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Carli Lloyd’s long-range strike claims Women’s World Cup’s best goal award


Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA Today Sports


Now that she is home from parading, Carli Lloyd should probably start expanding her trophy cabinet.

FIFA announced Monday that Lloyd’s long-range chip from the center circle in the World Cup Final was awarded Goal of the Tournament.

Lloyd’s strike was rewarded after a week of fan voting and was especially remarkable considering it came against the former world champion Japan on FIFA’s largest stage in the Women’s World Cup final.

Lloyd’s 16th minute chip was both inventive and ambitious, as she recognized that Japan’s Ayumi Kaihori was well off her line and sent the ball sailing over the sprawled-out goalkeeper and off her fingertips before one-hopping into the net.

Nobody has scored more in their careers from USA midfield than Lloyd, who claimed her hat-trick on this goal—just her third shot of the game—and became the first player, man or woman, to score a hat-trick in one half of a World Cup final.

Lloyd’s long-range bomb beat out Daniela Montoya’s equalizer for Colombia against Mexico and Mizuho Sakaguchi’s curling left-footed finish for Japan against the Netherlands.

Lloyd will add this trophy to her winner’s medal, Golden Ball for player of the tournament, Adidas Silver Boot as second-top scorer and Live Your Goals Player of the Match awards—one from each stage of USA’s triumphant run through the knockout rounds.

What did you think of Lloyd’s goal? Did another strike stand out to you from the tournament?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Beckham admitted the same thing, that his midfield goal against Wimbledon was only an attempt at a corner that was lucky to go in.

    In fact, since Paul has revealed Carli’s intentions so convincingly, great goalscorers are lining up to admit that, really, they are only ever trying to earn a corner, but, fortunately for them, some of thos attempts somehow actually make it into the goal and look intentional, fooling most fans. But not Paul.

  2. You can watch every league in the world and every World Cup and still only see shots like that very, very rarely. It would be a goal of the year candidate in any league anywhere.

  3. Best goal womens WC goal ever. A top (5?) goal scored in any WC mens and womens.

    If FIFA is going to start stating obvious facts then I’d love to see Blatter come out and say that FIFA is corrupt, he’s pocketed millions of dollars in under the table deals and oh yea he did know others were taking bribes too.

    • Yes, I think there should have been doubt. This was maybe the most embarrassing goal, from a keeper’s perspective. But ‘best’ goal? I’d have gone with something that was preceded by intricate passing or at least that awarded a more traditional shot.

      This was more along the kind of things you see in amateur play when you suspect the keeper can’t cover the all the space she/he is taking. And that proved to be the case, as the keeper completely misjudged the ball and just took too long and too many stutter steps getting back. But even in an amateur game, this is something you do mostly to keep the keeper honest, and maybe if you hit it well you get a quick corner out of it. Most keepers aren’t going to try to hold a ball when their momentum might carry them over the line, so if well hit, the keeper will flick it over the crossbar.

      • It was a huge keeper error by the Japanese goalie but you have to admit from an “eye candy” point of view this goal was spectacular. I’ve talked to non-soccer fans and people who don’t even watch sports who saw this and were floored by it. They don’t understand or care about the nuances of goalkeeping just that soccer goals aren’t ever scored from midfield. If it gets more people interested in soccer than it’s great.

      • I guess.

        Have you ever seen Arie Haan’s near-midfield goal? That was impressive. From about 50 yards out, on a line, and the ball was still going up as it hit net just inside the far post. It was so spooky that Haan later said he didn’t like watching videos of the shot.

        Lloyd’s? Eh, just a long, lofted ball from midfield. But you’re right – if it brings people to the game…

      • Can’t complain about the performance or result but don’t worry – we can still find things to complain about from the WWC. Well done!

      • You’re really going to complain about that goal being named goal of the world cup? A shot from midfield in the final?

        The Arie Haan goal was great but 1) it wasn’t from 50 yards and 2) it wasn’t scored in this world cup so who cares?

      • I don’t think there is any way to seriously compare this goal to Arie Haan’s shot against Italy. Which, by the way, was probably 50 yards, because the 1978 World Cup wasn’t played on an American football field. Most fields are at least 130 yards, and many are a little longer. In our country, 120 became the high school norm because it was cost-effective to put the soccer goals underneath the football goal posts.

        Like I said, this goal by Lloyd is the kind of thing that smart players will try against amateur keepers. So for that, I questioned the notion that there should have been no doubt this one should be the goal of the tournament. If you want to call that complaining, what can I say. I’m not pretty enough to carry pom poms, so I try to be more analytical.

