7 July 2019 – USA defeat the Netherlands 2-0 to win their fourth #FIFAWWC
A Megan Rapinoe penalty and a superb Rose Lavelle goal did the damage
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USA triumphant in Lyon, add fourth star
For the first time in history, USA win back-to-back world titles. As always with international tournaments, they had to overcome adversity to get there. For the first time at France 2019, the Stars and Stripes were held goalless by half-time. But in the second half, a converted penalty by adidas Golden Ball and Boot winner Megan Rapinoe and a wonderful strike by breakout star Rose Lavelle made the difference in Lyon. USA extend their record with four Women’s World Cup trophies as France 2019 comes to a close.
For an hour in Lyon, the Netherlands threatened a grand upset in #LaGrandeFinale, but USA cruised into their irresistible extra gear to win 2-0 and lift the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ for the fourth time.
Sari van Veenendaal was magnificent for the Oranjeleeuwinnen, whose counter-attacks, usually involving Lieke Martens and Vivianne Miedema, sporadically unsettled the American backline. But when Alex Morgan won a penalty, Megan Rapinoe coolly dispatched it in the 61st minute and the USWNT were on another level thereafter. Rose Lavelle swiftly scored a sumptuous second.
Rapinoe went off to a standing ovation towards the end. The Netherlands players deserved one too for giving this almighty machine a much sterner challenge than many expected.
‘La Grande Finale’, however, belonged to the team that has, more than any other, illuminated an exhilarating month in France.
USA 2-0 Netherlands: Final, Lyon, 7 July, 17:00
Team Reporter analysis
Erin Fish (USA)
The USWNT came into this tournament with one goal and one goal only: to lift the trophy. They were faced with adversity throughout the tournament but ignored the outside noise, focused on the task at hand and got the job done. An impressive performance against the Netherlands, played fiercely by both teams, was ultimately taken over by the gritty Americans, when a foul from Stefanie van der Gragt led to a penalty that Megan Rapinoe buried. Rose Lavelle then gave the US the insurance goal on a brilliant, driven shot to make it 2-0. Jill Ellis and her squad will leave France as world champions and they will be able to add a fourth star to the US crest.
Emma Coolen (Netherlands)
It was a very brave fight from the Oranjeleeuwinnen, but today, the USA were just too good. Making it to the final in only their second ever World Cup is an incredible performance from the Netherlands, but right now, the main emotion will mainly be sadness over missing out on the World Cup title. Hopefully, in due time, both the players and staff can look back on this World Cup run and realise what an incredible performance this tournament really was for the Orange Lionesses.
Megan Rapinoe, adidas Golden Ball and Boot winner
“We leaned on our experience this entire tournament. We had some incredibly tough games, a lot of media attention and pressure, so I think for us older players to carry that load and set the right example for the younger players is a huge reason as to why we were able to be so successful. There is no team that is more battle-tested in knockout stages, and that is what this team is all about.”
On moving the women’s game forward:
“Everyone is ready for the conversation of equality to move to the next step. Let’s get to the next point of how we support women’s programs around the world. Every player at this World Cup put on the most incredible show you could ever ask for. It’s time to move the conversation forward.”
Megan Rapinoe, Player of the Match
Rapinoe gives her immediate reaction with FOX on the pitch, describing what it feels like to be world champions:
“I don’t think I can. It’s unbelievable to know all the people who put in so much in this group. We have all our families and friends here. It’s surreal. I don’t know how to feel right now. It’s ridiculous.”
Respect for Oranjeleeuwinnen
The Netherlands put in their best ever Women’s World Cup performance by finishing in second, in what was only their second ever participation at the world finals.
Jill Ellis is the first coach to win two Women’s World Cup trophies.
Jill Ellis’ post-match thoughts
USA head coach Jill Ellis speaks with FOX after the match:
“They’re an amazing group of players and an even better group of people. I could barely speak (in the huddle). I just said, ‘You’re unbelievable. Congratulations. You made history. Enjoy it.'”
Jill Ellis, USA head coach
“The level overall is the women’s game is growing exponentially. This was incredibly difficult. The teams we had to come through were some of the best in the world. In terms of the path and the level, this was pretty challenging.
“I knew after 2016 we had to deconstruct and reconstruct the team. That was hard. But to get to this point and see the validation in all our work, it speaks for itself. People out there know about 1/10th of what we do. Congratulations to the Netherlands. They’re a world class team and they gave us a heck of a game tonight.”
Sarina Wiegman, Netherlands head coach
“We would have loved to win this final, but we didn’t. Our opponent was better today. So we’re second in the world, and I’m very proud of that and for the team and staff. We can improve. We go to the Olympics for the first time in history. There’s high potential in this team. Our average age is under 26, so a lot of players will continue developing. The near future looks good, but the far future, we need to improve our facilities for further development.”
“We need to encourage more women to get involved”
Netherlands coach Sarina Wiegman spoke about the significance of having two women coaches in the final:
“I do think that we can encourage women. I always say that I need to perform well, than I can coach the national team. I also think in earlier times, women were not accepted in football, and now they’re more accepted, but a little behind. When you’re behind, you need to work harder to get it equal. We need to encourage more women to get involved in football.”
Alex Morgan, adidas Silver Boot winner
Morgan speaks with FOX after being asked to describe the emotions of the moment:
“I can’t. This team is something special, and to do it back-to-back is pretty incredible. We had a hard route to the final. I’m just proud of this team. We felt confident. We felt like it was going to take us a bit to gain momentum throughout the tournament. Jill (Ellis) did a great job in terms of managing the team, so credit to her and the team for playing our roles to a T.”
With 26 goals scored at France 2019, USA set a new record for a single edition of the Women’s World Cup.
Did you know?
- Megan Rapinoe is the oldest goalscorer in a Women’s World Cup Final at the age of 34 years and two months. Her team-mate Carli Lloyd was the previous record holder in the category at 32 years and 354 days
- Golden Ball winner in 2015 Carli Lloyd is playing in her third Women’s World Cup final
- The attendance has just been announced, and an incredible 57,900 are here in Lyon to witness this piece of Women’s World Cup history. What a showing for the final
- Rapinoe’s goal is the first penalty scored in a Women’s World Cup final match. It was the second penalty awarded in a final, but the first was saved by Germany goalkeeping legend Nadine Angerer from a shot by Brazil star Marta in 2007
- USA have lost just one of their last 44 matches across all competitions (W38 D5 L1), a 1-3 defeat against France in January 2019
- Netherlands is the eighth different team to participate in the Women’s World Cup final – the only European nations to win the trophy are Germany (2003 & 2007) & Norway (1995)
- USA retain the #FIFAWWC having won it in 2015, beating Japan 5-2 in the final – Germany have previously won back to back tournaments in 2003 & 2007
- Netherlands played played their first #FIFAWWC final exactly 45 years after the Dutch men’s team played its first World Cup final (July 7, 1974)
ABOUT THE USA:
- 1st to win it 4 times
- Back to back titles
- Second team after Germany to defend their #FIFAWWC title
- Won it in 1991,1999, 2015, 2019
- First time they have won it on European soil
- 1st to play in 3 successive finals