Under a thick haze and the smell of smoke from a blazing forest in the distance, Carli Lloyd caught fire on Sunday at BC Place. Lloyd scored a hat trick in the first 16 minutes of the Women’s World Cup final to lift the United States past Japan, 5-2 and deliver a record third World Cup title. Lloyd scored her third goal from midfield, driving the ball over Japan goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori.
“It’s a surreal moment,” Lloyd said. “It’s been amazing. We just wrote history today and brought this World Cup trophy home, which is unbelievable.”
Japan entered the match as reigning World Cup champions, having beaten the United States in penalty kicks in the 2011 World Cup final. The World Cup title is the United States’ first since 1999.
They are also three-time defending Olympic champions, having beaten Japan in the 2012 Olympic final in London. Lloyd scored twice in that final to beat Japan as well. “Ms. Lloyd, well she always does this to us,” Japan head coach Norio Sasaki said after the game, dropping his head and smiling