The FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™ has reached its conclusion, with USA lifting their third world title in emphatic style. Over the last 30 days, the first women’s world finals to feature 24 teams has thrilled the watching world and produced no shortage of exciting football, with several players taking the opportunity to excel themselves on the biggest stage of all.
No one shone brighter than USA midfielder Carli Lloyd, who collected the adidas Golden Ball as the tournament’s most outstanding player, while the adidas Golden Boot, awarded to the top scorer, went to Germany’s Celia Sasic.* *
*FIFA.com *rounds up the individual award winners at the end of a memorable month for women’s football.
*adidas Golden Ball: Carli Lloyd (USA)
*The USA No10 has made a habit of starring on the big occasion, and did so again in the final, scoring twice in the opening five minutes to set USA on the way to victory over Japan and completing her hat-trick only 16 minutes in. The Houston player, who spent every minute of her side’s games on the pitch, was also on target in the 1-0 defeat of China PR in the quarter-finals and the 2-0 win over Germany in the semis. Enjoying an outstanding tournament, Lloyd set the tempo in midfield for the Americans and drove them forward at every opportunity. In reward for her consistent brilliance, she collected no fewer than four Live Your Goals* *Player of the Match awards.
*adidas Silver Ball: Amandine Henry (France)
*The 25-year-old was an essential midfield presence for the French, dictating the pace of their play with her ever-precise passing and drawing on her innate sense of positioning in dispatching her defensive duties. Voted the LYG Player of the Match against Korea Republic and Mexico, the tireless No6 featured in all five of Les *Bleues *outings in Canada.
*adidas Bronze Ball: Aya Miyama (Japan)
*Along with Yuki Ogimi, the effervescent playmaker was the only member of the Japan squad to play all their games. Never one to shirk her responsibilities on the pitch, Miyama scored two penalties on the Nadeshiko’s run to the final and also served up two assists. Despite being stationed on the left flank, the No8 was Japan’s heartbeat.
*adidas Golden Boot: Celia Sasic (six goals, one assist)
*The Frankfurt striker was the sharpest of spearheads in a Germany side that proved particularly insatiable in attack, helping herself to six goals in the 553 minutes she spent on the pitch at Canada 2015, a tally that earned her the distinction of the tournament’s leading markswoman. Also chipping in with an assist, the Bonn-born forward was a thorn in the side of every defence she faced, causing problems with her power and skill on the ball. Though Lloyd matched her haul, Sasic took the award on account of having spent slightly less time on the pitch during the competition.
*adidas Silver Boot: Carli Lloyd (six goals, one assist) *
*adidas Bronze Boot: Anja Mittag (five goals, two assists)
*After sitting out Germany 2011, Mittag made up for lost time on her side’s first outing in Canada, grabbing a hat-trick in the rout of Côte d'Ivoire. Forming a formidable strike duo with Sasic, the 30-year-old followed up by opening the scoring in the 1-1 draw with Norway and doing likewise in the Round-of-16 defeat of Sweden.
*adidas Golden Glove: Hope Solo (USA)
*In going unbeaten for 540 minutes during the course of the competition, the USA custodian set a new FIFA Women’s World Cup™ record. Achieving a save rate of 90 percent for the competition, she conceded goals in her side’s opening and closing matches only and has now become only the second keeper in the history of the competition to keep ten clean sheets, the other being her compatriot Briana Scurry. As those statistics reveal, Solo was one of the major architects of the Stars and Stripes’ third world title.
Hyundai Best Young Player: Kadeisha Buchanan (Canada)
Though still only 19, the Canadian central defender already has more than 40 caps to her name. The second-youngest player on duty for the hosts, Buchanan grew in authority as the tournament went on, ending it as one of their most dominant performers. The Canucks, who conceded but three goals in their five outings, were indebted to her positional sense and ball-winning skills. Present in all those games, she went through the whole competition without picking up a single card.
*FIFA Fair Play Award: France
*Victorious in Group F, France went on to reach the quarter-finals, picking up only three yellow cards in their five games. That was not the only reason why Les *Bleues *pocketed this award, however. With their attacking play, respect for their opponents and for the match officials and the sporting attitude displayed by their coaching staff and fans, the French impressed FIFA’s Technical Study Group throughout their stay in Canada.
*FIFA World Champions Badge
*The winners of each major FIFA competition (the FIFA World Cup™, FIFA Women’s World Cup™, FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, FIFA Futsal World Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup) earn the right to wear the FIFA World Champions Badge.
Following their victory at Germany 2011, Japan wore the prestigious emblem through to the Final of Canada 2015, with USA now claiming it for themselves for the next four years.
The other teams currently sporting the FIFA World Champions Badge are Brazil 2014 winners Germany, reigning Club World Cup champions Real Madrid, and FIFA Futsal World Cup Thailand 2012 winners Brazil.
Meanwhile, Russia will defend their FIFA World Champions Badge at the upcoming Beach Soccer World Cup, which kicks off in Portugal in Thursday 9 July.