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The United States Women’s National team is celebrating victory as World Cup champions. After beating the Netherlands 2-0 in Sunday’s final, they hoisted the trophy for the second consecutive tournament.
The team will be welcomed home with a ticker tape parade down New York City’s “Canyon of Heroes” on Wednesday morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced.
First lady Melania Trump tweeted a congratulatory message to the team.
President Trump followed a short time later with a tweet of his own, saying “Congratulations to the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team on winning the World Cup! Great and exciting play. America is proud of you all!” He made no mention of a possible White House visit for the team, which star player Megan Rapinoe previously vowed to boycott.
Throughout this World Cup, the top-ranked U.S. women had a lead going into halftime of every match they played. They had never been held scoreless in the first half. In the finals against the Netherlands, it took an hour of game time before Rapinoe broke the scoreless tie for the U.S. on a penalty kick.
“It’s surreal. I don’t know how to feel like now. It’s ridiculous,” Rapinoe said after the victory. “We’re crazy and that’s what makes us so special. We just have no quit in us. We’re so tight, and we’ll do anything to win.” Rapinoe was awarded the Golden Ball as the top player in the tournament.
Goal No. 2 in the finals was scored by Rose Lavelle, at 24 the team’s up-and-coming star, after a solo run up the center of the field.
“She’s superstar, not even in the making, she’s straight up superstar at this point,” Rapinoe said.
This is only the second time the 8th-ranked Netherlands team has appeared in the Women’s World Cup. In 2015, they were knocked out in the Round of 16 by Japan — which was, in turn, beaten by the U.S. in the 2015 final.
-The Associated Press contributed reporting.
2019 FIFA World Cup Awards
- Golden Boot Award: Megan Rapinoe (USA)
- Silver Boot Award: Alex Morgan (USA)
- Golden Glove Award: Sari van Veenendaal (NED)
- Golden Ball Award: Megan Rapinoe (USA)
- Silver Ball: Lucy Bronze (ENG)
- Bronze Ball Award: Rose Lavelle (USA)
USA World Cup fast facts
- This is the USWNT’s fourth World Cup title: 1991, 1999, 2015 and 2019
- Megan Rapinoe is the oldest woman to score in a Women’s World Cup final.
- Along with Germany’s Birgit Prinz (1995, 2003, 2007), Rapinoe is also only the second-ever player to start in three separate World Cup tournaments (2011, 2015, 2019)
- With 26 goals, the U.S. set a record for most goals in a FIFA Women’s World Cup. The previous record was 25, shared by the U.S. and Germany in 1991 and 2003, respectively.
- USWNT head coach Jill Ellis is the first coach to win two FIFA Women’s World Cup titles.
- Ellis is only the second coach — women’s or men’s — to win consecutive World Cup titles. The other was Italy’s Vittorio Pozzo in 1934 and 1938.
Second half live updates: USA 2 – 0 Netherlands
90th minute: The USWNT has owned the run of play. Five minutes of stoppage time have been announced by the referee. The U.S. are minutes away from their fourth World Cup title.
69th minute: GOAL USA. Midfielder Rose Lavelle drove down half the field, dodging between defenders and took her shot at the top of the box. It’s Lavelle’s second goal of the tournament.
61st minute: GOAL USA. Megan Rapinoe converts her penalty kick to give the U.S. the lead 1-0. It is her sixth goal, which now puts Rapinoe in a three-way tie for the Golden Boot award.
60th minute: PENALTY. A yellow card was awarded to Stefanie van der Gragt for a recklass challenge. After an initial non-call, video replay was checked. After review, the referee awards a penalty.
55th minute: U.S. defender Becky Sauerbrunn goes down with a head injury. Going for a head ball, she collided with a Netherlands player and fell to the field with blood dripping down her face. She was off on the sideline being treated while the U.S. played with only 10. She came back on in the 57th minute.
45th minute: SUBSTITUTION. After a head injury at the end of the first half, U.S. defender Kelly O’Hara has been taken off, replaced Ali Krieger.
USA – Netherlands: Live first half highlights
Halftime score: 0 – 0
45th minute: Pressure by the Dutch in the final minutes of the half, yet they still only managed one shot, not on target during the half.
41st minute: YELLOW CARD. Abby Dahlkemper is cautioned for her challenge as the Netherlands were counter-attacking. The free kick to the Netherlands is headed by Kelly O’Hara for the U.S.
37th minute: U.S. forward Alex Morgan goes down in the box. No foul is called, but the U.S. is awarded a corner. The U.S.has stepped up the pressure, keeping the ball on the Dutch side of the field. The U.S. has had three more shots, all on target. Netherlands goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal has kept the Dutch in the match throughout.
27th minute: The U.S. gets their second corner kick of the match. Megan Rapinoe sent a low ball into the box, Rose Lavelle cracked a hard shot on goal. Veenendaal made a great save for Netherlands. It was the first shot in the match.
