VANCOUVER, British Columbia (CBS/AP) -- The United States has won its third Women's World Cup title and first since 1999 with a 5-2 victory over Japan on Sunday behind a first-half hat trick by Carli Lloyd.
The Americans became the first country with three women's titles and got a measure of revenge for their loss in the 2011 final against Japan. Abby Wambach and Christie Rampone, the only player remaining from the 1999 title team, both came on as subs late in what's expected to be their final World Cup appearances.
Lloyd scored in the third, sixth and 16th minutes, the last a speculative shot from midfield that beat Japan goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori. Lloyd scored the fastest hat trick in World Cup history, men's or women's, in the highest scoring Women's World Cup final.
Lauren Holiday also scored in the first half and Tobin Heath added a goal in the 54th minute after Japan scored an own goal to cut the deficit to 4-2.
Bay Area soccer fans were glued to their television screens for the match. In San Francisco, a huge crowd of several thousand gathered to watch for free on a giant screen set up at Civic Center Plaza.
"This was very mind-boggling, the first 20 minutes was madness," said one fan.
"I was sure they were going to win from the beginning," said another.
In Vancouver, the sellout crowd of 53,341 included U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.
When it was over, Lloyd collapsed to her knees and pumped her fists. Forward Abby Wambach bear-hugged teary eyed coach Jill Ellis, lifting her off the ground.
Lloyd was awarded the Golden Ball as player of the tournament.
Goalkeeper Hope Solo won the Golden Glove.
© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
for more features.