This goal secured Carli Lloyd the first-ever Women's World Cup final hat-trick – but even if it wasn't noteworthy for that, it would warrant rewatching.
Women's World Cup
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USA 5 Japan 2: What a final. Carli Lloyd's amazing hat-trick shocked Japan out of their neat, coherent game plan. They completely forgot to mark Lloyd twice over and she took advantage to put her side two up in the first five minutes. Lauren Holiday added a third, and Lloyd a spectacular fourth, and it seemed like the USA were coasting to their third World Cup win – but the defending champions refused to give up, with coach Norio Sasaki bringing on the legendary Homare Sawa in the first half to try to sprinkle some magic. It wasn't enough – even after Yuki Ogimi and a Julie Johnston own goal got them two back, Tobin Heath restored the three-goal advantage. A couple of iconic subs came on, and went up together to claim their winners' medals and the trophy – this may be the final World Cup for Abby Wambach and Christie Rampone, and what a way to bow out.
By the time you read this, England's Lionesses will have landed back at Heathrow Terminal Two. One suspects there'll be a certain amount of interest in the World Cup bronze medallists – but there's still no word as to whether they'll get any kind of public recognition. I recall very vividly that after the England men finished fourth in the 1990 World Cup, they flew back into Luton Airport and promptly toured the town in an open-top bus, waving to the assembled crowds and allowing Paul Gascoigne to indulge in his customary japery. Obviously returning from Canada via two flights is slightly more strenuous than returning across the continent from Italy, but it seems vaguely ludicrous that 25 years ago a big celebration could be organised quick-smart for a team that came fourth, and today, with the internet and 24-hour news and everything else, a team that came third is still left hanging as to whether they're going to get the proper public welcome and thank you they deserve.
Let's let them enjoy their moment of victory
That's your lot, folks. If you're in England and enjoyed the tournament, get yourself to a FAWSL game at the weekend (yep, they're resuming domestic competition immediately). Otherwise, sit tight until September when the qualifiers for the 2017 European Championships start.
Women's World Cup
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