The USA womens team set a record World Cup scoreline as they annihilated Thailand 13-0 in their opening game in Reims, but amid the praise for their performance the team also faced criticism for their celebrations.
Striker Alex Morgan bagged five goals as the USA scored an incredible 10 times in the second half at the Stade Auguste-Delaune to record the biggest-ever winning margin at a FIFA World Cup, mens or womens.
But as the plaudits poured in for a stellar display from the defending champions, some observers took issue with the US players continuing to celebrate exuberantly as they racked up double figures against the hapless Thais.
Former Canadian international Clare Rustad branded the continued celebrations as “completely unnecessary” and said they showed a lack of “grace” toward their opponents.
"I just think they could have won with some humility and grace, and they just couldnt manage to do that," Rustad said on TSN.
"Celebrating goals later in the game like this is just completely unnecessary. What is this?"
Striker Morgan was seen counting her goal tally on her fingers while the US players continued to mass in a joyous huddle even when the scoreline went beyond 10-0.
Fellow former Canada international Kaylyn Kyle, who won more than 100 caps for her country, slammed the scenes as “disgusting.”
“Theyre the No.1 team in the world and for me, Im disgusted, honestly.
"Youre going up against a team thats first time in the World Cup, theyre just happy to be there. Celebrate, I get it, like a Mallory Pugh [who scored on her World Cup debut].
“But these people counting their goals, this … Im embarrassed. I was a female professional athlete; theres kids watching this and to be celebrating when its eight, nine, 10.
"I said in the pre-game, yes, you want to score a lot of goals, yes, you want to make your mark because of the goal difference. But theres a way to do it, and that is not the way for me."
Those views gained some backing online, as others called out the US team for failing to dial down their celebrations despite the opposition being long beaten.
— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) June 11, 2019
The US players were unrepentant, however, with five-goal star Morgan saying: "With the scoreline tonight, we have to look at the group stage as every goal counts.
"It was important for us to continue to go. We knew every goal could matter."
US legend Abby Wambach also backed the team, tweeting that “for some players this is there [sic] first World Cup goal, and they should be excited.
“Imagine it being you out there. This is your dream of playing and then scoring in a World Cup. Celebrate. Would you tell a mens team to not score or celebrate?”
For all that have issue with many goals: for some players this is there first World Cup goal, and they should be excited. Imagine it being you out there.This is your dream of playing and then scoring in a World Cup. Celebrate.Would you tell a mens team to not score or celebrate?