America has reclaimed the Women’s World Cup after smashing Japan 5-2 in the final – with four goals in the first 16 minutes.
It comes four years after their crushing defeat in July 2011 when Japan clinched the title in a penalty shoot-out.
But on Sunday night, the US squad came back with a vengeance to become the first team to win the title three times.
Testament to their performance, Hope Solo was awarded the Golden Glove as top goalkeeper. Captain Carli Lloyd, who scored an astonishing 50-yard goal and a hat trick in the first half, takes home the Golden Ball for most outstanding performance by a player in the tournament.
President Obama led celebrations on Twitter by inviting the champions to the White House.
Japan had barely time to regroup before they found themselves 3-0 down in the 14th minute.
Two minutes later came one of the most remarkable goals ever witnessed in a Women’s World Cup when Carli Lloyd shot from the half-way line with the scrambling Japanese keeper only able to touch the ball onto the post and into the net.
A goal from over 50 yards out, a rarity in any form of the game, surely will see Lloyd now crowned as winner of the Golden Ball for player of the tournament.
President Obama tweeted: ‘What a win for Team USA! Great game @CarliLloyd! Your country is so proud of all of you. Come visit the White House with the World Cup soon.’
Michelle Obama said: ‘USA! USA! USA! We’re all so proud of you!’
It is the squad’s first World Cup title since 1999.
Abby Wambach and Christie Rampone, the only player remaining from the 1999 title team, both came on as subs late in what’s expected to be their final World Cup appearances.
Lloyd scored in the third, sixth and 16th minutes, the last a speculative shot from midfield that beat Japan goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori. Lloyd scored the fastest hat trick in World Cup history, men’s or women’s, in the highest scoring Women’s World Cup final.
Lauren Holiday also scored in the first half and Tobin Heath added a goal in the 54th minute after Japan scored an own goal to cut the deficit to 4-2.
Anchored by Solo in goal, the United States’ most consistent asset in the World Cup so far has been its defense.
Read more: dailymail.co.uk
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