Alex Morgan scored five goals as the USA beat Thailand 13-0 at the Women’s World Cup.
The world champions were in ruthless form against their Group F opponents, plundering five goals in the last 11 minutes in what has become the biggest win in World Cup history (male or female).
Bidding to reach their third consecutive World Cup final, this was a merciless display from Jill Ellis’ side, who only led 3-0 at half-time at Stade Auguste Delaune.
It was always going to be a difficult night for Thailand – competing in just their second World Cup – considering their 9-0 loss to the USA in a friendly back in 2016.
They racked up an incredible 40 shots in total, with 20 of those efforts hitting the target, and boasted 73% possession in the game.
The first goal arrived in the 12th minute.
Morgan headed past Thailand ‘keeper Sukanya Chor-Charoenying from Kelley O’Hara’s cross.
Eight minutes later, Chor-Charoenying couldn’t keep Rose Lavelle’s powerful strike from finding the net to make it 2-0.
Lindsey Horan made it three just after the hour mark, finishing from close range after Thailand failed to clear the danger following Tobin Heath’s free-kick.
The USA’s fourth goal came in the 50th minute, and it was an historic one.
Samantha Mewis scored the 800th goal in the competition’s history with a strike which benefited from a deflection off a Thailand defender.
Two minutes later, Morgan snatched her second after Thailand failed to deal with another free kick in the box.
Mewis added her second within two minutes when the ball fell to her inside the area.
Lavelle got in on the act in the 56th minute after being set up by Mewis, making it three goals in six minutes for the reigning world champions.
Morgan completed her hat-trick in the 74th minute, becoming the fourth American to score a hat-trick in the Women’s World Cup.
Megan Rapinoe finished off a fine team move five minutes later to make it 9-0.
Just two minutes later, Morgan made it ten with a brilliant strike from 20 yards.
Mallory Pugh came off the bench to make it 11-0 in the 84th minute, before Morgan scored her fifth three minutes later.
It was Morgan’s 26th international goal since the start of last year, and was the best strike of the night.
She took a brilliant touch before unleashing a powerful finish past Chor-Charoenying.
Carli Lloyd – winning her 275th cap – made it an unlucky 13 for Thailand in stoppage time, finishing from close range to become the second oldest scorer in the competition’s history (36 years, 330 days).
The final whistle was a welcome relief for the visibly devastated Thailand players.
Thailand are ranked 34th in the world, and have only won one of the four World Cup matches in history.
Chile beat Sweden 2-0 in Group F’s other game.
Unsurprisingly, the USA top the group on goal difference.
On this evidence, Jill Ellis’ team are well placed to become the first team since Germany (2007) to retain the Women’s World Cup.
David is the editor of The Season Ticket.
He is a qualified journalist, and a long-suffering Meath and Liverpool supporter.