REIMS, France: Holders the United States began their defence of the women’s World Cup trophy in style yesterday as Alex Morgan scored five times in a record-setting 13-0 destruction of hapless Thailand in Group F.
Ten of their goals came in the second half as the USA set a new record for the biggest winning margin in a women’s World Cup match, bettering Germany’s 11-0 defeat of Argentina in 2007.
In the same group earlier, Sweden scored two late goals to beat Chile 2-0 after a long hold-up in their match in Rennes because of a violent storm which led to conditions deteriorating.
Torrential rain had been falling for around a quarter of an hour amid a threat of thunderstorms when the Mexican referee, Lucila Venegas, decided to take the players off in the 72nd minute with the score still 0-0.
Play resumed following a break of around 40 minutes, and Kosovare Asllani fired into the roof of the net to give Sweden the lead in the 83rd minute.
Substitute Madelen Janogy then ran through and smashed in the second goal in injury time to wrap up the win for the Swedes, the 2003 World Cup runners-up and beaten Olympic finalists in 2016.
Meanwhile, substitute Jill Roord headed home a stoppage time winner as the Netherlands finally broke down New Zealand’s defence to emerge with a 1-0 triumph as both countries began their campaign at Stade Oceane.
The Netherlands now share top place with Canada, who edged Cameroon 1-0 in Montpellier on Monday in Group E’s opening game.
The European champions had numerous attempts at goal in a match marked by a myriad of missed chances before Roord headed in at the back post.