If only for Carli Lloyd, the US football team deserved to win the women’s World Cup.
And so the Americans did on Sunday, with Lloyd completing a hat trick in their 5-2 win over Japan for their third World Cup title.
Lloyd powered home three goals in the first half, the only ones the American actually needed to beat the Japanese.
The 32-year-old star midfielder struck two of those goals in first four minutes to presage a rout that avenged the US loss to Japan in the 2011 tournament.
Lauren Holiday scored on a volley in the 14th minute to make it 3-0 and Lloyd’s missile from the halfway line sailed over Japan goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori to make it 4-0 in the 16th at B.C. Place in Vancouver.
But the day — and the tournament — belonged to Lloyd, and there’s plenty to remember her by.
She is the first ever to score a hat trick in a World Cup final and was the second American to win Golden Ball honors as the tournament’s top player.
In all, she scored six goals in seven matches, although she sometimes looked completely lost in the early stages of this tournament, according to Yahoo.
When head coach Jill Ellis added Morgan Brian into the lineup halfway through the fortnight, Lloyd took flight, bringing an overpowering performance her opponents just could not stop.
It’s apt that the Americans’ theme for the tournament is “She believes” because that’s what it came down to in the end.
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