"As a goalkeeper, to let in that many goals, you probably feel absolutely awful" 11 months ago

"As a goalkeeper, to let in that many goals, you probably feel absolutely awful"

For 12 minutes, it was all going according to plan.

Reims played witness to the most brutal beating in Women's World Cup history, as the USA pummelled a hopeless Thailand team 13-0.

Germany held the previous record for the tournament - winning 11-0 back in 2007 - and a run at it did not look on at half-time. The US were 3-0 up, with goals coming from Alex Morgan, Lindsey Horan and Rose Lavelle, but eight goals (nine to break the record) in 45 minutes seemed scarcely possible.

It was 3-0 up until the 50th minute, and then the wheels fell off.

Morgan, Lavelle and Sam Mewis (twice) all scored in the space of six minutes. 7-0 with 34 minutes to go. The hunt was on.

Thailand held out the Americans for 14 whole minutes after that before Morgan got her hat-trick. There was still time for five more goals in the final 15 minutes, plus some rigidly observed injury time. The Thai players were utterly dejected and some of the final goals scored on the night were atrocious.

American sport does not often champion the side that keeps the foot on their opponents' neck when they are already winning by a fair distance.

Part of you wanted the US team to see out the game by keeping possession and giving subs a run out, in the closing stages. At 9-0, one might have expected the throttle (or the throttling) to be eased.

Another part of you reminded yourself that this is football. This is a World Cup. These US players are the reigning champions and bred to be winners; to be ruthless.

There was a mix of horror and respect each time the Thai defence was overrun and the ball zoomed past the hapless Chor Charoenying in goal.

At the end of the match, with Thailand seared into the record books as the biggest losers in tournament history, the Americans flicked the switch back.

All of a sudden, the women that had pushed and harried - and elaborately celebrated goals with subs and coaches moshing in along the sideline - were now reaching out their hands and offering consoling hugs, and words.

As Aled Morgan and Megan Rapinoe sought out their crestfallen defenders, Carli Lloyd went to speak to Chor Charoenying. She later told The New York Times what she had said to the goalkeeper:

"As a goalkeeper, to let in that many goals, you probably feel absolutely awful.

"But I just told her that she had a phenomenal game and she came up with some great saves, and just to hold her head high and for her and the team to keep fighting. I just wanted to make sure she knew that."

On no level could it be considered that the Thai goalkeeper had 'a phenomenal game'. She made some decent saves and was helpless to stop some of the USA's better shots on goal. Still, she was at fault for at least four of the baker's dozen that rippled her net.

Over on RTE, commentator Lisa Fallon said, after one of the goals, that the goalkeeper could not be blamed for the result. The truth is that Chor Charoenying and the 13 other Thailand players that saw game time should all take a chunk of the blame.

It needs to be noted that the US team is full of full professional players while many in the Thai squad line out for university or state sides. There is some financial renumeration but nowhere close to the machine operated by the USA.

Thailand are not the only side facing up to the American behemoth. As by NY Times, ahead of the tournament, for the hardest part of being a female footballer, Argentina forward María Belén Potassa said, 'Being an amateur'.

The gulf in class between the top 10 or 12 sides and the rest was discussed by Ireland international Stephanie Roche on the latest episode of PlayXPlay [from 8:00 below].

Roche, who is working as an RTE analyst for the tournament, commented:

"My main thing would be, the latter stages of the World Cup is where you're going to see the real quality in the games. The group stages, you're going to have a little bit of a gulf in class.

"Particularly if you look at the USA's group. They've got Thailand and Chile in their group and, if you look at their teams, they're so far behind the USA in terms of resources and the money they've had pumped into them over the last few years."

"In the latter stages of the tournament," Roche added, "you're going to see the better games and, hopefully, the USAs, France, Germany, England, The Netherlands. They're the countries with really good, talented players who play good football.

"All I can say is don't judge it too soon into the tournament. Give it time, see the best teams playing [each other] and then maybe you can give your opinion."