Oranje hits first Women’s World Cup final to punch up mighty U.S

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The U.S. Women’s National Team will take on the Netherlands in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup final on Sunday, July 7 at 8 a.m. PT at the Stade de Lyon in Lyon, France.

The U.S. advanced to its third consecutive Women’s World Cup final after beating England 2-1 in the semifinal round. Christen Press, who came in for an injured Megan Rapinoe, and Alex Morgan, who was celebrating her 30th birthday, both scored again England to lead the USA to victory.

The Netherlands, the reigning European champion, advanced to its first Women’s World Cup final after outlasting Sweden in extra time in the semifinal round. Midfielder Jackie Groenen scored the game-winning goal nine minutes into the first extra time period to lead the Netherlands to victory Wednesday.

When Jackie Groenen received the ball, even though she was outside the penalty area, the Dutch midfielder knew she had to seize her opening.

It was 99 minutes into a gruelling Women’s World Cup semifinal, and neither the Netherlands nor Sweden was finding a clear path to the goal on Thursday (NZT).

“I saw a nice angle,” Groenen said. “We’ve been discussing this for a couple of weeks now that I need to take shots more often. The ball just came really nicely, and I thought, ‘Let’s do this.”‘

A slick passing sequence ended with Groenen driving a shot past goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl. A first shot on target in France produced her first goal of the tournament.

“I’m not much of a scorer,” she said. “But I’m very happy today I got to score.”

Two years after the Dutch won their first major trophy — the European Championship — Groenen is already dreaming of a first world title in only their second attempt.

“It kind of went through my mind as soon as I got off the pitch,” she said. “The Americans are massive, they have massive players. They are the biggest team in the world but I can’t wait to play.”

The USA is trying to set a record by claiming its fourth Women’s World Cup title. The U.S. is the defending Women’s World Cup champion after claiming its third title in Canada in 2015.

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