Why it's OK that the U.S. women ran up the score in 13-0 World Cup win against Thailand

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SportsPulse: If you’re complaining about the USWNT’s dominance and exuberance in their historic beatdown of Thailand, then the World Cup isn’t for you.
USA TODAY

The U.S. women’s soccer team routed Thailand 13-0 in Tuesday’s World Cup opener, and while the highlight reels were aplenty, so was the backlash arguing that the Americans throttling of a lesser opponent — and celebrations after each goal — was either unnecessary or unsportsmanlike. 

Here’s a look at why it was OK to run up the score:

Goal differential matters

From a practical standpoint, scoring differential matters. In the World Cup, the top two teams from each group advance, and scoring differential could be the determining factor between seeding and, ultimately, advancing past the group stage as its used as a tiebreaker.

Striker Alex Morgan, who had a World Cup record five goals in the win Tuesday, said afterward that “we knew that every goal could matter in this group stage game.” 

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