America prove too strong for the Netherlands as they retain World Cup

World Cup Final

United States of America 2-0 the Netherlands

The U.S. women’s national team claimed a fourth World Cup triumph with a 2-0 victory over European champions Netherlands in the final, thanks to goals from Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle.

With the two sides level, Alex Morgan went down after a challenge from Stefanie van der Gragt on 58 minutes and referee Stephanie Frappart initially pointed to the corner flag. However, after reviewing the decision with the video assistant referee, she overturned her initial decision and awarded the U.S. a penalty.

Rapinoe stepped up to coolly slot the ball past Netherlands goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal and give the U.S. the lead on 61 minutes. The goal saw her go level with Morgan and England’s Ellen White at the top of the Golden Boot standings.

And with Netherlands pouring forward in search of an equaliser, the reigning world champions added a second on 69 minutes to kill the game off as Lavelle drove through the Dutch defence before placing a shot into the bottom corner.

USA’s Megan Rapinoe celebrates scoring her side’s first goal from the penalty spot.

The USWNT started the match in superb fashion and only a succession of saves from Van Veenendaal prevented them from taking an earlier lead.

It was more of the same in the second half, and the opening goal was no more than the U.S. had deserved for their dominance throughout.

Despite moments of potential danger, it was a comfortable end to the final for Jill Ellis’ side as they patiently waited to exploit the opportunities on the counterattack.

Victory meant the USWNT extended their record of World Cup wins to four — two more than nearest rivals Germany — and, after their win in 2015, saw them become only the second nation to retain the trophy.

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