Prior to the match between the women's football superpowers, USA Coach Jill Ellis remarked that Japan's set pieces, options around the ball and penetration were the things that her team would need to focus on if they were to be successful.
Interestingly, it was the USA's set pieces that caused such a devastating catastrophe for the Asian Cup champions Japan with the first 2 goals coming in the first five minutes of play.
The first came after a low hard corner from Megan Rapinoe and a perfectly timed run into the box by Carli Lloyd whose clinical one touch deflection punished the flat footed Japanese defense.
The 53,000 strong crowd were in raptures as Japan looked shell shocked only to regroup in a huddle and try to put the goal behind them, however, their focus was short lived as a free kick from Lauren Holiday on the right, which was once again driven in low and hard, for Lloyd to volley at close range after misguided touches and rebounds in the box.
Once again Japan huddled to regain their composure, but they were clearly rattled and the US confidence grew with each touch moving to the ball quicker, winning second balls and winning most of the 1v1 situations.
Megan Rapinoe and Meghan Klingenberg were unstoppable on the left and even though Rapinoe was double teamed, the overlapping runs of Klingenberg were a constant threat.
The Japanese backs looked unnerved, unorganised and panicked and when Azuusa Iwasimizu failed to clear a Tobin Heath ball knocked into the fray an oncoming Holiday superbly volleyed home past the helpless Japanese keeper Ayumi Kaihori.
"She always does this to us (speaking of Lloyd), we're a bit embarrassed," said Japan coach Norio Sasaki.
Forward Yuki Ogimi did lower the deficit after turning the defender Julie Johnston and expertly finishing to the top left past a diving Hope Solo.
We didnít have the quality to handle what USA threw at us in the final,Ē goal scorer Yuki Ogimi reported.
Japan coach Norio Sasaki tried to invigorate a down trodden Nadeshiko making two changes to his starting line up before the half time break and for a time Japan looked as if they could make a more respectable showing, but it was short lived.
After the break the Asian champions reduced the deficit further after Julie Johnstonís attempt at a clearing header from a Japanese free kick glanced off her head beating Solo once again, but the Americans replied once again as their opponents pushed players forward.
The final nail in the coffin came, once again from Golden Ball winner Lloyd, who picked up the ball in her own half took a step and then noticing that the Japanese keeper was off her line, lined up and took the shot. Agonizingly, Kaihori got a hand to it, but it wasnít enough to steer the ball wide of the goal.
The USA continued on the attack pushing forward and once again applied the finishing touch with Heath netting after Kaihori mismanaged a corner, reinstating the three goal margin and becoming the first country to win the tournament three times.
The USWNT will return to the USA for a pair of friendly matches against Costa Rica on Aug. 16 and Aug. 19 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Chattanooga, Tennessee, respectively, before embarking on their nationwide celebration tour .
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 19-Julie Johnston, 22-Meghan Klingenberg; 12-Lauren Holiday, 14-Morgan Brian, 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.), 15-Megan Rapinoe (5-Kelley O'Hara, 61), 13-Alex Morgan (3-Christie Rampone, 86), 17-Tobin Heath (20-Abby Wambach, 79)
Subs Not Used: 2-Sydney Leroux, 6-Whitney Engen, 7-Shannon Boxx, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 9-Heather O'Reilly, 16-Lori Chalupny,18-Ashlyn Harris, 21-Alyssa Naeher, 23-Christen Press
Head coach: Jill Ellis
JPN: 18-Ayumi Kaihori; 3-Azusa Iwashimizu (10-Homare Sawa, 33), 4-Saki Kumagai, 5-Aya Sameshima, 6-Mizuho Sakaguchi, 8-aya Miyama (C), 9-Nahomi Kawasumi (15-Yuika Sugasawa, 39), 11-Shinobu Ohno (16-Mana Iwabuchi, 60), 13-Rumi Utsugi, 17-Yuki Ogimi, 19-Saori Ariyoshi
Subs Not Used: 1-Miho Fukumoto, 2-Yukari Kinga, 12-Megumi Kamionobe, 14-Asuna Tanaka, 20-Yuri Kawamura, 21-Erina Yamane, 22-Asano Nagasato, 23-Kana Kitahara, 7-Kozue Ando
Head Coach: Norio Sasaki
Stats Summary: USA / JPN
Shots: 15 / 12
Shots on Goal: 7 / 4
Saves: 3 / 2
Corner Kicks: 7 / 3
Fouls: 14 / 10
Offside: 1 / 1
By Paul Brown