The U.S. women's soccer team thrashed Thailand 13 to nothing on Tuesday – the biggest margin ever in a World Cup. They scored more goals than the U.S. men's team scored in its last 11 World Cup games. While some fans were thrilled with the result, others felt sorry for Thailand, a team ranked 34th in the world going up against the reigning world champions.
The scoring started early and didn't let up with the stars of Team USA keeping the pressure until the final minute. Co-captain Alex Morgan's five goals tied a team record, giving fans watching back home and in the sold-out stadium plenty of reasons to cheer.
One soccer team that traveled to France all the way from West Palm Beach, Florida, to watch the World Cup loved seeing the win.
"It was amazing to see history in the making, like while we were watching they were playing amazing and doing their best, it was so cool," Sophia Biggs said.
But as the shots flew past Thailand's goalkeeper from all directions, some USA fans began to pity the underdog. After the U.S. team celebrated hard and Thai players wept, the Americans were called "ruthless" and "relentless" in some newspaper headlines. Team USA co-captain Alex Morgan responded to that criticism saying, "I think was a really good team performance tonight, and I think it was important for us to celebrate with each other."
U.S. coach Jill Ellis also defended her team.
"I sit here, and I go, if this is 10-0 in a men's World Cup, are we getting the same questions, to be quite honest, you know?" Ellis said.
For years, U.S. women soccer players have been asking their own questions about fairness and equality. Just three months ago, 28 of them sued the U.S. Soccer Federation, alleging "institutionalized gender discrimination" – a charge the federation denies.
They're also calling on other countries to invest more in women's soccer and urging Thai players like Miranda Nild not to give up.
"I told her it's a dream of all of ours to play in a World Cup and to stay encouraged," Morgan said she told Nild.
Goals do matter in this stage of the World Cup, but the U.S. is likely to finish first in their group. Their next game is against Chile on Sunday.
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