The U.S. forward offered words of encouragement to her vanquished rival following Tuesday night’s World Cup opener
After the final whistle sounded on Tuesday, putting an end to a game in which the U.S. women’s national team decimated Thailand 13-0, Carli Lloyd didn’t immediately celebrate with her teammates.
Instead, she went to Thailand goalkeeper Sukanya Chor Charoenying, consoling her after a game in which she was on the wrong end of the heaviest defeat in World Cup history.
The USWNT was rampant in Reims, particularly in a 10-goal second half, as it began its World Cup in breathtaking fashion.
The team has faced criticism for its celebrations after a handful of its goals, but several players also consoled Thailand players after the game, with many of the Asian nation’s players in tears following its extremely heavy defeat.
Lloyd was one of the U.S. players to offer words of encouragement and, on Friday, she shed more light on her desire to speak with Charoenying after the final whistle in Reims.
“After the game I felt for her and wanted to go up to her and it wasn’t something where I needed the whole world to see,” Lloyd said.
But the world did see her gesture, which Lloyd said came from her natural inclination to offer support to a player who clearly needed a lift.
“Obviously I’m a player and this team is full of players who want to battle it out, who want to go full throttle, but we are human and there is a human element to it.
“You’ve got to feel for a goalkeeper letting in 13 goals, if you don’t then I don’t think you have much of a heart.”
The U.S. forward, who scored the 13th and final goal of the evening, is hopeful that her team’s vanquished rivals can turn things around in its remaining group-stage games against Sweden and Chile.
“I think that’s what the sport is all about, in the wins and losses I think character is a true component in the sport,” Lloyd said.
“It was cool, I hope they continue to put their head up, continue to fight and just keep going.”
Lloyd said she was unsure if Charoenying understood everything that she said on the pitch but in a Twitter post on Thursday, it was clear that the message came through for the goalkeeper.
“Thanks so much, Lloyd,” the goalkeeper wrote. “Your words that you told me make me strong. Keep going for this tournament and so on. Firstly, I felt disappointment in worst situation but this is the biggest experience in my life.”
Lloyd responded, saying: “All you can do is give it your best each and every day. Keep fighting and never give up!! Still 2 more games to play.”
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