NEW: Carli Lloyd says she's proud of her teammates and the victory hasn't sunk in
U.S. Coach Jill Ellis calls her star midfielder a beast and a rock star
American Carli Lloyd has three goals, and Lauren Holiday and Tobin Heath have the others
Lloyd was on a mission.
It was her goal to help her team bring the World Cup trophy to the United States for the first time in 16 years.
Japan stood in her way, but it never stood a chance as the Americans’ No. 10 stung quickly and often to guide the United States to a record third Women’s World Cup.
The United States’ 5-2 victory Sunday over the defending champion in Vancouver, British Columbia, gave the Americans their first opportunity to lift the World Cup trophy since 1999.
Lloyd scored three times, the first hat-trick in a women’s final, to lead the United States, which also won the World Cup in 1991.
“I called her my beast,” U.S. coach Jill Ellis told Fox Sports. “She’s unbelievable. She’s a rock star.”
Lloyd indeed was the star of stars Sunday, and throughout the tournament. On Sunday, she scored in the third, fifth and 16th minutes of play, leaving the 2011 champions stunned.
It was her third goal that summed up her spectacular play in the do-or-die matches in this Cup. Lloyd took a pass at the halfway line and deftly touched the ball around a lunging defender. Lloyd looked downfield and decided to let fly. From 55 yards.
It should be impossible to score from that far. But as 53,341 fans watched the ball sailing through the air, Japan goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori desperately retreated and stabbed at the ball. Even the post couldn’t deny Lloyd her history and the ball danced across the line.
There were still some 74 minutes left, and the pro-U.S. crowd was dancing as if it were over.
It essentially was over – even though Japan toughed it out until the final whistles.
Lloyd’s coach had plenty of accolades for th