Thu, Jun 13, 2019 - Page 16 News List

US: 13-0 win ‘part of growing the game’

SLAUGHTERHOUSE:Three-time FIFA World Cup champions the US scored 10 goals in the second half against Thailand, eclipsing Germany’s 11-0 win over Argentina in 2007

AFP, REIMS, France

Thailand’s players react after losing to the US in their FIFA Women’s World Cup Group F game at the Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims, France, on Tuesday.

Photo: AFP

US captain Megan Rapinoe said that hammering Thailand 13-0 in the FIFA Women’s World Cup was all “part of growing the game,” after a win so lopsided that there were suggestions they should have eased up to save Thailand from embarrassment.

Rapinoe scored the ninth goal for the title-holders, one of 10 in the second half as the US surpassed the tournament record of 11-0, set by Germany against Argentina in 2007.

“We have the utmost respect for everyone we play, but it’s the World Cup and that’s part of it. It’s part of growing the game. They’ll improve from here,” Rapinoe said.

Alex Morgan starred with five goals in the Group F opener in Reims, as the US pulverized a Thailand side playing at just their second World Cup.

This was always going to be a daunting challenge for the Chaba Kaew, who made it to France thanks to their run to the semi-finals at last year’s Asian Cup.

“There are some teams here that, since the last World Cup, have only played a handful of games, or only the qualifiers. It’s embarrassing for the federations, and for FIFA as well,” said Rapinoe, as she reflected on the gulf between the world’s top sides and the rest.

Not that Thailand are necessarily minnows, as they sit 34th in the FIFA rankings, higher than six other sides competing in this World Cup.

In addition to Morgan’s five goals, Rose Lavelle and Samantha Mewis both scored twice, and Lindsey Horan, Rapinoe, Mallory Pugh and veteran Carli Lloyd each scored one.

Goal-difference might be important in deciding who wins the group, with the US facing Chile next before taking on Sweden, the team who defeated them in the quarter-finals of the Rio Olympics in 2016.

However, if they win the group, they could end up facing hosts France in the quarter-finals.

“I definitely think we need to keep our feet on the ground and I think we will, but I do think that we created a lot of good energy and that’s something that can help carry us forward,” said Mewis, the 26-year-old midfielder who was making her World Cup finals debut.

NETHERLANDS VS NZ

Jill Roord came off the bench and headed home from close range in added time to give the Netherlands a 1-0 World Cup victory over New Zealand in Le Havre.

The victory lifts the European champions into a tie with Canada atop Group E.

“I think we can play better than we did today, but we were looking for a win and New Zealand were looking for a draw — and I’m very glad we finally got what we wanted,” Netherlands coach Sarina Wiegman said.

New Zealand, stout in defense and sharp on the counterattack, were left with nothing but disappointment.

“The players will be absolutely devastated, but we’re a resilient group and I’m pretty confident we’ll bounce back,” New Zealand coach Tom Sermanni said.

The stars were the two goalkeepers, Sari van Veenendaal for the Netherlands and New Zealand’s Erin Nayler. Both were busy and both, at different stages, underwent on-field treatment after brave saves.

The Netherlands had almost 70 percent of possession and almost three times as many goal attempts, but New Zealand went painfully close three times.

In the first half, Olivia Chance hit the bar and Rosie White drew a sprawling save from Van Veenendaal with a long-range strike. Early in the second half, Sarah Gregorius shinned a volley into the ground that gave Van Veenendaal time to lunge to her right and claw the ball round the post.

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