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Carli Lloyd wins Golden Ball as top player at World Cup
July 6, 2015 / 3:00 AM / 2 years ago

Carli Lloyd wins Golden Ball as top player at World Cup

Jul 5, 2015; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; United States midfielder Carli Lloyd (10) wins the 2015 Golden Ball and Japan midfielder Aya Miyama (8) wins the 2015 Bronze ball after the final of the FIFA 2015 Women's World Cup at BC Place Stadium. Credit: Michael Chow-USA TODAY Sports

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - United States captain Carli Lloyd capped her incredible performance in Sunday’s women’s World Cup final by winning the Golden Ball as the player of the tournament.

The 32-year-old midfielder led by example in the final, scoring three goals in the first 16 minutes including one show-stopping effort from halfway, helping the Americans defeat Japan 5-2 to win the World Cup for the third time.

Lloyd became the first woman to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final then cleaned up at the post-match awards ceremony, picking up two gongs, the Golden Ball and the Silver Boot, as runner-up for the most goals in the tournament.

Already a two-time Olympic gold medallist, she became just the second American to win the Golden Ball, joining Carin Jennings, who the won the award in 1991, and her performance immediately earned her the seal of approval from U.S. President Barack Obama.

“What a win for Team USA! Great game @CarliLloyd! Your country is so proud of all of you. Come visit the White House with the World Cup soon,” Obama tweeted.

Jul 5, 2015; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; United States midfielder Carli Lloyd (10) and United States goalkeeper Hope Solo (1) celebrate with an American flag after defeating Japan in the final of the FIFA 2015 Women's World Cup at BC Place Stadium. Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Lloyd actually finished tied with Celia Sasic with six goals for the tournament but the German was awarded the Golden Boot because she had played less minutes overall, though she said it was little consolation for not winning the tournament.

“I would change this trophy for another one,” Sasic told FIFA.com after Germany finished fourth overall.

“In the future maybe I will look back and be proud of it. But we didn’t achieve what we came here for, so it is not easy to think about this at the moment.”

Germany’s Anja Mittag was awarded the Bronze Boot after scoring five goals.

Amandine Henry of France received the Silver Ball as runner-up to Lloyd in the player of the tournament voting while Japan captain Aya Miyama was presented with the Bronze Ball.

American Hope Solo won the Golden Glove as the best goalkeeper for the second time at the World Cup while Canadian teenager Kadeisha Buchanan was named best young player.

Editing by Julian Linden

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