The United States soccer team put on a clinic Sunday night, as it routed Japan 5-2 to win the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Team USA scored two goals within three minutes, and was ahead 4-1 at halftime. While Japan did ultimately score two goals on the previously unstoppable American defense, it was never even close to being enough to compete with the U.S. team.
Carli Lloyd had a hat trick in the game, scoring three goals–one of them an impressive shot from the half-field mark.
The game ended up being the highest-scoring final game in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and avenged America’s loss to Japan in the 2011 World Cup.
The 2015 Women’s World Cup expanded to 24 teams from 16. International parity was displayed as Colombia defeated third-ranked France, England reached the semifinals and Cameroon advanced to the round of 16. Women are playing in professional leagues around the world. The game is faster now, more skilled, vital in the transitional moments between defense and attack.
The United States, which also received goals from Lauren Holiday and Tobin Heath on Sunday, entered the championship match with assurance tempered by the despair of the World Cup outcome four years ago.
Sources: New York Times and http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2015/07/usa_vs_japan_live_updates_scor.html