The United States Women's National Team opened their FIFA Women's World Cup title defence with a record-breaking 13-0 win over Thailand on Tuesday, but coach Jill Ellis still expects her side to improve.
The USA notched the biggest margin of victory at either the men's or the women's World Cup as they sent out a warning in France to any potential challengers.
Per Goal's James Willoughby, Ellis said:
"We're going to sit and look at some film. There's always things you can refine and polish.
"I'm not sure exactly what our next opponent [Chile] will do, but teams sit low and it invites us on top of them a lot.
"It [this win] is how you want to start a tournament. You want to have that [winning] feeling.
"It's having players feeling good about the game. It is about building momentum, getting that first game under your belt—that feeling—that's going to be the biggest takeaway for us."
Europe vs. South America—Who Would Win? We Simmed on FIFA17
Inside Transfer Deadline Day: Access All Areas at Sheffield United
FIFA Sim: Bundesliga All-Stars vs. Serie a All-Stars
Meet 'Billy the Wonder Kid': the 7-Year-Old Football Phenomenon
Juventus vs. Real Madrid: Champions League Final Goes Space Invaders
Gianluigi Buffon Is an All-Time Great: Will He Finally Win the Champions League?
Duong Ly Picks Football's Biggest Results: Who Wins the Champions League Final?
Can Real Madrid Unlock Juventus' Defense in UEFA Champions League Final?
FC Copenhagen Fans Throw Beach Toys on Pitch During Final Match of Season
Goodbye to Tottenham Hotspur's Famous Old Stadium—White Hart Lane
Blue Is the Colour—B/R Animation Celebrates Chelsea's Title
Lyngby Goalkeeper Makes Incredible Goalkeeping Blunder
We Asked Fans in Egypt: Who Is Your Champions League Legend?
Here Is What Happened When the Champions League Trophy Visited Egypt
6-Year-Old Prodigy Ariana Dos Santos Has Has Met Her Barcelona Heroes
Jamaican Fans Tell B/R Their UEFA Champions League Memories
Arsene Wenger Carries on Regardless as Arsenal Stars Cause Chaos in Background
N'golo Kante Will Win the PFA Players' Player of the Year Award
Dmytro Hrechyshkin Scores Fine Free-Kick for Vorskla—but Did He Mean It?
Despite the one-sided nature of the victory, Ellis is confident her players won't get carried away because "they understand that the mission matters most."
Per BBC Sport, Ellis added that she "was in tears watching them," and felt the performance "verifies who we picked."
She also defended her team's relentless pursuit of goals after they netted 10 times in the second half, per ProSoccerUSA's Alicia Rose DelGallo:
Alicia Rose DelGallo @OSAliciaD
"To be respectful to opponents is to play hard against opponents. It’s a tournament where goal diff. is a criteria. I don't find it my job to try to harness my players, rein them in. This is what they've dreamt about. This is it for them. This is a world championship" -Jill Ellis https://t.co/15iHBFkQSZ
Alex Morgan plundered a five-goal haul, and Ellis was pleased with her performance: "I thought she was tight and tidy in the box. I thought she pulled the trigger well and again, [produced] some world-class finishes."
Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis netted a brace apiece, while Lindsey Horan, Mallory Pugh, Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd also got in on the action.
Here's a look at the highlights (U.S. and UK only, respectively):
The USWNT's next opponents, Chile, are ranked 39th in the world by FIFA—five places lower than Thailand.
La Roja Femenina put in a much better showing than Thailand on Tuesday, though, as ninth-ranked Sweden needed two late goals to see them off.
The United States should have little trouble beating Chile, and their confidence will be sky-high after such a dominant opener.
However, there's not a great deal to be gleaned from such a one-sided match.
Thailand's defending was virtually non-existent, and the USA were so in control they were able to leave Abby Dahlkemper back as their sole defender at times while the rest of their back line pushed up in support of the attack.
Against Sweden and in the knockout phase they'll face much sterner tests. Morgan and Co. won't have nearly as much time or space on the ball as they received on Tuesday, so Ellis' work to refine their play further will help.