“We just made history,” U.S. women’s team becomes world champions
During Sunday’s Women’s World Cup Final, the United States stunned Japan, the 2011 world champions.
The team was led by Carli Lloyd, who scored three goals in 16 minutes of play, making her the first player to perform a hat-trick in a women’s final.
Lloyd’s third goal came from half pitch and 55 yards away.
“I’m so proud and so zapped at the same time,” Lloyd said. “It doesn’t feel real. We just made history.”
While Lloyd’s goals were talked about the most, Lauren Holiday and Tobin Heath also scored, bringing the United States’ total to five goals.
Japan scored in the 27th minute, ending a streak of 540 minutes in which the United States didn’t give up a goal.
Abby Wambach, the team’s leader, spent most of the final on the bench.
She entered the game in the second half and was immediately given the captain’s armband.
“I said, ‘No, Carli,’ but she insisted,” Wambach said.
While Wambach didn’t score during the finals, she holds the world record for international goals for both female and male soccer players with 184 goals.
In fact, the top-scoring American man, Landon Donovan, would need 126 more international goals to match Wambach’s feat.
“Finally, I’m a world champion,” she said.
LLoyd was awarded the Golden Ball, signifying she was the best player at the World Cup.
She also tied for most goals in the tournament with six.
The Americans’ victory avenges their defeat in 2011 to Japan. In that match, the U.S. had a 1-0 lead, but Japan scored nine minutes from the end of regulation.
The United States had a 2-1 lead in extra time, but Japan scored three minutes from time. The Japanese ended up winning the shootout when the U.S. missed its first three attempts.