Getty Images https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/e7/56/uswnt-celebrate-2019_oipy43l6bo711i112kqgs6t3f.jpg?t=1211391787&w=500&quality=80 Not all celebrations are excessive. Some are just celebrations, even if it’s for a goal total that may seem excessive.This point appears to be getting lost in the oftentimes breathless debate surrounding the U.S. women’s national team’s historical beatdown of Thailand on Tuesday evening in Reims. Before moving forward, as the USWNT surely has already, it’s worth considering exactly what the team was celebrating on Tuesday night.First, as mentioned, goal differential is a factor in the group stage, meaning every goal the U.S. scored on Tuesday got them one step closer to their mission of topping Group F. Even though three points were assured early in the game, each goal did accomplish something in its own right. Sweden, the USWNT’s primary competition for top spot in the group, could very well tally up a similar scoreline against Thailand. More importantly though, this is a World Cup . Every player dreams of reaching this stage, and scoring at the highest level with the eyes of the world watching is the culmination of decades of hard work, dedication and sacrifice.That is worthy of some celebration, whether it’s the first or 13th goal of the game.About those reactions, though. From some of the commentary out there, one may think that it was all backflips, coordinated dance routines and conga lines. In reality, most of the USWNT’s celebrations were pretty routine.Watch the replays again. On nearly every goal the player who scored does a routine arm-raise or fist-pump – and sometimes not even that much – before sinking into the typical group hug that envelops most goal-scorers.Alex Morgan was criticized for her celebration where she counted off all her goals on her fingers. But it was hardly an ostentatious display and, let’s not forget, she scored five goals in a World Cup game. Robert Cianflone https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/1f/59/alex-morgan-megan-rapinoe-uswnt-womens-world-cup-2019_rt20v48gz9fn1uc1tidb51283.jpg?t=1227902771&w=500&quality=80 Admittedly, Rapinoe’s wild histrionics after scoring the team’s ninth of the night did cross a line. If there was one unnecessary display on the evening it was the veteran who, playing in her third World Cup, probably could have dialed it back several notches.If the outside commentary is getting to the USWNT players, you wouldn’t know it from what Sam Mewis – scorer of two goals on Tuesday – said on Thursday. Yes, the scoreline was stark in the World Cup opener for both teams: 13-0, a record margin of victory for any World Cup, men’s or women’s.The total is ugly, but the debate surrounding that scoreline has become even uglier.MORE: USWNT great Abby Wambach defends celebrations vs. ThailandsThankfully, that discourse at least seems to have moved past a discussion over whether the U.S. should have kept scoring at all. The strategic importance of accruing as many goals as possible, with goal differential the first tiebreaker in the group stage, has been well established.Besides, as U.S. forward Megan Rapinoe said after the game, the alternative to continuing to attack isn’t much better.“You don’t want to really take your foot off [the pedal] like that,” Rapinoe said, “you don’t want to pass the ball around in your own half for 30 minutes.”But the way the U.S. reacted as the goals piled up has come under heavy scrutiny.Perhaps no criticism was more widely shared than that of one current and two former Canadian national team players, who used words like “disgraceful” and “classless” to describe the USWNT’s on-field displays.In further evidence as to how toxic this debate has become, one of those pundits, Kaylyn Kyle, said she has received death threats over her comments. “I don’t really think we as a team are super involved in watching and reading a lot of media about ourselves, to be honest,” Mewis said.“We had heard there were some things going on and I think we’re really trying to focus on the next game and on Chile. We respect Thailand a lot and I think that we’re just looking at the next game now.”The USWNT appears to have already moved past Tuesday’s game. It’s probably time for the rest of the world to do the same.
“It is tough when you have to play back to back games and that is why you have to rotate players and give everyone rest. We have a huge squad and it is ready to work. As a team we have been improving day by day and this win is a motivation for us to keep working,” the tactician stated.After their game on Sunday against Zamalek, Gor will travel to Kakamega to take on Vihiga United on Wednesday before returning to shift their focus on arch rivals AFC Leopards on Saturday.After the weekend Mashemeji Derby, Gor will re-focus back to their Continental campaign when they travel to Luanda, Angola to take on Petro Atletico next Wednesday.The Cypriot tactician though says his squad will be able to deal with the tough run.Gor Mahia striker Dennis Oliech goes past Zamalek’s Naguez Hamdi during their CAF Confederations Cup game at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on February 3, 2019. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaAgainst Zamalek, Oktay left out the defensive pair of Harun Shakava and Joash Onyango despite them being available again after suspension and he opted to stick with Joachim Oluoch and Charles Momanyi.Shakava and Onyango are however expected to slot back into the team on Wednesday when they take on Vihiga.Gor soaked in the healthy win against Zamalek, one that ensured they start their campaign on a high and a dream of playing in the knockout phases for the first time ever remaining alive.With the victory, Gor went top of Group D with three points, same as Algeria’s NA Hussein Dey who won 2-1 at home against Petro Atletico.“We did everything perfect. It should have been five or six but to be fair to the team, three points are good enough for a start no matter what. This week we were feeling a lot of pressure but the victory has helped us to calm down,” Oktay noted.Zamalek’s head coach Christian Gross during the CAF Confederations Cup game against Gor Mahia at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on February 3, 2019. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaHe added; “We did some good homework on Zamalek. I watched their game against Pyramid and two others and we knew the way they play and we did in training what we wanted to do against them. Tactically we were very organized and I am happy with how we played.”Meanwhile, Zamalek tactician Christian Gross said Gor deserved victory from the fixture, saying his team gave out poor goals but is not worried they might not make it to the quarters.“It was an absolutely wrong way to start the group stages but that’s not the end of it. We still have a chance in five games. We had an advantage (against Gor) when we scored an early goal but we conceded due to poor defending,” the tactician stated.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Gor Mahia head coach Hassan Oktay gestures on the touchline during their CAF Confederations Cup game against Egypt’s Zamalek at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on February 3, 2019. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaNAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 4 – Gor Mahia boss Hassan Oktay says his side will handle the heat that comes with a tough glut of fixtures staring at them over the next month with their involvement in the CAF Confederations Cup.The tactician believes he has enough depth in his squad to deal with the tough run and Sunday evening’s 4-2 win over Egyptian giants Zamalek in their CAF Confederations Cup assignment will act as a huge motivator in the next coming days.