USA wins FIFA Women's World Cup
07 Jul 2019, 20:57 ( 13 days ago) | updated: 07 Jul 2019, 21:28 ( 13 days ago)
Thanks to Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle's second-half goals in eight minutes, the United States saw off the Netherlands 2-0 here on Sunday to claim their second straight World Cup title.
The U.S. co-captain Rapinoe opened the scoring in the 61st minute through a penalty kick, before Lavelle doubled the lead following a solo run on 69 minutes.
After lifting the trophy in Lyon, the Americans came out the most decorated women's soccer team in history, taking four championships from eight editions all together since 1991.
Top-scoring Alex Morgan earned the penalty for the U.S., as French referee Stephanie Frappart called a high-boot foul of Stefanie van der Gragt inside the box on Morgan after consulting with the VAR and checking the monitor.
Rapinoe stepped up from the spot and slotted a powerful shot past Dutch keeper Sari van Veenendaal, who hardly moved after guessing the wrong way.
It's just the second penalty ever awarded in the Women's World Cup final. The first one was in China 2007.
Just eight minutes later, Lavelle made a terrific individual effort on a counter-attack, dribbling through the midfield, setting up a left-footed shot and hammering it into the bottom-right corner of the Dutch women's goal.
It's the first time, however, in this World Cup that the defending champions failed to open scoring early in the first half.
The U.S., who started the game strongly to create a number of dangerous chances in the fist half, had previously scored in the first 12 minutes of every match in France 2019.
Dutch keeper Van Veenendaal, a 1.80m-tall girl playing for England's Arsenal WFC, made excellent saves to keep the European champions' sheets clean.
Julie Ertz launched a 28-minute attempt with a right-footed volley from inside the box, but Van Veenendaal just managed to push it away.
The Arsenal goalie then made a double save in the 38th minute, standing tall and blocking attempts from Samantha Mewis and Alex Morgan to keep her side safe.
Three minutes later, Morgan whipped a left-footed effort towards the bottom-right corner of goal and only saw Van Veenendaal got down quickly to palm it wide.
It's also Van Veenendaal who made three saves late in the second half and prevented a rout from the U.S. after the Netherlands trailing.