Fans have been treated to a month long journey but the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup ended with a tremendous finale Sunday afternoon as the Netherlands and United States squared off in Lyon, France for the right to be called world champions. Spectators witness an entertaining final with the Stars & Stripes claiming a 2-0 victory over the Dutch.
The U.S. began the game with a direct attacking approach. Defender Abby Dahlkemper pumped long balls into the offensive third for forwards Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan and Tobin Heath. The attacks didn’t prove fruitful as they were snuffed out by spectacular play from Dutch goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal.
In the 28th minute the Lady Yanks mounted their most dangerous attack. A low-hit corner kick from Megan Rapinoe found Julie Ertz in the middle of the penalty area. She flicked the ball into open space and uncorked a blistering shot towards Veenendaal, but the Dutch keeper made the save. It was the first promising attempt for the U.S.
With moments remaining in the first half the Netherlands attempted to grab the lead. Forward Vivianne Miedema glided through Stars & Stripes defense to earn a quality opportunity but goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher kept her off the board.
Coming out of the break, the action heated up. Alex Morgan pestered the Dutch defense, allowing the U.S. to maintain a persistent attack on the Netherlands goal. Once again the Dutch goalkeeper stood strong to keep her team in the match.
A tough challenge from Dutch defender Stefanie Van der Gragt on Alex Morgan earned the U.S. a penalty kick. Megan Rapinoe stepped up to calmly put her shot past Veenendaal to claim a 1-0 lead.
Eight minutes later, Cincinnati native Rose Lavelle put the game out of reach with a brilliant individual effort to double the lead.
The Stars & Stripes put on a tremendous show to close out the game winning 2-0 and claiming their fourth World Cup title.
What a performance
It was clear the Netherlands had a plan for stopping the U.S. attack early on. The Dutch held the Stars & Stripes at bay through the first hour but the penalty in the 60th minute changed the course of the game and momentum.
What hamstring injuries?
Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle came into the match with lingering hamstring injuries but that didn’t bother either player. Both women found the scoresheet and played pivotal roles in the Sunday’s victory.
The USWNT will participate in a ticker tape parade in New York City on Wednesday morning. Massive Report provide updates as we learn more about the event.