In Vancouver, Canada, Japan and the United States duked it out once again in the Women’s World Cup. It’s a rematch some have been hoping for since the U.S. went down in defeat in 2011, following a penalty shoot-out after a 2-2 draw in regulation.
This year, no penalty shoot-out was needed. In fact, it wasn’t even close. Less than 20 minutes into the game, the U.S. Women’s Team delivered four goals over Japan in rapid succession that must’ve stunned most who made predictions on this game.
U.S. midfielder Carli Lloyd proved to be the point of the lance, scoring three minutes after kickoff, and again two minutes later. The momentum did not stop there. Midfielder and forward Lauren Holiday scored at 14 minutes, followed again by Lloyd at 16 minutes. It was a lightning war over the Japanese Women’s Team, who managed to score 27 minutes into regulation thanks to Yuki Ogimi. Japan would score again after U.S. defender Julie Johnston accidentally headed the ball into our own goal in the second half. Nevertheless, the error was long forgotten after Tobin Heath scored shortly thereafter, giving the US its fifth goal.
The United States’ victory also placed a spotlight on Hope Solo, who is arguably the world’s best goalkeeper, according to the New York Times, but it’s somewhat bittersweet; this will be the last World Cup that will see Abby Wambach on the U.S. Women’s Team. The Times added that Wambach is international soccer’s leading scoring player, with 183 goals. But she’s never been able to clinch a World Cup title … until tonight.
What a nice way to end our Fourth of July weekend and related festivities. Congrats to the U.S. Women’s Soccer team. It is much deserved. Well done, ladies. Well done.
UPDATE: Via CBS News, Lloyd scored the two fastest goals in World Cup history. Hope Solo was awarded the Golden Glove for best goalkeeper for the tournament. The U.S. Women's Team set a new Women's World Cup record with their defense, keeping their opponents scoreless for 540 minutes.
Flashback: The US-Japan penalty shoot-out from 2011.
Hope Solo and Alex Morgan denying that the U.S. team choked in 2011 final with Japan.