As the world of football counts down to the reveal of the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ official emblem and slogan – in Paris on 19 September – we are counting down the 10 Most Memorable Moments in FIFA Women’s World Cup history.
Two-time world champions USA travelled to Canada 2015 intent on ending their 16-year wait to lift the trophy once more. Four years on from their frustrating penalty-shootout defeat to Japan in the final at Germany 2011, they had the chance to exact revenge against the same opponents at the very same stage. The outcome was entirely different on this occasion, as the Stars and Stripes raced into a 3-0 lead in the opening 14 minutes, courtesy of a Carli Lloyd brace and a Lauren Holiday goal.
Why so special?
Having pinned their opponents on the ropes, the Americans had no intention of easing off, as Lloyd was about to demonstrate just two minutes later. Intercepting a loose pass in midfield, she turned, shrugged off Rumi Utsugi and looked up towards the Japanese goal.
The fact that Lloyd was on the halfway line did not prevent her from letting fly with her right foot. Caught completely off guard, Nadeshiko goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori backpedalled furiously but could do nothing to prevent the ball from sailing over her and into the back of the net. A special strike in itself, Lloyd’s long-range wonder goal also saw her become the first player to score a hat-trick in a Women’s World Cup final.
What she said
“It was split second,” Lloyd said. “It was instinct. Every single game I play, I’m always checking to see where the goalkeeper is. She was really off her line. When the ball left my foot, I knew that I couldn’t have hit it any more perfect. It was like I was playing in the park with my friends and I just happened to go for it, at that moment.” Carli Lloyd, who also won the adidas Golden Ball and Silver Boot at Canada 2015 and was named FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year in 2015 and The Best FIFA Women’s Player in 2016.
Relive Lloyd’s hat-trick on video and click here for more on this historic moment