It was an exciting start to say the least for Team USA in the World Cup Final Sunday evening. So exciting in fact, Carli Lloyd had the first hat-trick in World Cup history. Lloyd came out on fire, scoring Team USA’s first goal within three minutes of the first half (2:50 to be exact). Shortly after, showing no signs of slowing down, Lloyd tucked away another goal off a corner kick. US defender Julie Johnston made a cheeky move, flicking the ball underneath her legs and throwing off Japan’s defense. Lloyd was able to redirect the ball away from keeper, Ayumi Kaihori, making the score 2-0 for USA. Minutes later, midfielder Lauren Holiday joined the spotlight as Japan made an error on the back line with a clearing header. With a one touch volley, Holiday drove the ball to the back of the net giving Kaihori no chance at saving her shot. Showing great awareness of the game around her, Lloyd scored her third and final goal by launching a monster shot from 50 yards out while Kaihori was off her goal-line.
At 3-0, all eyes were on Japan to see how they would respond to team USA’s aggressive lead.
Before the second half, Japan was able to capitalize on an opportunity, making the score 4-1. In the 52nd minute, Japan was lucky to get their second goal of the match. US Defender, Julie Johnston took flight to make a defensive play in the air and unfortunately directed the ball into the net.
Controlling the ball for the majority of the second half, USA scored their final goal in the 54th minute. Tobin Heath positioned herself in textbook position inside the six yard box, receiving a ball from midfielder Morgan Brian and finished with a one touch shot. US took the gold trophy with confidence in their 90 minute performance. It’s not everyday you see a team play with so much emphasis in a World Cup final.
“Speechless, so proud of this team…. made history today and we were a part of it” – Carli Lloyd
Carli Lloyd will be the face of women’s soccer for years to come. Girls around the world will remember her performance in this game and find influence to take the outside shots and commit to aggressive plays in front of the net. She’s a positive role model for all soccer players around the world.
“I call her my beast and she’s a beast, man” – Head Coach Jill Ellis on midfielder Carli Lloyd