Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 June 2019

2019 Fifa Women's World Cup: USA captain Megan Rapinoe says 13-0 win 'part of growing the game'

The lop-sided defeat over Thailand set a new tournament record, surpassing Germany's 11-0 win over Argentina at the 2007 World Cup

United States captain Megan Rapinoe offered words of encouragement to Thailand following Tuesday's 13-0 hammering at the 2019 Fifa Women's World Cup, saying the experience will help the team improve.

Rapinoe got her name on the scoresheet in the second half, scoring the ninth goal after the defending champions had taken a 3-0 half-time lead.

The lop-sided defeat set a new tournament record, surpassing Germany's 11-0 win over Argentina at the 2007 World Cup.

"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," Rapinoe said.

Alex Morgan put on a masterclass in finishing with five goals, Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis bagged a brace each with Lindsey Horan, Rapinoe, Mallory Pugh and Carli Lloyd also on the scoresheet in Reims.

It got the US' Group F campaign off to the best possible start as the title-holders pulverised a Thailand side playing at just their second World Cup.

Thailand qualified for this year's finals in France thanks to a run to the Asian Cup semi-finals last year, but Rapinoe said the problem was that some teams have arrived in France under-cooked having played few competitive games in the build-up.

"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," said Rapinoe as she reflected on the gulf between the world's top sides and the rest.

Not that Thailand are necessarily minnows, as they sit 34th in the Fifa rankings, higher than six other sides at this World Cup. The US, three-time World Cup winners, top the rankings.

One TV commentator said the win was so comprehensive that the US should have stopped attacking late in the game to spare the Thais further embarrassment.

But the 33-year-old Rapinoe said the champions were happy to snatch the goals record from Germany as they go in search of their fourth world title.

"I was hoping we'd beat Germany! I had that in mind," joked Rapinoe.

"I didn't really think about that while we were playing but right when we walked off. We always want to have any world record and anything we can get over the Germans, we'll take it."

Goal difference may be important in deciding who wins the group, with the US facing Chile next before taking on Sweden, the team who defeated them in the quarter-finals of the Rio Olympics in 2016.

However, if they win the group, they could end up potentially facing hosts France in the quarter-finals.

"I definitely think we need to keep our feet on the ground and we will, but I do think that we created a lot of good energy and that's something that can help carry us forward," said Mewis, the 26-year-old midfielder who was making her World Cup debut.

Updated: June 12, 2019 10:45 AM

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