In what will go down as perhaps the most dominant performance in the history of the Women’s World Cup, the United States started its title defense with an electric 13-0 win over Thailand. Led by five goals from Alex Morgan, the Americans set the record for the largest win in Women’s World Cup history with their performance.
It looked like the U.S. was able to strike early following a ball into the box by Abby Dahlkemper. A trio of Americans swarmed Thailand keeper Sukanya Chor Charoenying, and a moment later, Alex Morgan scored a goal with her head. However, Morgan was ruled offside, and the goal was taken off the board.
Morgan was able to make up for it a few minutes later. The American attack was relentless, leaving Thailand on its collective back foot, and at one point, Megan Rapinoe played a cross from the touchline. Tobin Heath looked prime to get her left foot onto the ball, but instead, Kelley O’Hara chipped a ball in to Morgan. She managed to do the rest, as she was unmarked on the back post and easily broke the deadlock.
Eight minutes later and the Americans struck again. Morgan laid a ball off to World Cup debutant Rose Lavelle, and despite being outside the box, Lavelle had enough time and space to put her foot cleanly through the ball. A moment of brilliance later, the U.S. found itself up, 2-0.
Their third goal came off of a free kick from just outside the box. While both Rapinoe and Tobin Heath are dangerous on set pieces, the Americans decided to do something a little more tricky. Heath played a pass into the box, and after a hectic moment or two, Lindsey Horan was able to blast the ball past Charoenying.
Even when they weren’t scoring, the Americans found ways to establish their dominance. Whether it was Lavelle nutmegging a defender or Heath dropping an opponent by dribbling right past them, there was nothing Thailand could do to get into the match.
The second half saw much of the same. The United States pounced right out of the break, and just as a goal seemed inevitable, Sam Mewis put her turbo-charged left foot through the ball from just inside the box. It deflected off of Thailand’s Natthakarn Chinwong, and a moment later, the red, white, and blue found their fourth.
This kicked off an avalanche, one which saw the Americans score four goals in six minutes. After Mewis scored in the 50′, Morgan found her second in the 53′, Mewis slotted the ball in once more in the 54′, and Lavelle scored again in the 56′.
The U.S. did not take its foot off the gas, but they weren’t quite able find the back of the net. That was until Morgan beat Charoenying, giving herself a hat trick and the Americans an 8-0 lead.
The goals kept coming, with Rapinoe, Morgan, and Mallory Pugh scoring the ninth, tenth, and eleventh goals of the evening for the Americans.
Morgan got on the scoresheet a fifth time — tying the American record for goals in a single match at a Women’s World Cup — with a thunderous strike in the 87′. The goal tied the record for the most scored in a match at the tournament.
To cap it all off, American hero Carli Lloyd scored No. 13.
The 13-0 win set a record for margin of victory for either the men’s or women’s World Cup.
Next up for the USWNT is its second match in group play. The Yanks will take on Chile — which fell 2-0 to Sweden in its first Group F match — on Sunday.