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USA Win Women's World Cup in Rout

Discussion in 'Sports' started by PurpleFox, Jul 6, 2015.

  1. Carli Lloyd got the United States on the board first. Then she did it again. And again.

    Lloyd scored a first-half hat trick, and Lauren Holiday and Tobin Heath each scored goals as the United States defeated Japan 5-2 in Vancouver, British Columbia, to earn the 2015 Women's World Cup. The win breaks a tie with Germany for the most World Cups in history (three) and is the United States' first since 1999.

    After suffering a heartbreaking loss to Japan as a heavy favorite four years ago, the United States came out red hot to ensure there would be no repeat. It scored four goals in the first 16 minutes, highlighted by a trio from Lloyd, whose six goals overall tied for the Please or Register to view linkswith Germany's Celia Sasic.

    The veteran forward scored a pair in the first five minutes, running into the box on a beautiful set piece in the second minute and sitting in the right place at the right time on a rebound three minutes later. Holiday was at the lucky end of another ricochet in the 14th minute, as a header from a Japanese defender set her up perfectly for a wide-open look.

    Still, nothing could compare to the goal Lloyd pulled off to clinch the fastest hat trick in World Cup history.

    Taking the ball up the field without much of a prayer at mounting an attack, Lloyd launched a shot just past the halfway line that soared over the outstretched arms of Japanese goaltender Ayumi Kaihori, making it 4-0.

    While it appeared early the United States would run away with the match without incident, Japan did not give up. After Lloyd's third goal, the Japanese defense tightened up, and the two sides largely played an even match the rest of the way.

    Yuki Ogimi got Japan on the board in the 27th minute, ending the United States' shutout streak at 539 minutes. Only the 2007 Germans, who held opposing teams without a goal for 540 minutes, have had a longer scoreless stretch in World Cup history, per Please or Register to view links.

    For a short period in the second half, a Japanese comeback even started looking possible. Julie Johnston deflected a free kick past goalkeeper Hope Solo for an own goal in the 52nd minute, drawing Japan within two. The U.S. defender, who had been so solid for the first five matches, struggled with her form in the semis and finals.

    Luckily, the United States attack was there to atone for Johnston's mistake. Morgan Brian sent a dart of a pass to Heath, who kicked a shot into the net from the middle of the Japanese box. While only two United States goals came via an assist, the American attack found the aggressive form it was lacking for much of the early tournament.

    With the score 5-2, the final half hour of the match was merely about the U.S. salting away the victory and getting nice moments for its veterans.

    Wambach, the 35-year-old legend who willingly accepted a lesser role for this run, came in for Heath in the 79th minute. The captain came out to a roaring ovation from the BC Place crowd, which was decidedly pro-American throughout the match. As noted by Please or Register to view links, the appearance gave her 25 on the World Cup stage, second all-time behind Kristine Lilly.

    "I have had the best life, and it's all, in total, because of the friendships I've made," Please or Register to view links in an extended farewell that aired before the match. "I've literally grown up on this team. The good, the bad and the ugly, my teammates have helped me through it all. The biggest thing I need to express is my gratitude, to be able to have played for so long, to share the field with extraordinary women."

    While Wambach wasn't involved in any goalscoring, her goodbye helped check off the last remaining box in her playing career: World Cup champion. After a decade-and-a-half filled with close calls, countless triumphs in other international competitions and even some controversy, Wambach watched as the next generation carried the U.S. to its first World Cup since the Clinton era.

    If Sunday was any indication, the future of U.S. soccer is in great hands.
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