USA Women 2-0 Netherlands Women: Holders retain Women's World Cup
Report as Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle secure record fourth World Cup triumph for holders United States
Last Updated: 08/07/19 12:05pm
USA made history by becoming just the second nation to defend the Women's World Cup with a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands in the final in Lyon on Sunday.
Captain Megan Rapinoe set the US on their way with her sixth goal at the tournament, breaking 61 minutes of Dutch resistance, when she converted a VAR-awarded penalty, after Alex Morgan was caught in the area by Stefanie van der Gragt's raise boot.
Rose Lavelle then wrapped up the victory, capping a fine tournament on a personal level as she slalomed through the Dutch defence and fired a brilliant solo effort beyond the inspired Sari van Veenendaal.
Victory sees Jill Ellis' side deliver a record fourth World Cup title, four years on from their third triumph in Canada in 2015, and become the first side since Germany in 2009 to triumph at back-to-back tournaments.
The USA had scored in the opening 12 minutes of each of their World Cup games this summer, but a disciplined Dutch defensive unit brought that run to an end, frustrating the holders early on.
It took USA until just before the half-hour mark to register their first notable attempt on target, Julia Ertz reacting quickest to the second ball at a corner and stinging the palms of Van Veenendaal.
USA settled into their groove towards the end of the first period but were prevented from converting their attacking dominance into goals by an inspired performance from Van Veenendaal.
The Dutch goalkeeper denied Samantha Mewis' header at point-blank range and Alex Morgan's low near-post drive on 37 minutes before Morgan's rasping 20-yard drive was tipped around the post at full stretch.
Not for the first time in France, the USA were given a helping hand by VAR as Van Der Gragt's high-footed challenge on Morgan was reviewed by referee Stephanie Frappart, who overturned her original decision of a corner and pointed to the spot.
Rapinoe coolly slotted home from 12 yards to break the deadlock and draw level at the top of the scoring charts with Morgan and England striker Ellen White.
One became two eight minutes later when Lavelle burst forward and fired a fine second beyond Van Veenendaal to secure a lead which proved insurmountable for the Netherlands.
Treble for Rapinoe
It wasn't just a Women's World Cup winners medal that Megan Rapinoe secured with her penalty in Lyon.
The USA captain's goal - her sixth of the tournament - drew her level with Alex Morgan and Ellen White in the top scorer charts but she won the Golden Boot due to the fact she played fewer minutes than Morgan in the tournament.
And a third honour soon followed as she was received the Golden Ball and was crowned the tournament's best player award ahead of England right-back Lucy Bronze and USA team-mate Rose Lavelle.
- USA secured their fourth Women's World Cup title (1991, 1999, 2015 and 2019), now winning twice as many Women's World Cup tournaments as any other nation.
- Netherlands have now lost their last seven matches against USA in all competitions by an aggregate score of 2-24.
- USA attacker Megan Rapinoe is just the second player in history to start three Women's World Cup finals (2011, 2015, 2019) after Germany's Birgit Prinz (1995, 2003, 2007).
- USA scored 26 goals at the 2019 Women's World Cup, the most by a team at a single tournament in the competition's history.
- USA's Megan Rapinoe became the first player to score a penalty in a Women's World Cup final, as well as being the oldest scorer in a final (34 years and 2 days).
- This was a 12th consecutive victory at the Women's World Cup for the USA - the longest run in the history of the FIFA World Cup (men's and women's).
- Netherlands goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal made eight saves in this match - the most by a goalkeeper in a knockout stage match at the 2019 Women's World Cup.
- Since failing to score against Australia in July 2017, the USA have scored in 45 consecutive matches in all competitions, netting 148 goals and scoring at least twice in each of their last 12 games.
Player of the Match - Sari van Veenendaal
Had it not been for Sari van Veenendaal, the USA would have run amok in Lyon. The Netherlands goalkeeper, released this summer by Arsenal, was in inspired form throughout and kept her side in the game as the US laid siege towards the end of the first half. On the back of this performance, she will not be without a club for long - a small crumb of comfort after the disappointment of losing a World Cup final.