USWNT defeats Netherlands to win 4th FIFA World Cup title
LYON, France (July 7, 2019) – A sellout crowd of 57,900 fans that thundered “USA” chants throughout the game turned up at Stade de Lyon to witness the U.S. Women’s National Team claim its record fourth FIFA Women’s World Cup title with a 2-0 triumph over 2017 UEFA Women’s Euro champions the Netherlands.
Megan Rapinoe, who was awarded the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player and the Golden Boot as its top scorer with six goals and three assists in 428 minutes played, opened the scoring for the USA in the second half, and Rose Lavelle, who was awarded the Bronze Ball, scored the USA’s second goal of the Final, as the USWNT authored another entry in the history books as the highest scoring team in Women’s World Cup history with 26 goals scored. The world title makes the USA only the second nation to successfully defend a World Cup crown.
U.S. head coach Jill Ellis, who is now only four wins short of becoming the winningest coach in USWNT history, made two changes to the USA’s starting XI, returning Rapinoe to the forward line alongside Silver Boot winner Alex Morgan (six goals, three assists in 490 minutes played) and offensive dynamo Tobin Heath after she sat out the England match with a strained hamstring, and drafting Samantha Mewis into midfield alongside defensive stalwart Julie Ertz and the all-around brilliant Lavelle.
The U.S. was methodical in its approach to the game, attacking the flanks of the Dutch defense early and often in an effort to spread the field and create chances for its plethora of attacking talents. Despite dominating 60 percent of possession in the first half, the U.S. initially had some difficulty with a packed-in Netherlands squad as neither team recorded a shot on goal in the first 20 minutes. However, as the half wore on, the USA found set pieces we’re a profitable avenue for generating shots on goal, ultimately ending the half with four on target that forced Netherlands goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal to make as many save in the opening 45 as she’d had to make in the entirety of any previous match in the tournament.
Veenendaal, who was awarded the Golden Glove as the tournament’s best ‘keeper, showed why she had been given that distinction beginning in the 27th minute when she batted away a
blistering volley from Ertz. She then parried a point-blank header from Mewis before recovering to claw a Morgan redirection back as it rolled toward the goal line moments later in the 37th minute. Veenendaal brilliantly denied Morgan a second time in the 40th minute when the U.S. forward curled a left-footed drive toward the bottom right corner.
After being held without a touch in the USA penalty area for nearly the entire opening 45 minutes, the Dutch conjured a late flurry of offense but was unable to truly trouble Alyssa Naeher in the U.S. goal as the USWNT defense cleared away the Netherlands three crosses into the box.
At halftime, veteran defender Ali Krieger entered the game for right back Kelley O’Hara who was withdrawn after suffering a knock in the final moments of the first half.
Krieger proved an assured deputy as the U.S. continued its dominance in the second half, finally finding the crucial breakthrough near the hour mark. A long ball over the Netherlands defense for Morgan resulted in Stefanie van der Gragt missing an attempt to clear the ball and instead kicking Morgan with a high boot. French referee Stephanie Frappart consulted a replay after the Video Assistant Referee contacted her and duly awarded the U.S. a penalty kick.
After Veenendaal made the first move, Rapinoe sent the spot kick into the lower right side of the goal to give the USA the 1-0 lead and become the oldest player (34 years and two days) to score in a World Cup final, breaking Carli Lloyd’s record set in the 2015 edition of the tournament.
Eight minutes later Lavelle gave the USA much deserved breathing room with a fantastic strike into the lower right corner after carrying the ball from midfield to the edge of the Netherlands penalty area.
The 2-0 score line in favor of the U.S. forced the Netherlands forward which opened up the game and played into the American’s preferred style of counterattacking as Heath, Morgan and Dunn all drew impressive stops from Veenendaal over the final 20 minutes.
Naeher and the U.S. defense did their part at the other end, limiting the Netherlands to four second half shots, only one of which was on goal.
