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SPORTS

Obama leads praise for US Women's World Cup winners

FOOTBALL By AFP | July 6th 2015

US President Barack Obama hailed America's triumphant Women's World Cup team on Sunday, inviting them to the White House minutes after their crushing 5-2 triumph over Japan in the championship match.

"What a win for Team USA! Great game Carli Lloyd! Your country is so proud of all of you," Obama tweeted from his @POTUS handle, hailing Lloyd's three-goal performance.

"Come visit the White House with the World Cup soon," he added.

"#Magisterial" and "#Rout" were just two of the comments tweeted by NBA superstar Kobe Bryant as the Americans took control with an early burst of goals in the Vancouver match.

Lloyd scored in the third and fifth minutes before Lauren Holiday made it 3-0 in the 14th and Lloyd then completed her hattrick in the 16th to make it 4-0.

"Love watching history being made," tweeted 14-time major golf champion Tiger Woods. "There is nothing like it. Go USA!"

R&B queen Beyonce tweeted a picture of herself -- clad in a football jersey -- watching the game on television.

Across the country, fans piled into bars, decked out in red, white and blue and watched their team avenge a loss on penalties to Japan in the 2011 World Cup final in Germany.

The Americans' progress to the final had galvanized supporters back home.

The US victory over Germany in the semi-finals was the third most-watched women's football match ever with 8.4 million viewers, trailing only the USA-China final in 1999 and the USA-Japan final in 2011, US Soccer said.

Watch parties from coast to coast -- in venues ranging from baseball stadiums to city halls -- attracted thousands on Sunday.

That included a big-screen festival organized by US Soccer in Chicago's Lincoln Park where the rapid-fire first four goals sent spectators into a frenzy.

"It was an awesome game," fan Tom Zeman told Chicago television station WLS. "So much fun. So much fun to watch."

For many, the game was a chance to extend the patriotic July 4 Independence Day holiday by an extra day.

Meanwhile America's men's side were at work at the weekend, preparing to launch their defense of the Gold Cup regional football crown on Tuesday.

Striker Jozy Altidore tweeted a picture of US players watching the game on a team bus.

"Cheering on our girls!!" Altidore tweeted. "Keep it up ladies."

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