The United States (US) edged past Netherlands 2-0 and went on to retain their Women’s World Cup title on Sunday. It was Megan Rapinoe’s penalty conversion and a brilliant display of attacking football from Rose Lavelle that gave the US a convincing win against the Europeans in Lyon.
After being kept at bay by the talented Dutch goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal for the entire duration of the first half, the US were desperate to score in the second half and it showed from the way they had come out in the second half, attacking and looking for scoring opportunities.
The US finally took the lead in this Women’s World Cup final just after an hour’s play when Rapinoe scored the penalty to end as the tournament’s joint highest goal scorer with six goals.
The 34-year-old was charged up after having led her team both on and off the field.
Levelle, meanwhile, went on to double her team’s lead. It was fitting that she scored the goal for her team after having a splendid performer for her team over the last month. Levelle’s goal in the 69th minute of the match almost sealed the match for her team.
Victory in the deciding fixture on Sunday goes on to highlight how dominant a force US are in the International Women’s Football arena having claimed their fourth title on Sunday in the eight editions that have been held so far.
Before winning the title, they already had the distinction of playing three back-to-back finals. The US win has also ensured that their coach Jill Ellis becomes the only coach to win back-to-back World Cup titles-both men and women since Italy’s Vittorio Pozzo in the 1930s.
Interestingly, the US were the only non-European team to have made it the quarter-finals and most people expected hosts France and England to have a more dominant performance in the tournament tagging them as favourites to lift the trophy.
However, the US showed their class and with the win they will now have four stars on their jersey- a testimony to the record-breaking four Women’s World Cups that they have won.