HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The U.S. national team came out of the gates firing on all cylinders in their opening game of the 2019 Women’s World Cup against Thailand with a record-breaking 13-0 scoreline.
Despite the impressive victory, there has been some criticism targeted at the team for running up the score and not displaying proper sportsmanship by continuing to press Thailand over the course of 90 minutes.
In an exhibition match outside of a competitive tournament like the World Cup, those opinions would have some validation and credibility behind it. After all, a friendly exhibition shouldn’t be about scoring as many goals in a game as possible.
But on the sport’s biggest stage, there is no such thing as an exhibition match - whether it be in the men’s or the women’s game. And USWNT head coach Jill Ellis doesn’t want to hear about going easy on the opposition.
Today during her postgame press conference, Ellis was asked about the 13-0 score and stated simply, “Part of me is sitting here wondering, if this is 10-0 in a men’s World Cup, are we getting the same questions?”
Just this morning, the men’s German national side took down Estonia 8-0 in a Euro 2020 qualifying match. Germany outplayed, outhustled and outscored the Estonian side and did not let up, scoring three of their eight goals over the last 28 minutes of the match despite leading 5-0 going into the half.
And yet, no criticisms have been voiced concerning the scoreboard in that match.
Are teams supposed to stop scoring just because the other team can’t stop them from doing so? That final score should be more of an indication that Thailand is not ready to compete at this stage, not that the Americans should hold back.
In a period of time where the women’s national side is fighting for the same pay as the men’s national team despite having much more success than the men, there is no reason for the women’s national side to slow down and stop scoring.
If today’s scoreline wasn’t what it was, how many people would have paid attention to the match, let alone still be talking about it?
Not only are the Americans looking to win a World Cup, they’re looking to win over the favor and respect of an entire country.