Sometimes, no matter how bizarre the circumstances, you simply cannot deny history when it is being made in front of your very eyes. Last night, as reported by BBC and Oregon Live, we saw history made once again in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup as the United States successfully retained their title with a 2-0 win over the Netherlands.
It now means that the USWNT has won four of the available eight Women’s World Cup titles that have been up for grabs since the tournament came into existence, once again cementing their status as the greatest women’s team to ever walk the face of the earth.
Coming into the game they were considered to be the heavy favourites, but the belief was that if the Dutch could frustrate them and really get in their faces, then they could have some success. In the first half, that’s exactly what happened.
Rising to the occasion
Sari van Veenendaal was able to produce a series of remarkable saves throughout the first 45 minutes, ensuring that the game went into half time at level pegging. The Dutch were playing in their first ever final on this stage, but as the European champions, they had nothing to be afraid of.
Just after the hour mark, however, the United States were finally able to break the resistance of their opponents as Megan Rapinoe converted from the penalty spot following a questionable challenge on Alex Morgan, who has been portrayed as the pantomime villain at the World Cup.
Less than ten minutes later they were able to double their advantage, courtesy of a lovely finish from Rose Lavelle. Once that second goal went in you could feel the wind being taken out of the Netherlands, to the point where it seemed like just a matter of time before the Americans were declared champions once more.
“This is an amazing group of players – they showed fantastic resilience.
“They put their hearts and souls into this journey, I cannot thank them enough. I could barely speak immediately after the game but I told them they had made history and to enjoy it.” said US manager Jill Ellis.
“It’s unbelievable just to know all of the people in our group have put in so much work. We have all our friends and family here, it is surreal.” said captain Rapinoe.
In the end, it seems as if this win has done so much more than just inspire a nation: it has opened the eyes of the masses to the need for gender equality in sports. The expectation now is that the USWNT, as they should, will receive equal pay alongside the men’s team – which is something they’ve been chasing for quite some time now.
Given the way in which they’ve been able to win the tournament this year, it’s kind of impossible not to give them what they’re asking for here. They are by far the best team in women’s football today, and they more than deserve to be placed on a higher pedestal than the men’s team – who lost the Gold Cup final to Mexico.