June 11 (UPI) — Soccer star Alex Morgan scored the United States Women’s National Team’s first goal of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup just 12 minutes into a group stage match against Thailand Tuesday in Reims, France.
Morgan appeared to have scored an earlier goal in the Group F matchup, but the score was taken off of the board after she was ruled offside in the 6th minute.
She drew first blood for the top team in the world six minutes later. The U.S. team’s defense stole the ball from Thailand at the start of the scoring sequence. Striker Megan Rapinoe took control on the left flank. Rapinoe beat a defender with a dribble and hesitation move, before attempting to send the ball into the box. Her cross was blocked, but the defected attempt rolled through the middle of the box.
U.S. team right back Kelley O’Hara took control of the loose ball and dribbled through the right side of the box. O’Hara then chipped a beautiful cross toward the far post. Morgan slipped inside and casually headed the feed into the left side of the net for a 1-0 lead.
The U.S. team piled on after the initial tally. Morgan assisted the second tally eight minutes later. Morgan chested down a feed about 35 yards from the net at the start of that sequence. She did a quick turn before slipped a pass to Rose Lavelle.
Lavelle then ripped a scorching 25-yard shot into the near-post netting, beating Thailand keeper Sukanya Chor Charoenying for a second time.
Lindsey Horan added the U.S. team’s third tally in the 32nd minute. The center midfielder was in the right place at the right time during that score. Winger Tobin Heath sent a free kick into the box, which bounced around and off of Sam Mewis. Horan found the loose ball and blasted in a point-blank shot to give the U.S. team a 3-0 halftime lead.
The U.S. team returns for the second round of the group stage with a game against Chile at noon Sunday in Paris.