The US Women’s National Team has done it again, they have won the Women’s World Cup 2019 in France. This is the fourth time that they have won the tournament which is held once every 4 years.
Everyone who has been following the Women’s World Cup would know that there has been much furore surrounding this team which stems from politics within the USA (particularly with their President Trump) and the obvious sentiments of one of their co-captains Megan Rapinoe, an outspoken gay advocate for the LGBTQ community.
All this should not take away from what was a very assured display from the national team, winning their second consecutive World Cup in a 2-0 win over the Netherlands in the Final. The USWNT managed to score 2 goals in every single one of their knockout matches, with them beating Spain, France and England 2-1 in the Round of 16, Quarter and Semi Finals respectively.
With so much of uproar surrounding Rapinoe, it was truly a remarkable achievement that she not only captained the side to glory, she won the Golden Ball (best overall player) and the Golden Boot. What a player!
On the flip side, it was a story of so close yet so far for the Netherlands. It was only their second ever World Cup for their women’s team and they managed to make it all the way to the final, beating the likes of Sweden, Germany and Canada in the knockout stages whilst topping Group E with a perfect 3 wins out of 3, equalling the USA by recording only wins for every game in the tournament until the loss in the final.
The Netherlands also managed to do something that the USA did not encounter in the rest of the tournament, they managed to hold out the USA for the first 12 minutes as they had managed to score in that time frame for every single one of their matches up till the final. The deadlock was only broken in the 61st minute through a Rapinoe penalty that was awarded through VAR.
VAR took centre stage at the Women’s World Cup this year with 535 incidents that were checked and 33 going to a full review with 90% of them reversing the initial decision.
The penalty in the Final was one of those, with the referee initially waving for a corner only for a reversal in decision after review.
The score was doubled 8 minutes later by Lavelle, with a ferocious left footed shot from outside the box after driving forward with the ball from the centre circle to ensure glory for the USWNT.
Sweden clinched 3rd spot after beating England 2-1 in the third and fourth placing match, with all 3 goals coming in the first half. Sweden scored both their goals within 22 minutes of the first half only to see their lead halved in the 31st minute when England pulled one back.
Other table toppers France, Germany and Italy all crashed out of the tournament at the Quarter-Final stage, losing out to USA, Sweden and Netherlands respectively.