It was July 5, 2015, and Canada was about to undertake an American invasion. Tens of thousands of fans of the red, white, and blue descended upon BC Place in Vancouver for the Women’s World Cup final, between the United States Women’s National Team and Japan. It was a rematch of the 2011 final, when Japan ousted the USWNT in penalties to win their first title. The USWNT were looking to exact some revenge and get the 3rd title they coveted. There was one player especially who was looking to be the boss of the match. That player was Carli Lloyd.
The USWNT got off to a hot start in the 3rd minute, when Megan Rapinoe sent a short corner into the middle of the box and Carli Lloyd, streaking from the back of the box, smashed it home. It was the fastest goal in a Women’s World Cup final, and the WNT were on the board. But, Lloyd wasn’t done, tapping in a Julie Ertz header off a free kick just two minutes later to make it 2-0 USA.
Lauren Holiday made it 3-0 in the 14th minute when she took a misplayed ball by a Japanese defender and volleyed it home. Just two minutes later, a few seconds after the restart, Carli Lloyd intercepted the ball and sneaked it past a Japanese defender. She was in the clear and the break was on...or so we thought. Looking up, and seeing Japanese goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori well out of her net, Carli Lloyd teed it up from midfield. Kaihori got a hand on it, but the ball still found its way into the net for the fastest hat trick in Women’s World Cup history and a 4-0 lead. Some call it the best goal in Women’s World Cup history, and it sent the tens of thousands of American fans crammed into BC Place into delirium. Even famous announcer Andres Cantor went into a state of bedlam:
Japan got on the board in the 28th minute, and a Julie Ertz own goal in the 52nd minute made it 4-2 USWNT. For the first time during the match, a nervous tension hit the crowd and fans watching around the world. However, two minutes later, the USWNT would score again when Morgan Brian received a failed Haihori clearance and fed the ball inside to Tobin Heath, who one-timed it home.
The USWNT would cruise from there, and when the final whistle blew, it was a 5-2 victory for the USWNT and it was party time. They were once again Women’s World Cup champions, their 3rd title. As the USWNT prepares to find out who they will face in the 2019 Women’s World Cup group stage with this Saturday’s draw, they’re also preparing to defend their title. A title that was won with the pizzazz of a thousand lifetimes. Hopefully, a repeat celebration is in the script for Lyon, France on July 7th.