USA Overpowers Japan in Women's World Cup final, wins 3rd title - WDRB 41 Louisville News

USA Overpowers Japan in Women's World Cup final, wins 3rd title

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(AP photo) (AP photo)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The U.S. Women's National Team took down Japan 5-2 in spectacular fashion to win a third World Cup title Sunday night.

After losing to Japan in the final four years ago, Carli Lloyd and company struck back hard and fast in Vancouver.

The first goal came in the third minute when Lloyd finished a corner kick to put the USA up early. It was followed shortly afterward by another from Lloyd who went on to notch the fastest hat trick in a World Cup final (in men's or women's soccer).

Lloyd struck her second goal on another set piece in the 5th minute, finishing a loose ball in the box off a free kick from the right wing. 

Japan managed to notch two well executed goals, but were never able to fully recover as the U.S. Dominated possession up and down the field, looking more comfortable than they have in a long time.

But Lloyd's most spectacular strike came from almost 50 yards out in the 16th minute as the ball grazed the tip of Japan keeper Ayumi Kaihori's outstreched hand and found its way into the back of the net.  

Abby Wambach, who was relegated from the starting squad early in the tournament, subbed on Wambach subbed on in the 79th minute against Japan with the U.S. leading in her last World Cup match. Some credited her transition to super-sub as a boost for the U.S. offense. 

The title gives the USWNT their third World Cup and the first since 1999. Though many criticized the team early in the tournament for not looking more dominant, Carli Lloyd certainly led the charge to silence any talk of not being the best team in the world.

"We just made history," Lloyd said. "I was on a mission."

Lloyd, a 32-year-old midfielder, had come up big before, scoring the winning goals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic finals.

Lloyd continued to pressure Japan's midfield and defense up and down the field winning balls and providing a true commanding presence from USA's number 10 (the directorial role in soccer). 

As the minutes ticked off into the second half, Japan moved the ball upfield with more confidence cutting the deficit to two when a cross glanced off the head of Julie Johntson and past U.S. keeper Hope Solo. 

But USA restored a three-goal lead shortly after as Tobin Heath finished a cross form Morgan Brian at close range. 

Lloyd won the Golden Ball as the most outstanding player in the Women's World Cup. Her hat trick is the first in a Women's World Cup final, she finished with six goals in the tournament and also won the silver boot.

Solo won the Golden Gloves award as the top goalkeeper in the tournament. The United States defense was stellar throughout and went 540 minutes between the first match of the group stage and Sunday's final without giving up a goal.

Canada's Kadeisha Buchanan won the Best Young Player award and Germany's Celia Sasic won the Golden Boot.

Copyright 2015 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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