The defensive intensity was high for both teams, as the first goal wasn’t until the 61st minute, creating a lead for the U.S. they would never surrender. A common theme for the USWNT this World Cup, who never trailed during the entirety of the tournament. With 26 goals, the U.S. went down in the history books as the highest scoring team in Women’s World Cup history.
Coming into the match, the availability of forward Megan Rapinoe and midfielder Rose Lavelle was questionable. U.S. head coach Jill Ellis returned both players to the starting lineup, despite scrutiny about the lingering injury issues.
Early in the match, Sari van Veenendaal showed why she was the recipient of the Golden Glove, awarded to the tournament’s best goalkeeper. Between the 27th minute and 40th minute, Veenendaal swatted away three shots from the U.S. The first from Julie Ertz and the next two from Alex Morgan. Morgan would finish the tournament as the recipient of the Silver Boot award. Morgan finished behind teammate Rapinoe for the Golden Boot award, given to the top scorer. The consistent offensive attack by the U.S. forced Veenendaal to save as many goals in the first 45 of this match as she had to make in the entirety of any previous match this tournament.
The U.S. were rewarded in the 61st minute when Rapinoe blew a penalty kick by Veenendaal to give the U.S. the lead. The U.S. never surrendered the lead or the momentum. The defense harassed the Netherlands offense, who never created much of a threat to score.
In the 69th minute of her first World Cup, Rose Lavelle was able to create space by moving her defender, leading to a goal to put the U.S. up 2-0. The Lavelle goal would be the last of the World Cup, as the U.S. were able to stop the Netherlands offense and keep possession in their favor. After five minutes of stoppage play, the U.S. won their fourth World Cup, and their second straight.
This team went above and beyond, challenge the norm and inspired a generation. The names and faces will be remembered. The legendary celebrations will be shown for years. This is your World Cup Champions!