"If this is 10-0 in a men's World Cup, are we getting the same questions?" Jill Ellis wondered Tuesday as the US women's soccer team faced criticism for blowing Thailand out of the water in its first match of the Women's World Cup in France. Alex Morgan—who scored five of 13 US goals, tying a Women's World Cup record, per the Washington Post—was seen comforting a Thai player as tears fell following what CNN calls "the heaviest defeat in World Cup history." But the 29-year-old striker noted "every goal counts" in a tournament where goal differential could come into play. The US team didn't let up even after a 3-0 lead going into the second half. Celebrating each time, players went on to net another 10 goals, including four within six minutes early in the second half.
"They should show some class and humility and act like they've been there before," writes Rick Zamperin of Global News. But Morgan said it "was a really good team performance and I think it was important for us to celebrate together." "I think to be respectful to opponents is to play hard against opponents," added coach Ellis, who said it wasn't in her job description "to harness my players and rein them in because this is what they've dreamed about." She continued, "You've got to go out and play and compete, and a lot of this is about building momentum." The manager of 34th-ranked Thailand, appearing in only its second World Cup, is of the same opinion. "Everybody is following the rules" and "our opponent is trying their best," Nuengrutai Srathongvian said, per CNN. (US players allege gender discrimination.)