Sports

Champions! The United States pulls away from the Netherlands for fourth World Cup title

United States’ Rose Lavelle, second right, celebrates with Megan Rapinoe, center, after scoring her side’s second goal during the Women’s World Cup final soccer match between US and The Netherlands at the Stade de Lyon in Decines, outside Lyon, France, Sunday, July 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
United States’ Rose Lavelle, second right, celebrates with Megan Rapinoe, center, after scoring her side’s second goal during the Women’s World Cup final soccer match between US and The Netherlands at the Stade de Lyon in Decines, outside Lyon, France, Sunday, July 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Claude Paris) Foto: AP

For a record fourth time, the United States is the Women’s World Cup champion.

In the final game of the 2019 Women’s World Cup, the United States put together one of its most dominant performances of the tournament to beat the Netherlands, 2-0, and the score line could have been wider if not for an incredible goalkeeping performance by the Netherlands. Still, the United States scored once on a controversial penalty kick, then added an insurance goal with about 20 minutes remaining to effectively ice the championship.

The Netherlands didn’t get a shot on goal until the 76th minute. The United States outshot the Netherlands, 15-5, and controlled possession for 53 percent of the match.

Even the championship game couldn’t escape controversy via the video assistant referee. The United States’ first goal — and technically the Cup-winner — came after the referee consulted the video assistant referee to turn a corner kick into a penalty kick. The United States sent a long ball to Alex Morgan in the box and a defender for the Netherlands kicked the superstar striker in her shoulder. Initially, no foul was called as the ball went out of bounds for a corner kick, but the replay revealed enough contact for the United States to be awarded a penalty kick. Megan Rapinoe put home the game-winning goal in the 61st minute to give the United States the lead and the winger the tournament’s Golden Boot Award.

Any concern of controversy clouding the United States’ win was erased by Rose Lavelle. The midfielder, who has been one of the breakout stars of the tournament, scored one of the best goals of the World Cup, a left-footed strike from the edge of the box to give the United States a 2-0 lead in the 69th minute. Lavelle, playing in her first World Cup final, found the ball in space near midfield, ran all the way to the edge of the box and made one quick move to get enough space to take the insurance-building shot.

Check out both goals from the United States’ win at Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Decines-Charpeau, France:

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