US Wins Big In Japan

WWC1 Image: EPA

Big In Japan

The U.S. National Women’s Team Won the Soccer World Cup, 5-2 Against Defending Champion Japan.

The American women gave in Canada an amazing display of soccer, which landed them a 3rd trophy in the National team’s history and its 1st since 1999.  16 minutes into the match, the American women already led 4:0, with a hat trick by Carli Lloyd (including a perfect finish from mid field).  Although Japan did manage to score 2 consolation goals, Team U.S. comfortably managed to maintain the gap until lifting the trophy.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Las night’s (Sunday) Women’s Soccer World Cup Final became a page in the book of soccer history within 16 minutes from kick off, and possibly even earlier in the match.  No doubt, that this was one of the most amazing matches in the history of woman’s soccer, and possibly in soccer period, if not the most amazing of them all.

After 16 years, the US reclaimed the World Champions title with a huge 5-2 win, and became the first team in history to win the title for 3 times.  Some say it is certainly a proper revenge for the loss against the same side in the World-Cup Final 4 years ago.

16 minutes is all it took, for the US to topple the match with an electrifying 4-0.  It is hard to even imagine tighter, more strategic, beautiful soccer than that played during these first 16 minutes of the match.  The American ladies came on to the pitch ready and determined.  They tactically assumed their positions and came out to win, scoring magnificent goals and leaving Japan shell shocked.

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Carly Lloyd gave an appearance of a lifetime (Image: AFP)

No later than 3 minutes in, midfielder Megan Rapinoe sent a flat corner kick into the centre of the box, and Carly Lloyd came running from behind to complete what seemed to be a planned drill, kicking the ball into the net with the outside foot.  2 minutes later, and the Japanese were stunned by yet-another static state, with defender Julie Johnston using her heal to slide a ball sent to her from a free kick, with Lloyd again finishing off with a goal from close range.

The Americans won every draw in midfield, just to advance forward into Japanese territory again and again, and went up to a 3-0 lead on the 14th minute, when Japan’s defender Azusa Iwashimizu made a bad clearance, and enabled US midfielder Lauren Holiday to send a beautiful ball from the air into Japan’s goal.

Still, the 16th minute of the game made the previous 15 seem uneventful, with Lloyd grabbing the ball, overtaking one Japanese player and striking the ball from mid field above Japan’s keeper Ayumi Kaihori, who barely managed to brush the ball before it got in.  The crowds in Vancouver were stunned, as Carli Lloyd completed an amazing hat trick.

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Keeper Hope Solo receiving the Goalkeeper Award (Image: EPA)

Even prior to last night’s performance, Lloyd was the front runner for winning the competition’s best player, but her game last night sent her to another atmosphere.  Only to put things into perspective: until this match, no team ever scored more than twice in the Women’s World Cup Final.

From the goal Australia scored into American’s keeper Hope Solo’s net at the 27th minute of the U.S. opening match, until Japan’s forward Yuki Ogimi goal on the 27th minute of the final, the Team USA kept a clean sheet and broke the World Cup’s all-time record for no goals allowed.  Beyond breaking the streak, Ogimi’s goal managed to wake Japan that until them seemed to have abandon the match.

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The Japanese players after a disappointing night (Image: AFP)

The US still seemed as if it could score whenever it pleases to do so, but the Japanese seemed to have found a new lease on life.  They even looked as if they were on the road to recovery as America’s defender Johnston headed an own goal in the 52nd minute.  For a few minutes it seemed as if this final can still change, but then Japan lost it completely with another corner that was converted into a goal by US midfielder Tobin Heath (54’).

So, the Trophy now moves from Asia to its’ new home in America for the next 4 years, until the next World-Cup meeting in France.  We will see where it will go next.  That is, if the US decides to let it go.