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Women’s World Cup: USA head coach Jill Ellis


Women’s World Cup 2019: Watch as world champions USA demolish Thailand 13-0

USA head coach Jill Ellis says she was “in tears” as her team recorded the biggest ever victory in the Fifa Women’s World Cup against Thailand.

The USA were 3-0 up at half-time but struck 10 times in the space of 40 second-half minutes, with Alex Morgan scoring five in the 13-0 win.

“It was awesome,” Ellis said.

“You want your forwards hot in a tournament and it’s a great start, especially for Morgan. Hopefully she carries it on through the finals.”

Morgan’s five goals mean she has more goals than any other team has scored at the World Cup so far – with France’s 4-0 win against South Korea in the opening game the biggest margin of victory until now.

“I was in tears watching them,” Ellis added. “It verifies who we picked. It is about building momentum and that is part of the process.

“You want the players to leave with a good feeling. If they are in a good place mentally, that is a big step.”

‘I’ve dreamed of it since I was a little girl’

While Ellis led the USA to success in the 2015 tournament, Morgan’s role was limited by her recovery from a knee injury.

However, this time around she has arrived in France as one of the most recognised American players of her generation and seeking to make up for lost time.

“I’ve dreamed of it since I was a little girl – we want that gold star,” she told BBC Sport after taking her international goals tally to 106.

“Tonight, we knew that every goal could matter in this group-stage game.

“When it comes to celebrations, this was a really good team performance and it was important for us to celebrate with each other.”

‘We have got more to do’

The nature of the USA’s emphatic start appeared to be pleasing for Ellis, who had been criticised by former goalkeeper Hope Solo in the build-up to their Group F opener.

While the prospect of Thailand, the 34th-ranked team in the world, providing a stumbling block for the favourites had appeared remote, Ellis said she had told her team to be relentless in their approach.

“This is a world championship,” she added. “Every team that’s here has been fantastic to get to get to this point.

“To be respectful against opponents is to play hard against opponents. It is a tournament where goal difference is a criterion. You have to go out and compete.

“I don’t find it my job to go and harness players and rein them in. This is what they’ve dreamt about. I respect Thailand.

“I spoke to some of their players afterwards and said keep you heads up. It’s part of the growth of the game. But we believe we have got more to do. We’re going to stay humble and go back to work.”

Alex Morgan became the second player in World Cup history to score five goals in a game, 27 years after Michelle Akers

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