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Thursday , August 22 2019

US begin WC campaign with record 13-0 win

Thailand’s Taneekarn Dangda (left), and United States’ Kelley O’Hara battle for the ball during the Women’s World Cup Group F soccer match between the United States and Thailand at the Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims, France on June 11. (AP)

Germany close in on next round as Nigeria upset South Korea

REIMS, France, June 12, (RTRS): Striker Alex Morgan scored five times as holders the United States began their World Cup campaign with a record 13-0 win over Thailand .

The Group F result was the largest margin of victory in either the men’s or women’s World Cup.

When the Americans headed for the interval 3-0 up, there was little indication of what was to come in the second half.

After netting four times in six minutes shortly after the restart, they then added six more goals in the last 16 minutes.

Morgan opened the goal spree for the title favourites, who are in pursuit of a fourth world crown, with a header in the 12th minute and from then on there was no stopping the champions.

Eight minutes later Rose Lavelle found the net with a left-footed shot while midfielder Lindsey Horan gave them a 3-0 halftime lead.

Samantha Mewis opened the floodgates five minutes after the break as the US made life miserable for the Thais by regularly finding the back of the net.

In total seven Americans scored during the match – Morgan (5), Lavelle (2), Mewis (2), Horan, Megan Rapinoe, Mallory Pugh and Carli Lloyd all finding their way on to the scoresheet in a performance that is bound to strike fear into all of those teams hoping to end the United States’ reign as world champions.

“We really wanted to showcase ourselves and what we’ve been preparing for and working on and I think we did that,” said Morgan.

“Every goal matters in this tournament and so that’s what we were working on in this game. We got a lot of attacks and I think we were really clinical in the number of attacks that we did get.

“I am speechless. The ball just bounced my way today and I am looking forward to the next game.

“To see Rose Lavalle have the confidence to go at players, Sam Mewis taking on players and scoring from outside the box… I am really proud of them.” The result surpassed Germany’s 11-0 win over Argentina in 2007 and almost doubled the U.S. own previous record – a 7-0 success over Taiwan in 1991.

“We did not do enough. They were excellent all around. We don’t have any excuse and accept they are better,” said Thailand coach Nuengrutai Srathongvian.

“We have to improve in every aspect.” The last time the two teams met, the United States won 9-0.

US coach Jillian Ellis said the result was great confidence booster but did not want to get carried away with the emphatic nature of the win.

“This only game one. It will be an incredibly hard World Cup,” she said.

The US will next face Chile on Sunday, while Thailand will be up against Sweden.

Sara Daebritz scored the only goal of the game as Germany beat Spain 1-0 in their women’s World Cup Group B match to all but secure a spot in the next round.

The two-times champions, who beat China in their group opener, are on six points, with Spain in second on three. China and South Africa, who play each other on Thursday, have no points.

Spain had more possession, but Germany looked more dangerous despite missing the injured Dzsenifer Marozsan.

Daebritz grabbed the winner on the rebound in the 42nd minute to stretch Germany’s unbeaten run to 14 matches, the longest of any team in France.

The introduction of Germany’s 18-year-old Klara Buehl after the break instantly gave them more pace and options in attack as Spain gradually dropped deeper.

Germany play South Africa next while Spain take on China.

Nigeria took their chances against the run of play to beat South Korea 2-0 for rare success at the women’s World Cup to set themselves up to advance to the next stage of the tournament in France.

A first half own goal at the Stade des Alps and a breakaway attack, brilliantly finished by Asisat Oshoala, ensured the Africa champions only their fourth win in eight World Cup finals appearances and a chance to go to the second round for just a second time.

The Koreans, beaten 4-0 by hosts France in the tournament opener last Friday, are all but out of contention after a surprise setback in their second Group A game.

After weathering Korea’s early attacks, Nigeria went ahead just before the half hour mark when defender Kim Do-yeon miscued an effort to try to clear a long ball through the middle and steered it past her goalkeeper Kim Min-jung, who had come rushing out of her goal and was stranded.

There was a lengthy Video Assistant Referee review to see whether Nigeria’s captain Desire Oparanozie might have brushed the ball with her hand as she headed to the goal but there was no conclusive evidence to rule out the goal.

Korea were pulled back for offside when they found the net in the 58th minute before a Nigeran counter attack saw Oshoala, a three-time African women’s Footballer of the Year, ran half the length of the field, brushed past a defender, rounded the goalkeeper and squeezed the ball home from an almost improbable angle.

She might have scored in similar fashion just two minutes after the 75th minute goal but a heavy first touch saw the opportunity slip away.

Nigeria lost their opening game 3-0 to Norway in Reims on Saturday.

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