Lauren Holiday of the United States celebrates scoring with teammates during the final of FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 between the United States and Japan at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, Canada on July 5, 2015. The United States claimed the title after defeating Japan with 5-2. (Xinhua/Wang Lili)
TOKYO, July 6 (Xinhua) -- It was a miserable Monday morning for Japanese fans as they watched the national women's soccer team take a 5-2 pummeling from the United States in the Women's World Cup final played in Vancouver.
Japan's cautious approach in the opening minutes was punished by an American team who planned to come out of the blocks fastest and score earliest and keep scoring, and that they did.
Four goals in just 16 minutes, including the fastest goal in a Women's World Cup final in the third minute from midfielder Carli Lloyd, who would go on to secure her hat-trick in a thunderous individual performance, proved too much for Nadeshiko, the Japan women's national football team, to handle and despite clawing back two through Yuki Ogimi and an own goal credited to Julie Johnston, Japan had little to offer against the Americans.
Team USA exacted revenge for what was a heartbreaking final four years ago in Germany when they lost to Nadeshiko in a penalty shootout after a nail-biting bout of extra time.
Fans here said that the better team won on the day, but couldn' t help expressing their disappointment in Nadeshiko.
"I think they knew our game plan too well. We always want to control the pace of the game and play a neat passing game, trying to get the ball wide and then exploiting the gaps -- like we did with Ogimi's goal, but the Americans were having none of it," Yuki Kobayashi, 42, an IT manager, told Xinhua from a local sports bar in Naka Meguro, Tokyo, after the game.
"From the opening whistle the Americans were hungrier than we were, I still think technically we're a better team, but that counts for nothing against raw passion and confidence. At 2-0 down in a World Cup final, you'd expect more of a fight, more aggressive defending, but when Lloyd had the audacity to shoot and score from the halfway line, well, you know it's game over," Kobayashi said, adding that he was not looking forward to having to go straight to his office from now to work.
It was a similar story from other fans who had gathered early in the morning at the small watering hole, dedicated to showing live soccer games from around the world.
"They just couldn't match the Americans' passion, that was the biggest problem. At the end of the day the team who wanted to win it most, would and we just didn't seem to want it enough. It was almost as if they felt that getting to the final was enough, because Nadeshiko Japan really didn't show up today," said a dejected Tomoya Shimizu, 34, a salesman for a marketing company.
"We can't say in all honesty that each player on the pitch gave 100 percent, and that was the difference between us and the Americans. That and (Carli) Lloyd, she was phenomenal," Shimizu said.