The USA’s historic World Cup title triumph that was celebrated by thousands of fans across France and the United States who attended matches and tuned into games in record numbers throughout the tournament comes 33 years and a continent away from the U.S. Women’s National Team first ever program win, a 2-0 result against Canada in Blaine, Minnesota on July 7, 1986.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
USA – Megan Rapinoe (penalty kick), 61st minute: Ali Krieger’s attempted cross was deflected by a Dutch defender and arced into the Netherlands penalty area. Alex Morgan was first to the ball before taking a high boot from Stefanie van der Gragt in the right side of the box. After consulting with the VAR booth, referee Stephanie Frappart award the penalty kick. Rapinoe stepped to the spot for the third time in the tournament and coolly waited for Veenendaal to make the first move before dispatching the spot kick into the right side of the goal. USA 1, NED 0 [WATCH]
USA – Rose Lavelle (Samantha Mewis), 69th minute: Sam Mewis picked out Lavelle with a short, sideways pass near midfield. With acres of space in front of her, Lavelle drove straight up field toward goal. As she approached the box, Lavelle feinted to the right to move her defender and create space for a low, left-footed shot into the bottom right corner for her third goal in her first World Cup. USA 2, NED 0 [WATCH] FINAL
- This is the third World Cup in which the USWNT has never trailed throughout the tournament, a feat also achieved in 1991 and 2015.
- The U.S. is unbeaten in its last 17 Women’s World Cup matches (14W-3D), winning the last 12 in a row. They are the only team to win 12 consecutive WWC matches, besting Norway’s run from 95 to 99. Seven of the USA’s 12 wins have been by multiple-goal margins.
- After the win vs. the Netherlands, the USWNT is now 40-4-6 all-time in World Cup play, outscoring opponents 138-38 in 50 games. The 40 wins, 50 games-played and 138 goals scored are all FIFA Women’s World Cup records.
- The USA is 7-1-0 all-time against the Netherlands.
- Megan Rapinoe is only the second player to start three Women’s World Cup finals (2011, 2015, 2019), after Germany’s Birgit Prinz (1995, 2003, 2007).
- The victory was the 102nd of Jill Ellis’ career at the helm of the USWNT. Only the late Tony DiCicco (105) has more.
- The USWNT has had nine different goal scorers at this tournament. Only the 2003 German team (10) and the 1999 American team (10) have had more at a single WWC.
– U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT –
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Netherlands
Date: July 7, 2019
Competition: 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup; Final
Venue: Stade de Lyon; Lyon, France
Kickoff: 11 a.m. ET (5 p.m. local)
Attendance: 57,900 (sellout)
Weather: 88 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 2 2
NED 0 0 0
USA – Megan Rapinoe (penalty kick) 61st minute
USA – Rose Lavelle (Samantha Mewis) 69
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 5-Kelley O’Hara (11-Ali Krieger, 46), 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 19-Crystal Dunn; 16-Rose Lavelle, 8-Julie Ertz, 3-Samantha Mewis; 17-Tobin Heath (10-Carli Lloyd, 87), 15-Megan Rapinoe (capt.) (23-Christen Press, 79), 13-Alex Morgan
Substitutes not used: 18-Ashlyn Harris, 21-Adrianna Franch, 2-Mallory Pugh, 6-Morgan Brian, 9-Lindsey Horan, 12-Tierna Davidson, 14-Emily Sonnett, 18-Allie Long, 20-Allie Long, 22-Jessica McDonald,
Head Coach: Jill Ellis
NED: 1-Sar Van Veendendaal (capt.); 2-Desiree Van Lunteren, 3-Stefanie Van Der Gragt, 20-Dominique Bloodworth, 6-Anouk Dekker (7-Victoria Pelova, 73); 14-Jackie Groenen, 8-Sherida Spitse, 10-Danielle Van De Donk; 21-Lineth Beerensteyn, 9-Vivianne Miedema, 11-Lieke Martens (19-Jill Roord, 71)
Substitutes not used: 4-Merel Van Dongen, 5-Kika Van Es, 13-Renate Jansen, 15-Inessa Kaagman, 16-Lize Kop, 17-Ellen Jansen, 18-Danique Kerkdijk, 22-Liza Van Der Most, 23-Loes Geurts
Head Coach: Sarina Wiegman
Stats Summary: USA / NED
Shots: 17 / 5
Shots on goal: 10 / 1
Saves: 1 / 8
Corner Kicks: 8 / 2
Fouls: 9 / 7
Offside: 3 / 1
NED – Sherida Spitse (caution) 10th minute
USA – Abby Dahlkemper (caution) 41
NED – Stefanie Van Der Graft (caution) 60
Referee: Stephanie Frappart (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Manuela Nicolosi (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Michelle O’Neill (IRL)
Fourth Official: Claudia Umpierrez (URU)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Megan Rapinoe