LYON, France - When a World Cup novice is faced with a foe as experienced and ruthless as the USWNT, the outcome is almost inevitable and so it was on a muggy afternoon in Lyon when the reigning world champion defended its title with a comfortable 2-0 win over the Netherlands.
Competing in its first World Cup final, few gave the Dutch hope. The reigning European champion it may be, but it had not yet come up against the best team in the world, the dominant force of its generation.
The Netherlands held on for over an hour but eventually folded under the pressure with a Megan Rapinoe penalty and a Rose Lavelle thunderbolt securing the U.S. a second successive and fourth world title.
"We're crazy, that's what makes us special. We have no quit in us, we're so tight and we'll do anything to win," Rapinoe said in a post-win interview.
Rose Lavelle put the United States up 2-0 against the Netherlands with a fine solo goal in the 69th minute.
The midfielder collected the ball some 30 meters out, advanced to the penalty area and skipped past defender Stefanie van der Gragt before planting a low shot past goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal.
She was mobbed as she dived into the arms of her teammates as she sprinted to the U.S. bench to celebrate.
Megan Rapinoe had opened the scoring for the United States in the 61st minute with a penalty against the Netherlands in the Women's World Cup final.
Referee Stephanie Frappart awarded the penalty following a video review showed that defender Stefanie van der Gragt made a high challenge on striker Alex Morgan.
Rapinoe confidently struck the spot-kick down the middle and past a static Sari van Veenendaal, who seemed to anticipate Rapinoe would shoot to the side and was wrong-footed.
It was Rapinoe's sixth goal, tying her with Morgan and England's Ellen White at the top of the scoring charts.
R A P I N O E— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) July 7, 2019
That's it. That's the tweet. pic.twitter.com/O1NmH9OkdM