With the United States-Japan final also comes the conclusion of a tournament where the inequality of how FIFA treats the women's game was on display in real time: artificial turf fields; competing teams staying in the same hotels; a prize money pool one-third of what their male counterparts had available in Brazil a year ago.

The issues will remain until FIFA gets its next opportunity in 2019 to show how much it values the Women's World Cup.

"I've referred to FIFA as the stadium that houses this event, the game is the centerpiece of this event, not the institution," United States coach Jill Ellis said. "I think people can't help, FIFA included, but to notice how popular this sport is. And to make sure, it's like anything, there is always an evolution. There is always a process to go through before equal footing is gained."

FIFA trumpeted the success of the tournament Friday. It has set attendance records with more than 1 million fans, shattered TV viewing records beyond just the American market and staged a successful expansion from 16 to 24 teams.

Yet the equality problems were significant. The use of artificial turf on all fields was at the head of the list. But the prize money for the event is $15 million. The men's purse was more than $500 million in 2014.

Let him enjoy it

After beating Germany for third place, England coach Mark Sampson decided it might be time for a brief break to enjoy the moment when asked how the Lionesses build on this performance.

"Look, all I'm concerned about is having a good time tonight, if I'm honest," he said, with a big grin. "Let's stick our glasses in the air and toast to an excellent tournament, and a really special experience, memories of a lifetime."