- 4th World Cup win for USWNT
- Second-straight WC win
- Ellis first coach to win successive WWCs
- Rapinoe, Lavelle score for USA
The U.S. women’s national team won the World Cup for the fourth time in their history, as they beat the Netherlands 2-0 in Lyon on Sunday.
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Second half goals from Megan Rapinoe (from the penalty spot) and Rose Lavelle did the job for Jill Ellis’ side, as they became just the second team to complete back-to-back World Cup wins. Ellis is also the first women’s coach in history to win consecutive titles.
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Although the Dutch, led by their brilliant captain and goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal, sat back and frustrated the USWNT, the Americans always seemed likely to break through in the end.
[ VIDEO: USA lift World Cup trophy ]
A quiet start to the game saw the Netherlands sit back and they were tough for the USWNT to break down as their customary early blitz didn’t arrive.
A yellow card for Sherida Spitse did arrive, as the Dutch midfielder terrier slid in late towards Rose Lavelle. Even though there was no contact on Lavelle, Spitse was still cautioned.
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Alyssa Naeher had to be quick off her line to thwart a rare Dutch attack with Lineth Beerensteyn in on goal, as the USWNT had plenty of the ball but their best chance came from a set piece situations.
Julie Ertz’s volley on target was pushed away by Dutch goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal, and as half time approach the U.S. poured forward in search of an opener.
Van Veenendaal made a fine stop from Alex Morgan to push her effort from Megan Rapinoe’s cross onto the spot, and did her best to put Sam Mewis off as another cross flew in. Van Veenendaal then tipped Morgan’s effort away as their personal battle continued, with the Dutch a threat on the counter.
At the start of the second half a corner towards Ertz at the near post came off her shoulder instead of her head, as the USWNT continued to dominate the play as the Dutch sat deep.
The game was gritty and tackles flew in as the Dutch did their best to thwart the rhythm of the USWNT, but then Morgan went down in the box under a challenge from Stefanie van der Gragt and VAR was used to award the USA a penalty kick.
Rapinoe stepped up to slot home the penalty kick for her sixth goal of the tournament amid wild scenes of celebration with 30 minutes to go.
Lavelle then added a second as the Dutch team pushed forward in search of an equalizer. The young midfielder surged forward and then cut inside before slamming home to make it 2-0.
Heath was denied a third late on as the USWNT totally dominate the final stages of the final, with van Veenendaal denying Morgan and Crystal Dunn to cap her incredible performance in the final.
In the end the U.S. secured their second-straight World Cup title in comfortable fashion.