England vs USA: Alex Morgan explains controversial ‘tea-drinking’ celebration

US match-winner responds to everything 'thrown at' team

Mark Critchley
Lyon
Wednesday 03 July 2019 07:58
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England and USA fans prepare for semi-final

Alex Morgan said her ‘tea-drinking’ celebration was a response to everything “thrown at” the United States during the Women’s World Cup.

Morgan’s first-half header made the difference in Lyon, as reigning world champions beat England 2-1 to progress to Sunday’s final.

The 30-year-old was criticised in some quarters for poking fun at England, with international Lianne Sanderson describing it as “distasteful”.

But Morgan said the ‘tea-drinking’ was her way of answering the US’s critics, who have accused Jill Ellis’ players of arrogance.

“I wanted to keep it interesting,” she said. “I know Megan Rapinoe has the best celebration. I had to try and step up this game.

“I feel like this team has had so much thrown at them and us. I feel like we didn’t take an easy route through this tournament and ‘that’s the tea’.”

The US were caught in the middle of controversy from their very first game, when they celebrated every goal in a record 13-0 victory over Thailand.

Rapinoe, Morgan’s team-mate, was targeted by President Donald Trump last week after it emerged she would not accept a post-tournament invitation to the White House.

And then before Tuesday’s semi-final, Phil Neville questioned the US’s “etiquette”, having found two of their officials visiting private rooms at England’s team hotel.

Morgan could only praise England after the final whistle, having seen their captain Steph Houghton miss a late penalty to force extra time.

“I felt like England had a great game,” Morgan said. “They were unlucky. It came up huge for us with the penalty save.”

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