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Lloyd’s hat-trick earns U.S 2015 Women’s World Cup

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Carli Lloyd’s three goals, the first hat-trick in a women’s final gave United States of America a 5-2 victory Sunday over defending champion Japan in Vancouver, Canada.

It’s their first opportunity to lift the World Cup trophy since 1999. Her efforts brings the World Cup trophy to the United States for the first time in 16 years.

Japan 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.

“I’m so proud and so zapped at the same time,” Lloyd said. “It doesn’t feel real. We just made history.”

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.

Read also: How Oshoala’s success ruined Nigeria at World Cup

For her play, Lloyd was awarded the Golden Ball, signifying she was the best player at the World Cup. She also tied for most goals (6) in the tournament with Celia Sasic of fourth-place Germany.

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