PARIS -- While debate continues elsewhere as to the sportsmanship of the United States beating Thailand 13-0 in the Women's World Cup, two of the players directly involved found common ground in the aftermath of the experience.
On Thursday, Thai goalkeeper Sukanya Chor Charoenying tweeted her appreciation to Carli Lloyd for the U.S. captain's words of encouragement in a conversation immediately after the final whistle. In her tweet, Chor Charoenying said "Your words that you told me make me strong."
And Friday, Lloyd expanded on her perspective of the encounter.
"Obviously, I'm a player, and this team is full of players who want to battle it out, want to go full throttle," Lloyd said. "But we are human, and there is a human element to it. And you've got to feel for a goalkeeper letting in 13 goals. If you don't, I don't think you have much of a heart. So after the game I felt for her and wanted to go up to her. It wasn't something where I needed the whole world to see."
Lloyd scored the final goal in the record-breaking rout in second-half stoppage time after she entered the game as a substitute. That extended a streak of five consecutive World Cup games with a goal for a player who was named the outstanding player of the 2015 tournament. But seconds after the whistle in Reims, Lloyd made her way toward Chor Charoenying before celebrating with her own team.
"I didn't know if she really understood what I said, didn't know if she understood English," Lloyd said. "But it was really cool, and I think that's what the sport is all about. Wins and losses, I think character is a true testament to the sport. It was cool and I just hope they continue to put their head up, continue to fight and just continue to keep going."
Also speaking Friday, U.S. forward Mallory Pugh joined a chorus of American players who have said they aren't paying attention to any controversy about the score or their celebrations, but she also defended the right to celebrate in a World Cup game.
"We've put in that work, so yeah, I think we need to celebrate because we've worked so hard for that," Pugh said. "We're at the biggest stage of our lives. If you score a goal in the World Cup, and for most of us that was our first game and our first goal, it's kind of just the emotion that overtakes you."
The U.S. faces Chile in Paris on Sunday, while Thailand plays its second game of the tournament the same day against Sweden in Nice.