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Dublin: 0°C Sunday 6 December 2020

Five-star Morgan says 'every goal counts' with USA's 13-0 hammering of Thailand 'part of growing the game'

The United States showed no mercy, and they’ve been widely criticised for it.

Five-goal Alex Morgan celebrates.
Five-goal Alex Morgan celebrates.
Image: ABACA/PA Images

ALEX MORGAN INSISTED every goal matters for the United States following their merciless 13-0 humiliation of Thailand at the Women’s World Cup.

Morgan scored a remarkable five goals as USA opened their title defence with a record-breaking victory in Reims on Tuesday.

USA secured the largest margin of victory at a World Cup, while five-star Morgan tied the women’s record for goals scored in a match.

The defending champions, however, were criticised for their relentless pursuit of goals amid the ongoing celebrations.

Morgan defended USA as head coach Jill Ellis and her side bid to defend the trophy they won in 2015.

“I think in the moment, every time we score a goal in the World Cup it’s, you’ve dreamt of it since you were a little girl, winning a World Cup and being back here for a third time, we want that fourth star,” Morgan told reporters. 

We knew that every goal could matter. In this group stage game and when it comes to celebrations, this was a really good team performance tonight and I think it was important for us to celebrate with each other.

Morgan elaborated on the growth of the game and explained that USA’s win was important for making a case for Fifa to add more funding for certain federations to make the World Cup more competitive.

aw Source: Abby Wambach Twitter.

aw2 Source: Abby Wamback Twitter.

“With the scoreline tonight, we have to look at the group stage as every goal counts and it was important for us to continue to go,” Morgan said. 

“But for these 24 teams, it’s a great opportunity for women to showcase what they’ve worked their entire life for and not every federation gives the same financial effort to their women’s side and that’s unfortunate.”

Ellis added: “If this is 10-nil in a men’s World Cup, are we getting the same questions to be quite honest? I think a World Cup, it is about competing. It is about peaking. It is about priming your players ready for the next game.”

uswnt-061119-usnews-getty-ftr_rirkxje580hq1dhj0ldbemoej USWNT celebrates Thailand win.

United States captain Megan Rapinoe also said that hammering Thailand 13-0 was all “part of growing the game” after a win so lop-sided there were suggestions they should have eased up to save the Thais from embarrassment.

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,” the title holders’ ninth goalscorer on the night said.

“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,” she added as she reflected on the gulf between the world’s top sides and the rest. 

USA will have a few days off before facing Chile in Group F on Sunday.

- with reporting from AFP

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