US heroine also bags title of best player

The US victory also provides a perfect farewell gift for Abby Wambach, who is the top scorer in international women's football but has never won the World Cup.
The US victory also provides a perfect farewell gift for Abby Wambach, who is the top scorer in international women's football but has never won the World Cup. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
3rd minute: Lloyd runs to meet Megan Rapinoe's short corner with a deft shot with the outside of her left foot.
3rd minute: Lloyd runs to meet Megan Rapinoe's short corner with a deft shot with the outside of her left foot.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
5th: Lauren Holiday plays the ball in short from a free kick, Julie Johnston flicks it on and Lloyd gets her double.
5th: Lauren Holiday plays the ball in short from a free kick, Julie Johnston flicks it on and Lloyd gets her double. PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
15th: Lloyd spots Ayumi Kaihori, who is way off her line, and chips over the Japanese goalkeeper from inside her own half.
15th: Lloyd spots Ayumi Kaihori, who is way off her line, and chips over the Japanese goalkeeper from inside her own half. PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

VANCOUVER • United States captain Carli Lloyd capped her incredible performance in Sunday's Women's World Cup final by winning the Golden Ball as the player of the tournament.

The 32-year-old midfielder led by example in the final, scoring three goals in the first 16 minutes, including one show-stopping effort from halfway, helping the Americans defeat Japan 5-2 to win the trophy for the third time.

Lloyd became the first woman to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final, then cleaned up at the post-match awards ceremony.

She picked up two gongs, the Golden Ball and the Silver Boot, as runner-up for the most goals scored in the tournament.

Already a two-time Olympic gold medallist, she became just the second American to win the Golden Ball, joining Carin Jennings, who won the award in 1991.

Lloyd actually finished tied with Celia Sasic with six goals for the tournament. But the German was awarded the Golden Boot because she had played fewer minutes overall, though she said that it was little consolation for not winning the World Cup.

"I would change this trophy for another one," Sasic told Fifa.com after Germany finished fourth.

"In the future maybe I will look back and be proud of it.

"But we didn't achieve what we came here for, so it is not easy to think about this at the moment."

Germany's Anja Mittag was awarded the Bronze Boot after scoring five goals.

Amandine Henry of France received the Silver Ball as runner-up to Lloyd in the player of the tournament voting while Japan captain Aya Miyama was presented with the Bronze Ball.

American Hope Solo won the Golden Glove as the best goalkeeper for the second time while Canadian teenager Kadeisha Buchanan was named best young player.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 07, 2015, with the headline 'US heroine also bags title of best player'. Print Edition | Subscribe