July 5, 2015

USA win the 2015 Women's World Cup!

US Women's National Soccer Team Defeats Japan, 5-2, to Win 2015 Women's World Cup Final
Carli Lloyd scored a hat trick, and Lauren Holiday and Tobin Heath added goals to help the U.S. win its third title. Yuki Ogimi scored for Japan, and the U.S.'s Julie Johnston had an own goal.
In a remarkable contest, the U.S. defeated Japan, 5-2, to win its first World Cup since 1999. It was sweet revenge for the USWNT, which lost Japan in the 2011 final on penalty kicks, and Abby Wambach was able to cap her career with the one major title that had eluded her.
Carli Lloyd notched a hat trick just 16 minutes into the game, and her final goal — an eye-popping strike from midfield — actually gave the U.S. a 4-0 lead, because Lauren Holiday had added her own tally in the 14th minute. Japan fight back and made the score 4-2 shortly into the second half, but Tobin Heath iced things with a goal in the 54th minute, giving U.S. Coach Jill Ellis plenty of time to think about who to send into the game, and when, in order to properly savor the victory.
Final match statistics from FIFA had Japan with an edge in possession percentage, 52-48, plus free kicks, 15-12, but there was no doubt which was the better side. The U.S. jumped all over the defending champs, winding up with advantages in shots (15-12), on-target shots (7-4) and corners (7-3).
The U.S. became the first team to win three women’s World Cups. Hope Solo won the tournament’s Golden Glove award for her stellar goalkeeping efforts, and Carli Lloyd won the Golden Ball after tying Germany’s Celia Sacic for the overall lead in goals at six, with all six coming in the knockout rounds, three in the final. Lloyd became the first American to win the Golden Ball since Carin Jennings in 1991, the inaugural year of the tournament.