The United States dominated defending champion Japan 5-2 for its first Women’s World Cup title since 1999 in the highest-scoring final in the tournament’s history on Sunday.
Carli Lloyd recorded a first-half hat trick as the U.S. women scored four goals in the opening 16 minutes to put the game well out of Japan’s reach.
The last time the U.S. tasted WWC success it beat China in penalty shootout. Sunday’s final against Japan was a completely different affair.
The U.S. wasted little time avenging its final defeat to Japan — a game that also went to penalties — four years prior in Germany.
Just three minutes after kickoff, the U.S. had the pro-American crowd at the packed BC Place out of their seats.
Lloyd opened her account with a poked, left-footed effort past Japan keeper Ayumi Kaihori after racing in to connect with a Megan Rapinoe corner.
Again from a set piece, she doubled the Yanks’ delight two minutes later, guiding home a loose ball from 6 yards out after a near-post flick caused confusion in the Japan box.
Lauren Holiday capitalized off a Japan error with a sweetly-hit volley of a poorly-cleared defensive header in the Japan box in the 14th minute.
Lloyd then completed her hat trick in spectacular fashion soon after, chipping a helpless Kaihori from the midfield line.
Japan pulled a goal back in the 27th minute through a curled Yuki Ogimi shot that beat Hope Solo to the top left corner. But the damage was done, and the U.S. carried a 4-1 advantage into the break.
After the pause, Japan cut the U.S. advantage in half with help from a Julie Johnston redirected header into her own net in the 52nd minute. But Tobin Heath benefited from a poor Kaihori clearance of a corner and side-footed in to restore the halftime advantage and settle the final scoreline.
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