Roundup: Powerhouses U.S., Sweden off to FIFA Women's World Cup with wins

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REIMS, France, June 11 (Xinhua) -- The title-holding Americans and former runners-up Sweden began their World Cup campaign with victories as the first round matches of group stage completed in France on Tuesday.

Alex Morgan scored five to help the United States destroy Thailand 13-0 in Reims to kick off their defending campaign strongly.

It's the biggest scoreline in the quadrennial event's history and Morgan leveled the record held by Michelle Akers who had been the only one scoring five in a World Cup match before tonight's U.S.-Thailand game.

The Orlando Pride forward, who turns 30 years old in less than a month, broke the deadlock with a 12-minute header, just six minutes after an earlier effort was ruled offside.

Her other goals all came in the second half, respectively on 53, 74, 81 and 87 minutes. And Samantha Mewis and Rose Lavelle each had a brace.

"I'm feeling in peak form right now," said the former Lyon player at the post-match press conference.

Substituted Carli Lloyd, 36 years and 330 days old, sealed the victory in the second minute into the stoppage time, coming out the oldest goal scorer at the grand competitions, while Mewis' 50-minute score was the 800th goal in the quadrennial event's history

Lindsey Horan, Megan Rapinoe, Mallory Pugh and Lloyd also added their names on the score board.

Thailand's best chance came in the 28th minute when Rattikan Thongsombut took a long-range shot to force Alyssa Naeher to make her first save, out of two throughout the game.

"We accept the score today. We haven't done enough. They are very strong and they are excellent all-round," Thai coach Neungrutai Srathongvian said.

His counterpart of the United States, Jill Ellis responded: "Every team that is here has been fantastic to get to this point. To be respectful to opponents is to play hard against them."

In the other Group F fixture carrying out earlier on Tuesday evening, Sweden scored two late goals to beat Chile 2-0 after a violent storm held their match in Rennes for around 40 minutes.

Kosovare Asllani fired home in the 83rd minute to give Sweden the lead after the Swedes' 19 previous shots went in vain.

Madelen Janogy came off the bench to score the second one four minutes into the stoppage.

The Americans now lead the Group F standings on huge advantage of goal differential, beating Sweden to the second place followed by Chile and Thailand.

Also on Tuesday, the Netherlands opened their Group E campaign with a 1-0 victory over New Zealand in French coast city Le Havre, where Jill Roord headed in the winner in stoppage time.

The Netherlands dominated the game with 69 percent possession and managed 17 attempts, yet their goal came before the match ended up with a goalless draw as Roord came from the bench to steer her header into the net from a close range following a sustained period of attacks.

It is dramatic that three of the Netherlands' four Women's World Cup goals have been scored after the 87th minute, and all three have come from substitutes.

After two Group E matches and just two goals scored all together, the Netherlands sit joint-top with Canada in the group.

The Netherlands are set to meet Cameroon in second round on June 15 while New Zealand take on Canada. Enditem

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