25th minute: Netherlands broke free and came close to a chance on goal. But U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher came out of the area to clear, narrowly winning the footrace to the ball.
16th minute: A corner kick was awarded to the U.S. It is the first of the match. Well taken by the U.S. to keep posession, but the resulting cross by Lavelle was intercepted by the keeper.
There still has not been a shot registered in this match. This is the longest the U.S. has gone without a shot or a goal during this tournament.
10th minute: YELLOW CARD. Sherida Spitse is cautioned for her challenge on U.S. midfielder Rose Lavelle. The resulting free kick from about 24 yards out is cleared by the Netherlands.
Both teams are still feeling each other out. Neither side have had a shot yet, though the U.S. has dominated two-thirds of the possession so far.
2nd minute: Play has begun in Lyon, France. Look for the U.S. to make a quick start in this one. They have scored within the first 12 minutes of every match in this World Cup. Netherlands head coach Sarina Wiegman said her side will be the most vigilant during the opening quarter hour.
2019 Golden Boot race
Going into the finals, the Golden Boot award for most goals scored in the tournament was a three-way tie between England forward Ellen White and U.S. forwards Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe. Each had six goals.
- Megan Rapinoe (USA) – 6 goals, 3 assists
- Alex Morgan (USA) – 6 goals, 3 assists
- Ellen White (ENG) – 6 goals
In the event of a tie, the Golden Boot is awarded to the player with the more assists. The next tiebreaker is least minutes played. But it didn’t end up coming to that: Rapinoe scored again in the finals to clinch the Golden Boot award.
United States’ World Cup path
The U.S. women won all three matches in the group stage. They beat Thailand 13-0, Chile 3-0 and Sweden 2-0 to win Group F and advance to the knockout stage of the World Cup.
The U.S. faced Spain in the Round of 16 in a match filled with controversial calls. The U.S was awarded two penalty kicks and Megan Rapinoe capitalized on both of them. It was the worst performance by the U.S. this tournament, but the team bounced back in the quarterfinals.
They turned that performance around with a convincing victory over France. A normally unstoppable offense was matched by a clinical defense throughout the first half as the U.S. kept France without a single shot on target and, more importantly, off the scoreboard. Though they stumbled a bit in the second half, their defensive force was worthy of World Cup champions.
In the semifinal round last week, the U.S. defeated England 2-1 in a close match earning the right to advance to the 2019 Women’s World Cup final. Starting without sidelined forward Megan Rapinoe, who was out with a hamstring injury, the U.S. wasted no time getting on the board within the first 10 minutes. Her replacement, Christen Press, stepped into the role, heading away her first goal of the tournament to give the U.S. the early lead.
England’s Ellen White equalized in the 19th minute. The goal not only tied the score, but briefly gave White the lead in pursuit of the Golden Boot Award for most goals scored in the World Cup.
But U.S. forward Alex Morgan fixed all that, scoring her sixth of the tournament 12 minutes later to give her team a lead they never relinquished. Her goal also brought her back level with Ellen White in the race for the Golden Boot.
Netherlands’ World Cup path
The Netherlands path to the Women’s World Cup final has been extremely difficult. Along the way they had to face three of the top-10 ranked teams in the world.
Like the U.S., the Netherlands won all three of their matches in Group E. They bested New Zealand in the opening match 1-0, followed by a 3-1 win over Cameroon and a 2-1 victory over Canada.
Ranked eighth in FIFA’s women’s world ranking, Netherlands faced No. 7 ranked Japan in the first round of the group stage. The hard-fought battle ultimately came down to a late penalty conversion after a handball violation in the goal area by Japan. The late penalty goal came with only minutes left in the match and sealed the victory for Netherlands.
Netherlands faced Italy in the quarterfinal round. After another long, drawn-out battle, Netherlands took two late goals to advance to the semi-finals against Sweden. The 120-minute match was a grueling physical battle that wasn’t settled until late in the first period of extra time.
In the end, Netherlands won by a slim 1-0 scoreline. But the heat and aggressive, physical play is sure to have taken a toll on the team entering today’s final.
2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup bracket
The single elimation knockout stage of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup began on June 22 with 16 teams. Each team had advanced from group stage, playing three matches each. The top two winners from each of the groups advanced, along with four third-place finishers.
Women’s World Cup fast facts
- With the win over England, the U.S. has now won 11 consecutive matches in Women’s World Cup play and owns the record for the longest winning streak in the tournament.
- The U.S. is the first country to reach the Women’s World Cup final three consecutive times.
- The U.S. also holds these World Cup records: most games played (49), most wins (39) and most goals scored (136)
- England’s Lionesses hold the Women’s World Cup record for most penalty kicks taken (4) and most penalties missed (3)
- Golden Boot race: Heading into this weekend’s matchups, Alex Morgan of the U.S. and England’s Ellen White were tied with six goals apiece.