By Panu Wongcha-um and Panarat Thepgumpanat
BANGKOK (Reuters) – The general manager of Thailand’s women national soccer team apologized to fans on Wednesday after the record 13-0 defeat by world champions the United States in the World Cup in France.
The Group F result is the largest margin of victory in both men’s and women’s World Cup football, surpassing Germany’s 11-0 win over Argentina in 2007 and almost double the Americans own previous record of 7-0 against Taiwan in 1991.
Thailand were trailing by three goals at halftime before the U.S. netted ten goals in the second half, four of which came in a six minute interval shortly after the restart.
“We met with one of the strongest opponent in the world but I did not think we would lose this much,” said Thailand manager Nualphan Lamsam adding that she, the coaching staff, and the players “would like to apologize to all our fans… and thanks for all their support.”
“We will do our best in the next two games,” she said.
The last time the two teams met, the U.S. won 9-0.
There were a lot of excitement in Thailand before the tournament having qualified for their second World Cup in succession.
However, many fans were disappointed by the team’s capitulation with some calling for the sacking of head coach Nuengrutai Srathongvian. Others conceded that the defeat showed the country’s lack of development in the sport.
“People were so happy when we qualified but this result shows how far we really are from the world champions,” Chonticha Asavanich, a former sports news anchor and national athlete told Reuters.
“The football community here has to do more to develop the sport,” she said.
The lack of resources in Thai women’s soccer is highlighted by the absence of a domestic league forcing players in the national team to earn a living in other jobs while training.
“It is a nightmare for us but also a page in the history book to remind ourselves that we will return,” Sasom Pobprasert, a former men’s Thai footballer told Reuters.
“We have to be more serious in our football development and look at why other countries are more successful than us and adjust ourselves accordingly,” he said.
(Reporting by Panu Wongcha-um and Panarat Thepgumpanat; Editing by Christian Radnedge)