The Women’s World Cup trophy is back where it belongs, in the United States. The United States also became the only country to win three Women’s World Cup championships. The U.S. women’s team dominated from start to finish. The U.S. defeated Japan 5-2. The five goals by the U.S. was also the most scored ever in a World Cup Final. The seven total goals scored are the most goals in Women’s World Cup history for a championship game.
Within the first three minutes, the U.S. had already scored off of a corner kick from Megan Rapinoe that Carli Lloyd buried into the back of the net. She cut right into the gap of the Japanese defense and made them pay. Carli Lloyd scored again in the 5th minute off of a low cross. Lauren Holiday took the free kick and sent it near the low post. Julie Johnston flicked the ball across the goal and Carli Lloyd was there to finish. The U.S. scored again in the 14th minute when Lauren Holiday took advantage of a poor clearance by Ayumi Kaihori in the box and buried the ball into the net from 10 yards away.
The U.S. didn’t stop there. They kept pressing Japan and wouldn’t let up. Carli Lloyd scored again in the 16th minute. She dribbled up the halfway line, fired a beautiful 54 yard shot that deflected off the arm of Japanese goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori and into the net. With that goal, Carli Lloyd became the only player is World Cup history (both men and women) to score a hat trick in a World Cup final.
Despite being down 4-0, Japan didn’t give up. They scored one goal to end the half when Julie Johnston slipped and Yuki Ogimi kicked it in from the penalty spot. The goal ended the U.S.’ shutout streak at 539 minutes. The other goal scored by Japan was an own goal in the 52nd minute when the ball went off of Julie Johnston’s foot when she was trying to clear the ball. The ball bounced passed Hope Solo and into the net.
Two minutes after half time, the U.S. struck again. This time it was Tobin Heath scoring off of a cross from a corner kick by Morgan Brian. The ball was placed perfectly and landed at the feet of Tobin Heath who kicked it in. The goal was the U.S.’ fifth goal of the day and the seventh goal of the match. The goal also crushed Japan’s hopes of making a comeback.
After the game, Carli Lloyd was named the Golden Ball award winner as she beat out Germany’s Celia Sasic by virtue of playing more minutes, U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo won the Golden Glove award and Abby Wambach ended her World Cup career by winning a World Cup title.