USWNT Topple Netherlands to Win Consecutive Women’s World Cup Final
Photo Credit - AP
The United States Women’s National Team added their fourth star to their badge in a 2-0 win over Netherlands to win the 2019 Women’s World Cup Final. The Women are the first team since Germany in 2007 to win consecutive World Cups.
After overcoming Spain, France and England in the knockout stages, the United States Women were more than ready to take on Netherlands. The final kicked off with much anticipation, with a sold out stadium in Lyon and the most viewed Women’s World Cup final ever.
It was the first game of the tournament that the United States didn’t score in the first twelve minutes of the match, as Netherlands were ready to weather the storm in the early moments of the game. Each team were hoping to expose the oppositions defense with direct play forward, with little build up play from either side.
Chances came and went in the first twenty minutes of the match, but neither team put a strong effort on goal until the 28th minute. The United States won a corner, and as the ball bounced around the area midfielder Julie Ertz struck a wonderful effort right at the keeper.
There was nearly another chance for the United States, as the ball was sent over the top for Morgan and she was nudged down in the box, but it there was no call from the referee and the play continued. Only moments later Netherlands keeper Sari van Veenendaal would be called on twice in succession to save attempts from Samantha Mewis and Alex Morgan.
Van Veenendaal was Netherlands hero in the first half, stopping every attempt the United States women had on goal.
Coming out of the half, Ali Krieger replaced Kelley O’Hara who suffered a head collision right before the end of the first half. An early corner saw the United States have a chance, as Ertz hit a header wide of the goal from the cross.
Controversy and outrage poured from United States fans as Becky Sauerbrunn won a header, and a head collision that saw her on the ground asking the referee to stop play, but play continued. The ball was eventually put out of play, and cameras caught Sauerbrunn’s face bleeding before being attended to.
The controversy continued as there was a penalty shout in the 59th minute, as Morgan took a high boot in the box and goes down, and after a Video-Assistant-Review (VAR) check, the USWNT were awarded a penalty. The star of the tournament Megan Rapinoe stepped up against the star of the game Sari van Veenendaal. Rapinoe would win the moment slotting it to the right side of goal and wrong-footing van Veenendaal for the 1-0 lead.
Rapinoe’s penalty saw her capture the golden boot, and become the oldest player to score in a Women’s World Cup Final at the age of 34.
Netherland’s Vivianne Miedema nearly brought the Netherlands back minutes later, but her incredible move into the box saw one too many touches and the United States defenders dealt with her.
The United States would break on the counter in the 69th minute, as Rose Lavelle received the ball from Mewis in the middle of the field before driving through space and setting up a magnificent shot on her left foot that she placed perfectly in the bottom right corner. Lavelle’s effort secured the win for the United States and saw pandemonium in celebration from the USWNT and their fans.
The United States star Rapinoe was replaced by Christen Press in 79th minute to standing ovation, and the women would began to pile on more pressure with the fresh legs up front. Winger Tobin Heath nearly scored twice, with two wonderful solo dribbles into the box, but each time taking too many touches and forcing a pass away.
It was an emotional substitution in the 87th minute, as Heath was withdrawn for 36-year-old Carli Lloyd who was making her final appearance for the United States Women’s National Team. Lloyd nearly had her goal, but was unable to beat the last defender to create space for a shot.
The match ended as the United States team and staff poured onto the field to celebrate winning consecutive Women’s World Cup and their outstanding victory in the Final. Through controversy and hate, from abroad and at home, this team overcame it all. The pressure was never too much, their character never swayed, and they fought through it all to become world champions. This tournament was more than a final for the United States Women, and all of women’s sports across the world.
Rapinoe, who has had more controversy around her than anyone, took home the Golden Boot, and the Golden Ball for the top goalscorer and best player of the tournament. Teammates Morgan and Lavelle also won awards, with Mrogan grabbing the Silver Boot, and Lavelle winning the Bronze Ball. Head Coach Jill Ellis’ name will forever be embedded in history, becoming the first coach to win consecutive World Cups in the women’s game, and becoming the second ever in all of soccer.
Many of the United States Women’s National team will return to the growing National Women’s Soccer League in America, that can be streamed on Yahoo Sports as their season continues throughout the summer.