‘I’m disgusted’: World Cup antics blasted

 

USA's historic 13-0 demolition of Thailand has sparked heated debate over the topic of sportsmanship barely a day into the Women's World Cup.

The Americans broke the record for goals and margin of victory in a World Cup game, with striker Alex Morgan scoring an outrageous five goals.

The previous record margin was Germany's 11-0 victory over Argentina in 2007. Morgan tied Michelle Akers' record for World Cup goals, set in the quarterfinals against Taiwan in 1991.

While the record-breaking night of domination gave the US more reasons than one to celebrate, a host of viewers were left a little displeased by their antics late in the piece.

Commentator and former Canada representative Clare Rustad wasn't too thrilled with how the No. 1 ranked team continued celebrating after Morgan's fifth goal when they sat at an unbeatable 12-0.

"I just think they could have won with some humility and grace, and they just couldn't manage to do that," Rustad said on TSN's broadcast.

"Celebrating goals later in the game like this is just completely unnecessary. What is this?"

Fellow Canadian star Kaylyn Kyle doubled down and tore the top ranked side a new one.

"They're the No. 1 team in the world and for me, I'm disgusted, honestly," she said.

A number of punters agreed with the Canadian duo, with some going so far as labelling the USA's performance a "disgrace to the game".

As with most subaltern social media debates, a host of angry viewers took the bait and fired back, defending the US team for celebrating Morgan's record-breaking effort.

Olympic gold medallist Aly Wagner was among the critics voicing their opinion after the match.

What wasn't as widely discussed was a touching moment shared between opposition players after the match.

Seconds after the final bell, Carli Lloyd and Christen Press were seen consoling the Thailand goalkeeper, while Morgan put her arm around teary Thai star Miranda Nild. Nild and Morgan both played college soccer for the California Golden Bears.

"They were disappointed of course, they intended to make an impression in this first match and they were disappointed," coach Nuengrutai Srathongvian said.

Alex Morgan hugs teary Thailand star Mirand Nild.
Alex Morgan hugs teary Thailand star Mirand Nild.

"We really just came into the game really wanting to showcase ourselves," Morgan said after the match. "Every goal matters in this tournament and that's what we were working on." Asked repeatedly about the lopsided score, U.S. coach Ellis wondered if a 10-0 victory in a men's World Cup would elicit the same questions. "Getting off on the right foot is important," Ellis said. "But we also feel like we've got more to do. So were going to stay humble and go back to work."

The two teams were the last to kick-off in the group stage for the month-long tournament. Host France opened the World Cup before a sellout crowd in Paris on Friday night with a 4-0 victory over South Korea.

Ranked No. 1 in the world, the Americans had dropped only one match in their previous 38, a loss to France in Le Havre in January. The team is 7-1-2 overall this year, with six straight wins going into the World Cup and its seven different scorers against Thailand set a record for most in a Women's World Cup game.

The last time the Americans played on the world's biggest stage, Lloyd had a hat trick in the first 16 minutes and the United States beat Japan 5-2 in Canada for the trophy.

The U.S. pounced early against Thailand, too, on Morgan's header in the 13th minute off Kelley O'Hara's precisely placed cross. Mewis, Lavelle and Horan were all making their World Cup debuts.

Too much celebrating? Or just pure excitement?
Too much celebrating? Or just pure excitement?

"When you get a deluge of goals like that, it's a good feeling. It builds confidence," said Ellis.

Thailand, ranked No. 34 in the world, was clearly outmatched even though the team has shown progress on the world stage. Making its World Cup debut in 2015 four years ago, Thailand finished third in its group but earned its first win, a 3-2 victory over Ivory Coast.

- with AP


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