VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — The United States women’s soccer team beat Japan 5-2 Sunday night and won the U.S.’s third Women’s World Cup title.
Midfielder Carli Lloyd scored three times as the U.S. jumped to a four-goal lead in the first 16 minutes, and the Americans overwhelmed defending champion Japan 5-2 for the team’s first World Cup championship since 1999.
A sellout crowd of 53,341 that included U.S. Vice President Joe Biden roared in approval for Lloyd’s hat trick, the first in a Women’s World Cup final.
“It’s been a long journey, my career. I’ve had a lot of people believe in me, in my corner, from day one,” said the Lloyd, who turns 33 on July 16. “I’ve dedicated my whole life to this. Everything else comes second. But I wouldn’t want to do it any other way.”
When it was over, Lloyd collapsed to her knees and pumped her fists. Forward Abby Wambach bear-hugged teary-eyed coach Jill Ellis, lifting her off the ground.
Lloyd, awarded the Golden Ball as player of the tournament, scored twice in a span of about 135 seconds as the U.S. led 2-0 by the fifth minute.
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