Carli Lloyd leads USWNT to Shock Japan With Four Goals In Sixteen Minutes, Win World Cup
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. Japan fought back and made the score 4-2 shortly into the second half,. Tobin Heath iced things with a goal in the 54th minute.
In one of the most dominating cup final performances you will ever see, the United States came out and absolutely annihilated Japan in the Women’s World Cup final. This is their record third World Cup title, and no one can say that they don’t deserve it after a performance like that.
The USWNT pressed relentlessly from the first whistle, scoring on their first two shots of the match, with Carli Lloyd coming up big in the third and sixth minutes. It was a stunning start and one that no one saw coming headed into this match. Most pundits felt that the U.S. would win, but that it would be a more tightly fought, much like when these two played in the 2011 final and Japan came out the victors on penalties.
That wasn’t going to be the case this year. The U.S. women were nowhere near done with those two goals. Lauren Holiday scored the United States’ third goal in the 14th minute, and just two minutes later Lloyd finished her hat trick with a stunning strike from 54 yards out. The utter and complete dominance of Japan was jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring, and before even 20 minutes had gone by the defending World Cup champions were left wondering what they could possibly do to get back into the match.
The USWNT decided that a mere two-goal lead wouldn’t do, and just two minutes later, Tobin Heath knocked in an incredible fifth goal for the U.S. by working the ball in off a set piece. Any hope Japan had of mounting a serious comeback all but died with that goal, though Japan kept on fighting and had several more dangerous attacks down the stretch of the second half.
In the end, Japan’s fight came up short despite their admirable quality. By the time USWNT legend Abby Wambach came on for a victory shift in the 78th minuted of her final World Cup, the match was all but over.
This was one of the most dominant performances you will ever see in this sport, and the fact that it came in a World Cup final makes it all the more impressive. The United States now have a third Women’s World Cup title — more than any other country in the history of the tournament — and became the highest-scoring team in the tournament’s history along the way, with 112 goals across all seven editions of the competition.
So congratulations, United States women’s national team. You’ve made history in so many ways with this match. These celebrations are so well earned and so well deserved. You are the World Cup champions once more.