected that in the 12th minute, putting away her first of the night. Kelly O'Hara played a perfect ball over the top of the defenders from the right side of the penalty area and Morgan headed it past the Thai keeper effortlessly.

By the end of the first half, the U.S. had taken a 3-0 lead. No one could have predicted they would score 10 more in the second half.

Watch all the highlights from FIFA below:

USA v Thailand - FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ by FIFATV on YouTube

*A prior version of this story credited Hungary beating El Salvador 10-1 scoreline in the1982 FIFA World Cup as the largest margin of victory. This has been corrected.
 

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