The U.S. women’s soccer team opened its World Cup title defense Tuesday with a 13-0 rout over Thailand and Olympic gold medalist Alex Morgan scored more goals on her own than most soccer teams score in an entire game.
Morgan led the scoring — and there was a lot of it — with five goals, including four in the second half, as the U.S. crushed a badly overmatched Thai team. Team USA’s historic output set several World Cup records, including most goals in match, biggest margin of victory, and most goals (10) in the second half.
Morgan, who scored her third of the game in the 74th minute for her first career World Cup hat trick, tied Michelle Akers for the most goals in a single game by a U.S. player. The U.S. had possession for 75 percent of the game and outshot Thailand 40-2.
Thailand was in over its head from the beginning.
Morgan scored Team USA’s first goal of the 2019 tournament just 12 minutes into the game. Megan Rapinoe crashed down the left side toward the goal then sent a long centering pass back to Kelley O’Hara. She carried it toward the net then chipped a shot over to Morgan who was in the perfect spot for a header into the net.
Rose Lavelle and Lindsey Horan got in on the action in the 20th and 32nd minutes, respectively, to give the U.S. a 3-0 lead heading into the half.
An incredibly productive four minutes early in the second half made it a runaway game. Samantha Mewis crushed a shot that tipped off the goalkeeper’s hands before making it to the net in the 50th minute. Three minutes later, Morgan scored her second goal of the game on a set piece. They immediately got the ball back and Mewis scored again, and then in the 56th minute Lavelle scored her second of the game, making it four goals in six minutes and giving the U.S. a 7-0 lead.
Rapinoe scored her fourth World Cup goal and 45th international goal in the 79th minute and Mallory Pugh scored her first World Cup goal in the 84th minute as seven different players scored for the U.S. sub Carli Lloyd added to her impressive international haul, capping the scoring in the 92nd minute.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.