On July 17th 2011, Japan beat the USA 3-1 in penalties following a 2-2 draw. On Sunday evening, USA avenged that loss and came out as 2015's Women's World Cup champions for a third time. It was predicted to be an exciting and intense battle between the two previous World Cup Champions, and they certainly did not disappoint.
It was a very bad start for the reigning champions Japan. Their defence was very weak and in the first 20 minutes, USA were 4-0 up. Japan made the error of not marking USA captain and midfielder Carli Lloyd as she scored her first two goals in the 3rd and 5th minutes of the game thanks to midfielder Megan Rapinoe's corner shots.
In the 14th minute, midfielder Lauren Holiday effortlessly aimed and potted their third goal. But, with no time to waste in the 16th minute, Lloyd went for it again, this time from the half way line, and scored a phenomenal goal securing them a 4 point lead.
Japan, having realised their tactical errors, bounced back for forward Yuki Ogimi to score their first goal of the match that USA goalkeeper Hope Solo just wasn't able to save. At half time the score was an exciting 4-1 to the USA, Carli Lloyd had broken the record of the quickest goal in a Women's World Cup Final, and the team had already scored the most points in a Women's World Cup final ever.
After 51 minutes, Japan were another point up after USA's defender Julie Johnston unfortunately scored an own goal. But, this did not falter them and just 2 minutes later, USA midfielder Tobin Heath brought back the three point lead with a fantastic goal, leaving them 5-2 up and preventing Japan's chances of success.
As the full time whistle blew, Japan's championship came to an end, and the USA had won their first World Cup title since 1999. There was no doubt that the USA deserved the win.
Not only did the team walk away as World Cup Champions, but Carli Lloyd was awarded the Golden Ball for her outstanding performance throughout the tournament and Hope Solo the Golden Glove for fewest goals conceded.