Footy Times

USA outclass Netherlands 2-0 to clinch fourth Women’s World Cup title

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The U.S. women’s national soccer team extended their dominance at the 2019 Women’s World Cup also by defeating the Netherlands 2-0 on Sunday in the championship match.

The victory in Lyon, France, marks the fourth world title for the U.S. women after taking home the cup in 1991, 1999 and 2015.

Holders USA were made to work hard for the win as Dutch goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal made a series of outstanding saves to keep the first half goalless, but the pressure told after the break.

The US took the lead in the 62nd minute through a Rapinoe penalty awarded via VAR.

Stefanie Van Der Gragt made a high-footed challenge on Alex Morgan, who went down in the box, and having initially awarded a corner, referee Stephanie Frappart then watched back footage pitchside before pointing to the spot.

Rapinoe subsequently produced a composed finish from 12 yards to take her goal tally for the tournament to six, moving her level at the top of the scoring charts with Morgan and England’s Ellen White.

Seven minutes later the advantage was doubled as Lavelle burst forward and fired past Van Veenendaal.

The US looked the more likely to score in the latter stages as the Dutch became increasingly stretched in defence, but it remained 2-0 as the US saw out the victory to win the World Cup for the fourth time.

It was the second straight World Cup title for a dozen of the American players, who claimed their first in Canada four years ago. It also cemented their status as the gold standard in women’s soccer, even as Europe — led by teams like the Netherlands — mounts a sustained assault on their crown.

The tears flowed freely after the win: from striker Alex Morgan, who tied for the tournament lead with six goals; from Kelley O’Hara, who was forced after at halftime after a scary head-to-head collision; from the Dutch, who fought the Americans harder, and kept even with them longer, than any team at this World Cup.

The Netherlands was the only team to keep the United States off the scoreboard in the first half in France but they, like all the other teams before them — Thailand, Chile, Sweden, Spain, France and England — could not hold them off forever.

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