The FIFA Women’s World Cup (USWNT) was won by the U.S. Women’s National Team yesterday in a 5-2 victory over reigning champion Japan. In front of an estimated crowd of 53,341 in Vancouver, Canada, the U.S. clinched the cup for the first time since 1999, making it their third World Cup title. This match actually became one for the record books for a number of firsts in the history of the Women’s World Cup.
In what wound up being the highest scoring final in Women’s World Cup history, the U.S. team set the pace by scoring four goals in the first 16 minutes of play and they continued to control the match throughout. It was Carli Lloyd who not only scored the first hat trick in World Cup history but also doing it within the first 16 minutes of the match. And her first goal that came in the third minute of play was also the fastest score in a Women’s World Cup final.
English-born coach Jill Ellis called Lloyd, who won the tournament’s Golden Ball, a “rock star,” saying that “I called her my beast, and she’s just a beast, man.” Lloyd is the first American to win the Golden Ball since 1991 when Carin Jennings won it in the inaugural year of the World Cup. U.S. goalie Hope Solo won the tournament’s Golden Glove award for her remarkable goalkeeping play.
Coming in at the 79th minute was Abby Wambach who accepted the captain’s armband from Lloyd. In her fourth and final World Cup appearance, this win marks the close of an amazing World Cup career for Wambach, the U.S. team’s all-time leading scorer among both men and women.
At the 86th minute 40-year-old Christie Rampone was sent in, giving her a chance to set a record by being the oldest player in tournament history. She is also the last active link to the 1999 U.S. team that won the World Cup title.
The U.S. was unbeaten in all its matches this time except one, a scoreless draw against Sweden during the group stage. With an official slogan of “To A Greater Goal™,” 128 nations participated in this year’s World Cup hosted by Canada in six venues from its far east coast in New Brunswick to its far west coast in Vancouver.
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