How the USA Women’ Soccer team won the world cup? written by: JosphatMinja The U.S. women’s soccer team were recently honored through the tinker tape parade in Lower Manhattan. This is New York’s highest honor accorded to the athletes who have had outstanding achievements. It involves going through the ‘Canyon of heroes’ as they are celebrated by the many fans that have gathered through the parade. The U.S.A women’s soccer team’s achievements at the world cup to become World Champions truly deserved such a parade of honor. However, the road to becoming world champions was not to be that easy and it involved grueling moments that brought out the fighting spirit of the U.S women team. Let’s take a look at the their road to the world cup final and to becoming champions again.
The US went into the tournament as the number 2 ranked team in the World and among the heavy favorites to win the tournament. They were to face Australia, Sweden and Nigeria in Group D in the group stages.
USA 3- Australia 1
The US were to play the Australians in their first game of the 2015 World Cup and were expected to win this match. After a struggling start to the first half as they got used to the artificial turf and to their opponents style of play, Rapinoe received a pass from Carli Lloyd in the 12th minute and made a run down the left before placing a powerful shot inside the far post to register the first goal. This was to be followed by two other goals from Christen Press and Rapinoe. Christen’s goal was her first goal at the world cup and her 21st of her international career.
USA 0- Sweden 0
This was a battle of the group heavyweights and it was to prove a difficult match that would see neither side scoring. As US coach Jill Ellis put it at the post match press conference, it was a game of two heavyweights who left all they had on the pitch.
USA 1-Nigeria 0
The USA women’s soccer team went into this game knowing that a win would help them progress as group winners and get favorable opponents at the knockout stage. However, it wasn’t to be smooth sailing and a very vigorous Nigerian back four kept the US forwards at bay for most of the first half. The change in tact by the US manager to reinstate experienced forwards Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach in the lineup due to popular opinion paid off at the 45th minute as Abby Wambach scored what was to be the winner.
The second half started brightly with the US playing very entertaining football aimed at pressing the Nigerians back into their own half but the match was to end without any more goals. The win was however enough to send the US women’s team into the round of 16 as group D winners
Round of 16
USA 2- Colombia 0
The US were to face the tournament’s surprise team in the knockout stages and they were favorites to win this match. Colombia proved to be equal to the task as the first half ended with a scoreless draw. The US started the second with a lively performance that bore fruits at the 53rd minute when Alex Morgan scored from a misplaced shot by the Colombian goalkeeper Stefany Castano. Carli Lloyd put the result beyond doubt in the 66th minute by converting a penalty with a powerful shot to the top right corner after Rapinoe had been fouled in the penalty area in the 66th minute.
USA 1- China 0
The quarterfinals were to be a tightly contested affair between the Chinese and Americans. The US women were known for their attacking qualities while the Chinese women were known for their defensive discipline. It wasn’t until the 51st minute that the game was to experience its first goal. Once again Carli Lloyd was to prove the match winner as she rose above her markers to head a delightful cross from central defender Julie Johnston past the Chinese goalkeeper Wang Fei.
The US held on to the 1-0 score to win the match and book a semifinal date with Germany.
USA 2- Germany 0
This was a match pitting the number 1 team in the world against the number 2 team in the World. The USA women’s soccer team were about to go to battle with their toughest opponents yet in the World Cup. The first half ended in a scoreless draw and with Germany’s Celia Sasic missing a penalty in the 60th minute, it looked like the match was going to end in a stalemate. However, this was to change in the 69th minute when the USA were awarded a penalty. When Lloyd Carli strolled to take the penalty, the Olympic Stadium in Montreal fell silent. You could feel the anticipation of fans from both teams. Carli Lloyd was not to be denied and buried a powerful shot into the top right corner to give Germany’s keeper no chance of saving the penalty.
A second goal by O’hara in the 84th minute was enough to seal the victory and send the US women’s team into the final to face Japan.
USA 5- Japan 2
The World was about to experience the best start to a World Cup final of all time. Just like in the Olympic Final, Carli Lloyd was to live up to her title as the big game player by scoring a hattrick in 16 minutes as the USA destroyed Japan. Lloyd scored her first goal in the 3rd minute followed by a second two minutes later. Holiday scored USA’s third in the 14th minute before Lloyd made it 4-0 and a hattrick at the 16th minute.
Japan were to pull one back through Ogimi reducing the deficit to 4-1 going into half time.
The second half was a matter of wrapping up the win and the USA women’s soccer team looked to kill the game by possessing the ball and giving the Japan women no chancce of getting back into the game.
Two more goals from Heath in the 54th minute and an own goal from Johnstone ensured that the match would end 5-2 in favor of the US women.
After a long 16 year wait, the US women team were crowned World Champions for the third time.
As they stepped on the podium to take their medals, they had won the hearts of the nation by their sheer determination and fighting spirit. Carli Lloyd was deservedly awarded the Golden Ball for being the best player of the World Cup Tournament.