Lloyd-inspired USA crowned in style

Lloyd-inspired USA crowned in style
Getty Image

Getty Image

USA ended their 16-year FIFA Women’s World Cup™ drought in the most emphatic manner imaginable with a Carli Lloyd hat-trick lifting the Stars and Stripes past holders Japan for their third title.

A scarcely believable four-goal salvo inside the opening 16 minutes meant there was only ever going to be one winner to the joy of the largely pro-USA 53,341 crowd in Vancouver.

USA were quickest to the ball from the opening whistle and immediately reaped greater rewards than they could ever have imagined. A low driven Megan Rapinoe corner from the right deceived a flat-footed Japan defence and Lloyd finished first time from near the penalty spot to put a perfect flourish to a training ground move.

Barely 150 seconds had passed on the stadium clock but, incredibly it was about to get even better for the Stars and Stripes. A low free-kick from Lauren Holiday evaded a swathe of players before the ball found its way, almost magnetically, to Lloyd who applied the finishing touch from close range. USA were 2-0 up inside five minutes and Lloyd had nabbed the two fastest goals in Women’s World Cup Final history.

Japan were looking uncharacteristically shaky at the back and when central defender Azusa Iwashimizu failed to deal with a Tobin Heath delivery, Holiday latched onto the loose ball to volley home. Only fourteen minutes had elapsed but USA already had one hand on the trophy.

Article:Madoda Ntuli

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