(From the Washington Post)
In a remarkable contest, the U.S. defeated Japan, 5-2, to win its first World Cup since 1999. It was sweet revenge for the USWNT, which lost Japan in the 2011 final on penalty kicks, and Abby Wambach was able to cap her career with the one major title that had eluded her.
Carli Lloyd notched a hat trick just 16 minutes into the game, and her final goal — an eye-popping strike from midfield — actually gave the U.S. a 4-0 lead, because Lauren Holiday had added her own tally in the 14th minute. Japan fight back and made the score 4-2 shortly into the second half, but Tobin Heath iced things with a goal in the 54th minute, giving U.S. Coach Jill Ellis plenty of time to think about who to send into the game, and when, in order to properly savor the victory. Read more