Heather O’Reilly scored one final goal in her U.S. Women’s National team send-off, but it was Carli Lloyd that truly stole the show on Thursday night.
Lloyd provided a hat-trick while adding four more assists, leading the way as the USWNT crushed Thailand, 9-0, in Columbus. The match was the 231st and last cap for O’Reilly, who announced that Thursday’s match would be her last as she retires from the international game.
It took just one minute for O’Reilly and Lloyd to link up, as the former provided the latter for a goal within the first minute. A goal from Christen Press three minutes later proved a sign of things to come, as O’Reilly fired her goal in the fifth minute to put the USWNT up 3-0 early via a pair of Lloyd assists.
Tobin Heath pushed the lead to four in the 36th minute, where it remained until several minutes after halftime. Lloyd kickstarted the USWNT’s goalscoring again in the 60th minute with the team’s fifth before substitute Crystal Dunn added a 70th minute finish to push the lead to six. Lloyd fired her third and final goal in the 81st minute before Alex Morgan bagged a late brace to seal an emphatic 9-0 win over an overmatched opponent.
While the USWNT was dominant on the field, much of the pre-match talk centered on Megan Rapinoe, who once again opted to kneel during the national anthem as part of an ongoing protest. After starting the game on the bench, Rapinoe entered as a 46th minute substitute and played the entire second half.
Following the win, the U.S. returns to action Sunday for a clash with the Netherlands at the Georgia Dome.