Watch all the key plays as the U.S. women's national team takes on Thailand at the 2019 Women's World Cup.

By Avi Creditor
June 11, 2019

The U.S. women's national team has begun its Women's World Cup title defense in historic and convincing fashion–and that's an understatement.

Five goals from Alex Morgan, two goals apiece from Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle and strikes from Lindsey Horan, Megan Rapinoe, Mal Pugh and Carli Lloyd gave the Americans a record-setting 13-0 thrashing of Thailand in their opening match in Group F in France. As part of the one-sided rout, Morgan tied Michelle Akers's record for most goals in a Women's World Cup game and set the record for most assists (three), taking a huge step toward securing the golden boot after just one match.

The only other time these two sides had met was nearly three years ago, and the U.S. ran away with a 9-0 friendly victory on what was Heather O'Reilly's final international match. More of the same unfolded on the Women's World Cup stage, with the U.S. getting out to a strong start ahead of what is anticipated to be a much more difficult road.

One big change to the USA's expected lineup came in central defense, where Becky Sauerbrunn (quad) was held out with what U.S. Soccer has called "precautionary" reasons. Julie Ertz moved back into Sauerbrunn's role at center back–where she starred and emerged on the world stage four years ago–and Mewis stepped into the starting lineup in the midfield. It all certainly worked out just fine.

As expected, the early possession battle was dominated by the U.S. Thailand didn't completely pack in the defense and applied some pressure in the midfield, but the Americans found their way through pretty easily. Tobin Heath and Mewis both forced saves within the first four minutes, while Lavelle also had a blast from 18 yards that appeared to be a clean look at goal blocked before it could reach its destination.

The U.S. thought it had the lead in the sixth minute, only to have a goal disallowed. Abby Dahlkemper sent in a long cross from the right sideline, and Horan headed it across the goalmouth to Morgan, who got the final touch. Morgan was ruled to be offside on the play, though, and after a VAR check verified the call, play continued at 0-0.

Morgan got her goal about six minutes later. Kelley O'Hara delivered a perfectly weighted cross from the right, picking out Morgan in between two defenders. The forward directed her header on target to give the U.S. the 1-0 lead.

The lead was doubled in the 20th minute by Lavelle. The attacking midfielder had options on the play, with Rapinoe wide open to her left, but she elected to fire away from 18 yards, rifling a left-footed strike into the lower left-hand corner to make it 2-0.

The advantage grew to 3-0 in the 32nd minute. Tobin Heath fired a free kick from 20 yards into the danger area just in front of goal, and the initial touch fell to Lindsey Horan. The Portland Thorns star roofed her outside-of-the-boot shot from close range to give the Americans a 3-0 lead.

Despite immense pressure as the first half wound down and a penalty shout that went unheard after Horan was knocked down in the box, the U.S. carried that edge into the halftime break.

The lead expanded to 4-0 less than five minutes into the second half. Mewis took a pass from Rapinoe, turned and fired from a left-sided angle, benefiting from a deflection to get on the board.

Things got out of hand soon after in a four-minute goal binge. It became 5-0 in the 53rd, when Morgan scored her second of the match off a set piece. Mewis followed with her second by finishing off a loose ball from close range a minute later, and two minutes after that, Lavelle scored her second from the center of the box.

Lavelle promptly came off for Lloyd, while Heath stepped off for Christen Press as Jill Ellis went to her bench for the first time. The final sub came on in the 69th minute, when Mal Pugh replaced Ertz, another attacking substitution despite the lopsided scoreboard.

And with that, the attacking continued. Morgan scored two more in the 74th and 81st minutes to give her four goals, sandwiching a strike by Rapinoe in the 79th. Pugh got in on the act after a Thailand giveaway, rolling in from close range three minutes after Morgan's fourth goal to ramp up the rout to 11-0.

It became 12-0 in the dying minutes, with Morgan hungry for more and netting her fifth with a clinical finish from inside the box.

Lloyd wouldn't be left out, scoring her first Women's World Cup goal since her final heroics in 2015, capping the rout with a fine finish in stoppage time.


Here was the USA's lineup for the match:


Here are the rosters for both nations:

GOALKEEPERS: Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)

DEFENDERS: Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars); Crystal Dunn (NC Courage), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), Kelley O'Hara (Utah Royals), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns)

MIDFIELDERS: Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit), Allie Long (Seattle Reign), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage)

FORWARDS: Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns); Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), Jessica McDonald (NC Courage), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Utah Royals), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign)

THAILAND

GOALKEEPERS: Waraporn Boonsing (Bundit Asia), Sukanya Chor Charoenying (Air Force Central FC), Tiffany Sornpao (Kennesaw State University)

DEFENDERS: Kanjanaporn Saenkhun (Bundit Asia), Natthakarn Chinwong (Bundit Asia), Duangnapa Sritala (Bangkok), Ainon Phancha (Chonburi FC), Warunee Phetwiset (Chonburi FC), Sunisa Srangthaisong (Bundit Asia), Sudarat Chuchuen (Srisaket), Phonpirun Philawan (Bundit Asia)

MIDFIELDERS: Pikul Khueanpet (Bundit Asia), Silawan Intamee (Chonburi FC), Orathai Srimanee (Bundit Asia), Orapin Waenngoen (Bundit Asia), Khwanrudi Saengchan (Bundit Asia), Wilaiporn Boothduang (Bangkok), Kanjana Sung-Ngoen (Bangkok)

FORWARDS: Miranda Nild (UC Berkeley), Rattikan Thongsombut (Bundit Asia), Saowalak Pengngam (Chonburi FC), Taneekarn Dangda (Bangkok), Pitsamai Sornsai (Chonburi FC)

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