Sunday 23 April 2017

Video: Watch USA captain complete World Cup final hat-trick with wonder goal from 50 yards

United States midfielder Carli Lloyd (10) celebrates with teammates after scoring against Japan
United States midfielder Carli Lloyd (10) celebrates with teammates after scoring against Japan
Carli Lloyd (10) watches her shot go in for a goal against Japan goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori (18) in the first half

JJ Bull

USA women's captain Carli Lloyd scored a hat-trick in the 5-2 victory over Japan in the World Cup final on Sunday night, including an incredible strike from the halfway line.

Japan appeared to have abandoned the concept of defending long before the match, conceding from a corner after only two minutes and failing to learn from their basic error of allowing Carli Lloyd all the space she wanted for a second straight after.

The USA took full advantage of dreadful marking in the box for both of those goals, and within 14 minutes had left their opponents shellshocked when a botched clearing header fell straight into the path of Lauren Holiday, who smashed a volley past the goalkeeper.

It was directly after this point - with the game all but over and Japan threatening to "do a Brazil" - that Lloyd spotted goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori in a dreadful position off her line, summoned her inner Charlie Adam and launched a shot over her head and into the back of the net.

From 50 yards. In a World Cup final.

Kaihori scrambled backwards and got a hand to the ball but it was too little, too late. Like reading your sent messages on a Saturday morning, by the time the Nadeshiko goalkeeper realised she was in trouble there was nothing she could do about it. Lloyd celebrated having completed an astonishing 13 minute hat-trick.

BBC commentator Jonathan Pearce suggested that the goalkeeper just couldn't have expected anyone to take a shot from that position and he was right, though it has happened before, as many goalkeepers have discovered in the past. Thibaut Courtois was a famous victim of last season:

If comparison is required, which it isn't, a key difference between the goals is that Charlie Adam scored in just yet another Premier League match and Carli Lloyd scored from the halfway line to complete her hat-trick in a World Cup final.

For this reason Carli Lloyd definitely wins in the "which is better?" game, and as an added bonus, she now gets to be known as "the player who scored from the halfway line in a World Cup final", instead of how Charlie Adam will be remembered, which is looking like he fell off the side of a cathedral after stealing your hubcaps.

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