Sunday, July 5, 2015
VANCOUVER – The U.S. Women’s National Team earned its third FIFA Women’s World Cup crown and first since the 1999 championship, defeating Japan 5-2 during Sunday’s final at BC Place.
W-League alum Carli Lloyd was the hero with a first-half hat trick as the USA stormed out to a 4-0 lead in the opening half. Also adding goals for the USA were former Pali Blues midfielder Lauren Holiday and former New Jersey Wildcats and Pali Blues midfielder Tobin Heath.
Japan, the defending FIFA Women’s World Cup champion, fell behind for the first time in the tournament on Sunday as the U.S. had a dream start.
Lloyd scored a pair of goals in the third and fifth minutes, both off of set pieces. Holiday followed with a 14th-minute volley to push the lead to 3-0. Lloyd followed shortly after with her third goal in the 16th minute, an impressive strike from the halfway line as she caught Japan’s goalkeeper off of her line.
Japan did get one back midway through the first half and then cut the U.S. lead to 4-2 on a Julie Johnston own goal in the 52nd minute. However, Heath quickly gave the USA plenty of breathing room with a 54th-minute tally, and the U.S. maintained the three-goal cushion the rest of the way.
Former Seattle Sounders Women goalkeeper Hope Solo earned the World Cup Golden Glove award as the tournament’s top goalkeeper and Lloyd earned the Golden Ball, given to the tournament’s most valuable player.
The U.S. previously won the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991 and 1999.