Sunday, July 05, 2015

United States of America: 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Champions



A scarcely believable four-goal salvo inside the opening 16 minutes meant there was only ever going to be one winner to the joy of the largely pro-USA 53,341 crowd in Vancouver. 

USA were quickest to the ball from the opening whistle and immediately reaped greater rewards than they could ever have imagined. A low driven Megan Rapinoe corner from the right deceived a flat-footed Japan defence and Lloyd finished first time from near the penalty spot to put a perfect flourish to a training ground move. 

Barely 150 seconds had passed on the stadium clock but, incredibly it was about to get even better for the Stars and Stripes. A low free-kick from Lauren Holiday evaded a swathe of players before the ball found its way, almost magnetically, to Lloyd who applied the finishing touch from close range. USA were 2-0 up inside five minutes and Lloyd had nabbed the two fastest goals in Women’s World Cup Final history. 

Japan were looking uncharacteristically shaky at the back and when central defender Azusa Iwashimizu failed to deal with a Tobin Heath delivery, Holiday latched onto the loose ball to volley home. Only fourteen minutes had elapsed but USA already had one hand on the trophy. 

Just two minutes later the contest was effectively over as Lloyd completed a 13-minute hat-trick with a goal straight from the realms of fantasy. Collecting the ball inside her own half Lloyd advanced before unleashing a high shot from the halfway line over the head of Ayumi Kaihori, whose desperate back-peddling only resulted in finger-tipping the ball onto the inside of the post and into the net. 

Incredibly Lloyd, playing the match of her life, almost immediately scored another, heading just wide and narrowly failing to become the first person to score four in a World Cup Final of either gender. Then it was the turn of Alex Morgan who made a trademark driving run into the box and although she did not make full connection with her shot Kaihori was still forced into a diving save.

However, Japan grabbed a much-needed goal midway through the opening half thanks to inspired finishing from Yuki Ogimi who ended Hope Solo’s run of 540-minute unbeaten run by superbly spinning away from marker Julie Johnston and coolly firing home.

The Nadeshiko momentarily looked like they would pull another goal back three minutes later and only some fine scrambling defening prevented a clear shot on goal with Aya Miyama’s final shot unable to trouble Solo. 

Japan coach Norio Sasaki threw caution to the wind making two substitutes inside 40 minutes. The heroine of the 2011 Final, Homare Sawa, firstly entered the fray soon followed by forward Yuika Sugasawa, in place of central defender Iwashimizu and Nahomi Kawasumi. 

Five minutes after the break Morgan Brian forced Kaihori to push a long-rage effort over the crossbar, but it was Japan who managed to reduce the deficit further as Johnston could only get a glancing header on Miyama’s perfectly-flighted free-kick inadvertently directing the ball past Solo. 

Yet USA restored their three-goal margin almost immediately as Heath netted from close range after Morgan Brian provided the assist after Kaihori was unable to deal with a corner. 

Striker Morgan then looked to get her name on the scoresheet with a sharp turn and shot narrowly wide. While there were to be no further goals, some of the biggest roars of the day were reserved for the late introductions of veterans Abby Wambach and Christie Rampone. 

Live Your Goals Player of the Match: Carli Lloyd (USA) 


BoBA ISML 2015 Predictions: Amethyst Match Day 1

ARENA 01: [Tokisaki Kurumi] Yaya
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over

ARENA 02: Yazawa Nico [Sakura Chiyo]
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over

ARENA 03: Himeragi Yukina [Yuigahama Yui]
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over

ARENA 04: [Jibril] Shokuhō Misaki
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 05: [Onodera Kosaki] Tobiichi Origami
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 06: Azuki Azusa [Kirisaki Chitoge]
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over

ARENA 07: [Shiro] Tina Sprout
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 08: [Yukinoshita Yukino] Miyazono Kaori
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 09: [Sento Isuzu] Aihara Enju
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over

ARENA 10: [Tachibana Marika] Kuriyama Mirai
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
 
ARENA 11: [Tsutsukakushi Tsukiko] Ayase Eli
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 12: [Yatogami Tōka] Latifa Fleuranza
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 13: Akame [Kurousagi]
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over

ARENA 14: [Shiba Miyuki] Minami Kotori
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 15: [Asada Shino] Shichimiya Satone
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 16: [Nishikino Maki] Terminus Est
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 17: Sonoda Umi [Stephanie Dola]
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over

ARENA 18: [Yoshino] Konno Yūki
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 19: [Eucliwood Hellscythe] C.C.
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 20: [Chitanda Eru] Oshino Shinobu
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 21: [Shana] Nyarlathotep
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 22: [Aragaki Ayase] Sengoku Nadeko
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 23: [Yūki Asuna] Yui-nyan
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 24: Konjiki no Yami [Aoyama Nanami]
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over

ARENA 25: [Makise Kurisu] Kōsaka Kirino
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 26: [Tōsaka Rin] Hirasawa Yui
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 27: [Senjōgahara Hitagi] Nagato Yuki
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over

ARENA 28: Yūki Mikan [Kuroyukihime]
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over

ARENA 29: [Shiina Mashiro] Hasegawa Kobato
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
 
ARENA 30: Kashiwazaki Sena [Illyasviel von Einzbern]
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over

ARENA 31: [Saber] Nakamura Yuri
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 32: [Nakano Azusa] Charlotte Dunois
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 33: Holo [Itsuka Kotori]
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over

ARENA 34: [Takanashi Rikka] Momo Belia Deviluke
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 35: [Yuzuriha Inori] Nibutani Shinka
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 36: [Aisaka Taiga] Suzumiya Haruhi
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 37: [Emiya Kiritsugu] Itsuka Shidō
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 38: Akasaka Ryūnosuke [Kyon]
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over

ARENA 39: Orihara Izaya [Edward Elric]
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over

ARENA 40: [Okazaki Tomoya] Levi
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 41: [Sakamaki Izayoi] Otonashi Yuzuru
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 42: Takasu Ryūji [Hikigaya Hachiman]
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over

ARENA 43: Maō Sadao [Ichijō Raku]
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over

ARENA 44: [Togashi Yūta] Satomi Rentarō
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
 
ARENA 45: L Lawliet [Gilgamesh]
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over

ARENA 46: [Sakata Gintoki] Kaneki Ken
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over

ARENA 47: [Nozaki Umetarō] Mikoshiba Mikoto
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 48: [Sora] Kamijō Tōma
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 49: [Araragi Koyomi] Emiya Shirō
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 50: Kanie Seiya [Accelerator]
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over

ARENA 51: [Kanda Sorata] Heiwajima Shizuo
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 52: Katsuragi Keima [Archer]
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over

ARENA 53: [Shiba Tatsuya] Aikawa Ayumu
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 54: Yato [Okabe Rintarō]
by <=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over

ARENA 55: [Onodera Haru] Narugino Mikatan
by >=2000
Over/Under: 10000
Over
ARENA 56: Yamato Rinko [Kinushima Michiru]
by <=1000
Over/Under: 10000
Under