      • Slow – I stand corrected. I was curious why you said the Arie Haan shot wasn’t 50 yards, so I just looked it up. The Buenos Aires stadium was only 115 yards long, so the edge of the center circle was probably 47 yards from goal, and Haan was a step or two closer. A little off to one side, but still probably about something under 45 yards.

      • You are talking about the goal against Italy right? He was way inside halfway. Great goal nonetheless of course.

        You’re right that players at all levels try that kind of speculative effort pretty frequently but when it results in a goal in a world cup final that’s pretty special.

      • Most fields are at least 130 yards, and many are a little longer.
        No, they are most definitely not. Go read Law 1. The maximum length of the touch line is 130 yards and the maximum length for international games is 120 yards. It’s been this way forever.

      • I’ll stipulate that a keeper should never be beaten from the halfway line. But in about 3 seconds, Lloyd collected the ball, took a touch to round a defender, judged the keeper’s position, excluded other options, and launched an accurate shot with enough velocity and height to beat that keeper from 50 yards. To complete a hat trick. Against the Holders. In a World Cup Final. And this wasn’t some bad decision speculative distance shot that happened to go in. She meant every bit of it. All goals at result from defensive lapses of some kind. This was a one-in-a-lifetime goal given the circumstances. It was obviously the goal of the tournament. If it doesn’t win goal of the year, well, I’d sure would like to see that goal.

      • Well stated. You might have me changing my opinion. The touch around that defender impressed me more than the kick, but if you combine the entire sequence, it was pretty good. I agree it was a deliberate decision to try it, but I would guess Lloyd was playing for a corner rather than a goal there.

      • What the hell are you talking about? You think an attacking player takes a shot with the intention of getting a corner kick?

      • Let me ask you this. In the 2010 men’s finals, Spain put the ball over the touchline to allow treatment for a Dutch player. When the game was ready to resume, the Dutch took a short throw and then someone, Schneider maybe, kicked the ball to the Spanish keeper, returning the courtesy as is common practice. The ball took a bad bounce, and for a brief moment looked like it might skip past the keeper into the goal. Not saying it was close, but the keeper clearly went from routine play into something more serious for that brief moment. I’m assuming we can agree the Dutch player wasn’t trying to score. Would that have been the goal of the year?

      • Doubt it although I don’t remember the incident in question. Pretty irrelevant to this discussion though since Lloyd was clearly going for goal.

      • No. It wouldn’t have. It would have ended up on the same “highlight” real as David Green’s goalkeeping or one of those times where a GK fails to control an easy backpass and it rolls int the goal. That surrendering of possession wasn’t a shot. CL’s was. That’s a key difference.

      • She said herself that she was trying to score, which only makes sense. To think you’d earn a corner from a halfway-line shot, you’d have to assume the keeper would parry the shot over her backline or over the goal instead of catching the ball or simply knocking it down. You’d also have to assume that the player intended to shoot the ball in a way to force that kind of save, rather than any other outcome (like scoring). Your assumption makes no sense.

      • You will have to look for a long time to find a keeper that will try to catch anything up high near the crossbar when they are moving toward goal.

        Most longer-range lofts against aggressive keepers are trying for corners. Closer range, the attacker wants to pop the ball over the keepers head and in. Longer range, the attacker will assume the keeper can get there, so the intent is a corner (though obviously no one on the attacker’s team minds if it goes in). In an absurd situation, like a loft from midfield, it is hard to imagine any intent other than a corner – which should have been the case here. The Japanese keeper was having trouble judging the ball and stutter stepped the whole way back. Based on the way she had handled corner kicks prior to this, my guess is this Japanese keeper doesn’t see a lot of crosses or lofts in practice.

      • You miss my point (and Lloyd’s statement of her own intent). You’d have to try to hit a ridiciously accurate shot from 50 yards to put a ball (i) that would go in, so is worthy of saving, but (ii) is high enough that the keeper has to parry it over the bar. Or, you could try to hit a far less accurate shot (namely, anywhere on frame) with the intent of catching the keeper out. The latter is plainly what Lloyd was trying to do, as she said herself. More to the point, why would Lloyd try for a corner there when she had multiple other good options? She wouldn’t. She saw an opening and tried to score. It worked. Period.

      • This isn’t kicking the ball off of a defender to earn a corner or forcing a cross in to earn a corner. No one ever shoots on goal to force a corner kick. That’s absolutely idiotic. You shoot to score.

      • This isn’t kicking the ball off of a defender to earn a corner or forcing a cross in to earn a corner. No one ever shoots on goal to force a corner kick. That’s absolutely foolish*. You shoot to score.

        *I initially used a stronger word here but that got caught in modland.

    • You’re right – I was thinking this was the biggest no-brainer of all time but then I remembered this is the organization that gave the WC to Qatar.


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