Carli Lloyd’s first-half hat-trick, together with another goal from Lauren Holiday effectively ended this game after just 16 minutes and helped the USA win their first Women’s World Cup in 16 years and sealing their third win in the Finals.
The 53,341 strong crowd in Vancouver were strongly on the US’s side and they were delighted when within three minutes their team was in the lead. A Rapinoe corner was driven in low from the right, bypassing the Japanese defense and hammered into the net from near the spot by Lloyd.
Three minutes later she was on the scoreboard again when a free-kick from Holiday found its way through to, you guessed it, Lloyd who again finished the move with a goal from close range. With this second, Lloyd set a new record for the two fastest goals in the Women’s World Cup Final.
Japan were in disarray at this point and the US took full advantage in the 14th minute. Tobin Heath delivered a good ball in past the shaky defense and Holiday volleyed it into the net.
It took only two minutes for Lloyd to complete her hat-trick in style. Getting the ball in her own half she lobbed it over Japan’s goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori from the halfway line. Though she back-pedaled desperately, all she could manage was to get finger tips to the ball, deflecting it onto the post and the back of the net, much to the delight of the watching fans.
While Yuki Ogimi did get one back for the reigning Champions in the 27th minute and Johnston scored an own-goal in the 52nd, Heath’s close range goal in the 54th maintained a three-point margin and USA held off the Japanese to secure a famous victory.