United States dismiss Dutch to defend World Cup title
Women’s World Cup final, Groupama Stadium - United States 2 (Rapinoe 61 pen, Lavelle 69) Netherlands 0
The United States completed their Women’s World Cup defence with a comfortable 2-0 win over the Netherlands in France.
A Megan Rapinoe penalty, awarded after referee Stephanie Frappart consulted VAR, and a brilliant Rose Lavelle solo effort ensured the Americans clinched a fourth World Cup trophy from just eight tournaments.
In truth, the margin of victory could have been greater had Jill Ellis’ side not found Dutch goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal in inspired form.
Rapinoe, whose outspoken views have been so prominent throughout these finals, returned to the starting line-up after sitting out the semi-final win over England.
Can anyone ever challenge the USA on a grand scale? They are reaping the benefits of almost half a century of investment in girls' and women's sports, and the European teams - who are certainly closing the gap - need to step it up and fund their systems.
Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan et Samantha Mewis (Team Usa)Getty Images
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Sari van Veenendaal (Netherlands): The goalkeeper kept her nation in it during the first half, and kept the scoreline respectable.
Netherlands: Van Veenendaal 8, van Lunteren 7, Dekker 7, van der Gragt 6, Bloodworth 7, Groenen 7, van de Donk 7, Spitse 6, Beerensteyn 7, Miedema 7, Martens 5. Subs: Roord 6, van de Sanden 6.
The United States lift the Women's World Cup trophyGetty Images
26' - CLOSE! Miedema has the USA centre backs wrongfooted and Beerensteyn is almost on to it!
27' - SAVE! Brilliant instinctive save from Sari van Veenendaal as Ertz lashes in a shot from the edge of the box.
38' - SAVE! Sari van Veenendaal is having a good day at the office, another fine reaction save from Rapinoe, and then a rebound off the post.
59' - VAR! Morgan has gone to ground in the box after a high boot from van der Gragt.
61' - GOAL! United States 1-0 Netherlands. Megan Rapinoe slots it past van Veenendaal's left.
69' - GOAL! United States 2-0 Netherlands. What a wonderful goal from Rose Lavelle, surging through the centre, turning past van de Gragt, and shooting left-footed to double the USA's lead.
- The Netherlands are the eighth different team to participate in the Women’s World Cup final.
- This is the USA's fourth Women's World Cup title.
- Megan Rapinoe is the Golden Boot winner.