Frankly, the United States couldn’t have asked for a better start to their 2019 World Cup campaign. A completely dominant 13-0 victory over Thailand saw Jill Ellis’ side overmatch and overwhelm their opposition on all areas of the field.
The US were expected to win their opening match of the 2019 World Cup, but it was a truly dominant performance in Reims.
Alex Morgan headed in her first of five goals after 12 minutes before rising starlet Rose Lavelle doubled the advantage in the 20th.
A Lindsey Horan rebound from a free kick gave a 3-0 halftime lead before the floodgates opened in the second half: the US scored four times in a six-minute period, before Morgan completed her hat-trick and Megan Rapinoe took advantage of a stretched defense to convert. Morgan’s fourth and Mallory Pugh’s first World Cup goal, another from Morgan and one in injury time from sub Carli Lloyd sealed a match that had turned into an exhibition performance.
It’s World No.1 side’s seventh win in a row, their biggest win at a World Cup and it means they’ve scored 30 unanswered goals in their last five matches! That’s insane!
The US were completely dominant in terms of technicality, physicality and gameplan. This Thailand side aimed to sit deep and pose a threat on the break, but they simply couldn’t match the US’ speed and were mostly unable to get out of their own half.
While the win may increase confidence, the USWNT should be careful not to take too much self-confidence away from their opener, which arguably came against the weakest team at the tournament.
After all, it’s not an entirely unexpected result—the score was 9-0 when these teams met last in 2016, and the Thais are judged to be the weakest team in the competition, according to the bookmakers.
The result is probably more of a reflection of Thailand’s shortcomings, than the USWNT’s supremacy.
Jill Ellis’ side are also expected to beat Chile in their next game, but will not be afforded so much space and time when they meet Sweden in the final group stage match.
And if they win the group, they will face a France side who looked equally dominant in their opener. The point is: much tougher tests lay ahead.
So this match is a great sign - but don’t start fantasizing about the trophy celebrations just yet.
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