The United States opened its 2019 Women’s World Cup with a merciless 13–0 destruction of Thailand on Tuesday. It was the most lopsided match in tournament history and, were it not for some rusty finishing from substitute Carli Lloyd in the second half, it could have been far worse. (Lloyd still scored, mind you.)
Given that the format accounts for goal difference, the United States won’t have to apologize for its ruthless streak. Who knows, Thailand could beat Sweden 14-0 in its next match and turn Group F on its head. (This will not happen).
For reasons of accounting and appreciation, here’s a ranking of the 12 best goals from the U.S.’s history-making win.
12. Alex Morgan’s tap-in.
Morgan’s second (of five) goals came off a Lindsey Horan flick-on. The U.S. was clinging to a four-goal lead at the time, so this was an important finish.
11. Lindsey Horan’s ruthless finish in the box.
Horan was everywhere on Tuesday, and her 31st-minute goal was a fitting reward for all her hard work.
10. Alex Morgan’s left-footed finish.
Hey, it’s another goal for Morgan.
9. Sam Mewis cleans up after Thailand can’t clear its lines.
World Cup debutant Mewis scored her second goal after some sublime wing play from Crystal Dunn.
8. Alex Morgan heads in the opener.
The match was 0–0 at this point. We were so young back then.
7. Rose Lavelle’s strike from outside the box.
Lavelle might be the most fun player to watch at the World Cup. Here, she takes advantage of some shaky keeping to put the U.S. up 2–0.
6. Rose Lavelle’s tidy second-half finish.
This is a well-worked goal. If you’ve grown tired of watching all of these, close your eyes and imagine a nice goal. Sports psychologists have long extolled the virtues of visualization, so this is a good exercise in case you ever get to play in a World Cup.
5. Mallory Pugh rounds the keeper.
I would have missed this goal and it would’ve been super embarrassing. Good thing it was Pugh and not me in that position, huh?
4. Carli Lloyd joins the fun.
Clever from the wily veteran. Why do only veterans seem to be “wily”? How come you never hear of any wily novices?
3. Megan Rapinoe’s run is rewarded.
Extra points for the celebration. Points deducted because it was the U.S.’ ninth goal. Net change in points: zero.
2. Alex Morgan’s hat-trick goal.
Nice footwork in the box and a sweet finish. Hey, we’re almost at the No. 1 goal! Let’s see what that is.
1. Alex Morgan’s fifth goal.
The turn was cool. So was the juggling. And the volley? Guess what? That was cool, too. It’s a cool hat trick, and we’re all lucky to have seen it.
Honorable mention: Sam Mewis’ deflected strike.
Tough luck for the goalkeeper after the big deflection. Not a terrible goal, per se, but this was a rather exclusive list.