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USA Rout Japan, Crowned 2015 Women’s World Cup Champs

Wow…just wow.

This writer was blown away by the USWNT’s performance in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final. The USA routed Japan 5-2 in the final at BC Place in Vancouver, with four of those goals coming in the first 20 minutes of the first half.

The game started out with a bang-- in the 3rd minute a corner by Megan Rapinoe was taken beautifully by Carli Lloyd with the outside of her boot to give the US an early lead.

But Lloyd didn’t stop there, oh no.

Two minutes later in the 5th minute, another corner found Lloyd capitalizing on a scramble in the box to put home her second goal. The USWNT took advantage of a shell-shocked Japanese defense, and in the 14th minute Lauren Holiday won the ball after a Japanese defender lost control of it. Holiday then volleyed the ball home to put the US 3-0 up in the first 15 minutes.

Then, in the 16th, Carli Lloyd scored possibly the goal of the tournament. She also made history by scoring the first ever hat-trick in a Women's World Cup Final. Holding up the ball on the halfway line, Lloyd noticed Japanese goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori far off her line and took a long shot, one that Kaihori managed to backpedal and get a hand to, but not enough to keep the ball out of the net.

Once the early shootout ended, the game slowed down considerably and allowed Japan to pick themselves up a bit. They would break Hope Solo’s shutout streak in the 27th minute, as a defensive miscue by Julie Johnston left Yuki Ogimi with an open point-blank shot at Solo’s net which was easily converted.
Japan used two of their subs at the end of the first half, clearly desperate to catch up on the scoreline, but the US went into the second half with a three-goal lead.

In the 52nd, an unfortunate header from Julie Johnston went into her own net to give Japan a second goal. It should be said that Johnston was one of the breakout stars of this tournament and put up many solid defensive shifts.

The US responded two minutes later, as another corner routine caused a pass to find Tobin Heath wide open to slot home the USA’s fifth goal of the game.

Veterans Abby Wambach and Christie Rampone were brought on late in the match, Carli Lloyd giving the captain’s armband to Wambach as she came onto the field.

As the match ended, the massively pro-US crowd erupted in a deafening roar. Carli Lloyd won the tournament’s Silver Boot and Golden Ball trophies, and Hope Solo won the tournament’s Golden Glove.
Wambach and Rampone, both in their last World Cup, lifted the World Cup trophy after the match.

So, Abby Wambach won that World Cup trophy finally, records are broken, and the Cup is being brought back to the US on the 4th of July weekend. A pretty satisfying way to end an amazing tournament if you ask me.

--Brandon Addeo (@baddeo95 on Twitter)

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