Why the World Cup format encourages teams like Team USA to score as many goals as possible, even in a blowout

The United States Women’s National Team defeated Thailand, 13-0, in a dominant opening match to their 2019 Women’s World Cup campaign. Some criticized the USWNT for running up the score on their opponents, arguing that the 13-0 scoreline was an indicator of poor sportsmanship on the Americans part. The 13 goals from the Americans may have been justified by the format of the World Cup that emphasizes goal differential during the group stage. Had the USWNT eased up, it’s possible they would have put themselves in a worse position to defend their title. Follow all of our Women’s World

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