Goals from Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle lifted the USA over a spirited Dutch team for a 2-0 victory and a back to back success at the Women’s World Cup, following their 2015 win over Japan.
In front of just under 58,000 fans at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Lyon, France, the USA side had to wait until the 61st minute before Rapinoe (above) opened the scoring – a penalty given after VAR confirmed that Stefanie van der Gragt had fouled Alex Morgan in the penalty area. Rapinoe sent Dutch keeper van Veenendaal the wrong way for the lead – and her 6th goal of the tournament.
Seven minutes later and Rose Lavelle (above) tormented the Dutch defence with a mazy run before unleashing a left footed drive from the edge of the penalty box. The shot flew into the Dutch net for 2-0 – the goal being the 26th USA goal of the tournament – a record for a single Women’s World Cup.
Although the Dutch tried to force the pace in the remaining 20 minutes of the final, the USA goal was never seriously threatened. Carli Lloyd was brought on for the Americans with a few minutes to go, signifying her third World Cup Final appearance for the USA. The whistle went – and the United States of America were, again Women’s World Cup winners and Champions of the world.
It was no less than the Americans deserved. Consistently the best team throughout the tournament, the USA were made to work to win the 2019 trophy. After cruising through their Group, they had to see off Spain, France, England and finally Holland to be proclaimed victorious – with all those nations testing America but, in truth, not really ever coming close to beating them.
The tournament overall was a huge success and gave Women’s football a huge boost and positive element of exposure to the viewing public. Many of the games at the 9 French stadiums used across the tournament were close to capacity – with the 2019 tournament setting several new viewership records for various countries, and FIFA forecasts a total global audience of 1 billion spectators.
The tournament was hugely entertaining and played in a fantastic spirit with no poor standard on show. It was not without its controversy – VAR was used throughout the tournament for the first time in a Women’s World Cup and was used on many an occasion – with the final outcomes not always deemed correct. There was also the quite shocking display from the Cameroon side in their Round of 16 match, which has lead to FIFA saying the match will be investigated, following the protestations of the Cameroon side after their defeat.
But none of this should detract from the excellence of the tournament and emphatic nature of the American victory. They now join Germany as a side to retain the Women’s World Cup – but will be warm favourites to make it a hat trick of victories in 2023 – although the destination of that tournament is yet to be announced.
2019 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP – TOURNAMENT SUMMARY
Final : USA 2 – 0 Holland
Third/Fourth Place PlayOff : England 1 – 2 Sweden
Most Assists : Sherida Spitse (Holland) – 5 assists
Golden Boot : Megan Rapinoe (USA) – 6 goals
Silver Boot : Alex Morgan (USA) – 6 goals
Bronze Boot : Ellen White (England) – 6 goals
Goal of the Tournament : Cristiane (Brazil) vs Australia
Golden Ball : Megan Rapinoe (USA)
Silver Ball : Lucy Bronze (England)
Bronze Ball : Rose Lavelle (USA)
Golden Glove : Sari van Veenendaal (Holland)
Young Player of the Tournament : Giulia Gwinn (Germany)
Team Fair Play Award : France