United States beats Japan 5-2 for record third Women's World Cup title

Carli Lloyd came up big again. Three times.

And with it came the Americans' elusive third Women's World Cup title.

Lloyd scored a hat trick as the U.S. burst to a four-goal lead in the first 16 minutes, and the Americans overwhelmed defending champion Japan 5-2 Sunday for their record third championship and first since 1999.

A sellout crowd that included U.S. Vice President Joe Biden roared in approval for Lloyd's hat trick, the first ever in a Women's World Cup final.

When it was over, Lloyd collapsed to her knees and pumped her fists. Forward Abby Wambach bear-hugged teary-eyed coach Jill Ellis, lifting her off the ground.

Japan had just cut the deficit to 4-2 in the 52nd minute when U.S. defender Julie Johnston's header went past goalkeeper Hope Solo and into the American net.

But the U.S. responded briskly with Morgan Brian laying off a pass into the middle of the box where Heath was unmarked.

The seven combined goals are the most ever in a Women's World Cup final.

Lloyd set records for the fastest goal and became the first woman to score a hat trick in the World Cup final. She also was the third American woman to score a hat trick in any World Cup match, joining Michelle Akers and Carin Jennings Gabarra, both of which came during the 1991 tournament.

Lloyd's hat trick was the fastest in women's or men's World Cup history.

Lloyd is also the first American to score goals in four straight World Cup matches.

Lauren Holiday's goal in the 14th minute gave the Americans a 3-0 lead and Lloyd scored from midfield moments later. She also had chances at a fourth and possibly fifth goal during the first half.

Japan is on the board with a goal from Yuki Ogimi, cutting its deficit to 4-1 and ending the United States' streak of not allowing a goal at 540 minutes.

Ogimi scored just before the half-hour mark in Sunday's Women's World Cup final. She out-positioned Julie Johnston for a cross into the U.S. penalty area and beat American goalkeeper Hope Solo with a left-footed shot.

The U.S. had not allowed a goal since the opening match of the tournament against Australia.
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