The United States and Japan meet in a rematch of the 2011 World Cup Final and London 2012 Gold Medal match.
Thereafter, Japan found their usual shape and rhythm but the Americans defended in numbers and clear-cut chances were few and far between.
There is so much recent history between these two teams that emotions will surely be overflowing when the players take to the pitch on Sunday.
It was the identical lineup that coach Jill Ellis used in the 2-0 semifinal victory over top-ranked Germany on Tuesday.
In the fifth minute, literally moments later, Lloyd added her second goal for the United States women’s national team.
Fans for Japan wishing for a miracle – this one incredibly hopeful. Lloyd, 32, scored her first goal after just three minutes on the pitch at Vancouver’s BC Place Stadium with the second coming two minutes later, and her third after 16 minutes. She hit a rocket off the volley after the defender headed the ball straight up into the air. Viewing parties for the World Cup games have grown as the American women have taken out their rivals to make it to the final.
Japan’s players, after fighting hard all game, stoically applauded the victors as Team US was showered by gold glitter. “#SheBelieves #WorldCup2015”. Me oh my!
I will be following the game and providing Federation Internationale de Football Association Women’s World Cup Final 2015 live updates and scores.
Japan has won all of its six games in the tournament by one goal. “We will apply the lessons we learned from that in the final“. For Carli Lloyd the entire value of her 32 years on earth rests on the result of a single soccer match. “And now she’s here and taking advantage of it and actually doing well”.
Sasaki’s players have been using the injury of teammate Kozue Ando, who broke her ankle in the opening game and returned to Japan for surgery, as a source of inspiration.
Japan’s captain Aya Miyama has said, “That bitter feeling I had that day has stayed with me for the past three years”.
[FC Yahoo: Women’s World Cup’s winners and losers].
Abby Wambach hopes to cap her career off with a World Cup win. Of those, 77 have come on headers.
“I’m the luckiest person, I feel like, on the planet, and it’s not because of any individual award or even playing on the grandest stage”, she said in the video.
Like the United States, a majority of the Japanese roster was a part of that game in 2011. “Team US has inspired millions around the globe – especially girls and other young athletes who know that the power of sports can change lives”.
“I think it’s awesome to see finally that people support women’s soccer”.
“Ready for the girls to bring the cup home to where it belongs…pretty confident going in…”