Reims: Thailand were overpowered by world number one United States in their opening FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 fixture, suffering a 13-0 defeat on Tuesday.
The reigning world champions were roundly expected to defeat the Southeast Asian side, and they lived up to expectations with three early goals, before adding another 10 more in a blistering second half to record the biggest ever World Cup win.
Well beaten, but with their arduous first assignment now behind them, Thailand’s attention now turns to what they hope will be more competitive remaining Group F fixtures against Sweden and Chile.
The two teams were the last in the tournament to begin their campaigns, and it was the three-time champions who stormed out of the blocks, peppering Sukanya Chor Charoenying’s goal from the outset.
Alex Morgan had a goal ruled out for offside in the fifth minute, but nothing could save Thailand when the star forward headed in the first of her five goals after she was left alone five yards out seven minutes later.
Thailand’s hopes of living up to head coach Nuengrutai Srathongvian’s target of earning a point began to look distinctly remote when - despite a touch from Chor Charoenying - Rose Lavelle slammed in a second from 20 yards to make it 2-0 in the 20th minute.
Rattikan Thongsombut had Thailand’s first shot on target with a long-range effort which was easily held by goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, but the American goal-rush continued when Lindsey Horan thumped home their third following Tobin Heath’s driven free-kick in the 32nd minute.
The US emerged from the first-half with 15 shots at goal to one and a 3-0 lead, but they reached new heights early in the second period as Samantha Mewis beat Chor Charoenying from the edge of the penalty area thanks to a deflection from Natthakarn Chinwong to make it four.
Morgan added an easy fifth when Thailand failed to deal with another Heath set-piece in the 53rd minute, before Mewis poked home another in the next minute to break up the half-dozen, then turned provider for Lavelle’s second goal; the fourth in just six minutes of playing time.
The superb Morgan tricked her way past Natthakarn before rattling in arguably the goal of the night to complete her hat-trick in the 74th minute, with Megan Rapinoe strolling into space to hammer home a ninth before Morgan picked out the top corner to bring up double figures with 10 minutes still to play.
Substitute Mallory Pugh got in the act with the simplest of finishes to bring the US level with the biggest ever World Cup win, but it was Morgan who rightly had the honour of breaking the record with a spectacular fifth on the volley, before Carli Lloyd netted the final blow in injury time.
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