The United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) defeated reigning European champions, the Netherlands, 2-0, on Sunday to become just the second team in history to win back-to-back Women’s World Cup titles. Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle both scored in the second half to give the U.S. the win.
Rapinoe also left the tournament with two other pieces of new hardware, the tournament’s Golden Ball award for the tournament’s best player and the Golden Boot award for most goals. Her teammate Alex Morgan took home the Silver Boot for second-most goals, while Lavelle took home the Bronze Ball. England defender Lucy Bronze won the Silver Ball.
“It’s incredible, it’s surreal. I don’t know how to feel right now. It’s ridiculous,” Megan Rapinoe told Fox following the win. “We just have no quit in us, we’re so tight, and we’ll do anything to win.”
Rapinoe scored the game-winning goal from the spot in the 61st minute after the official had to consult Video Assistant Referee (VAR) on a hard challenge on Morgan inside the area. After consulting the monitor, the official pointed to the spot, and Rapinoe stepped up to take the kick for the U.S. Dutch goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal, who took home the tournament’s Golden Glove award following a spectacular final match, started to guess incorrectly but was unable to right herself in time, and Rapinoe’s spot kick hit the back of the net to give the U.S. the win.
Not only was Rapinoe’s goal the World Cup winner, but it was also her 50th career goal, making her just the 11th player in USWNT history to achieve the milestone. She is now also just the seventh USWNT player to tally 50 goals and 50 assists during her international career.
Lavelle scored the insurance goal in the 69th minute to help seal the win for the USWNT. Sam Mewis, who started in the midfield in place of Lindsey Horan, connected with Lavelle just inside the U.S.’s attacking half, and Lavelle dribbled centrally before splitting a pair of defenders with a shot that once again beat Van Veenendaal for the U.S.’s second and final goal of the match.
“That was what she’s been missing—just that little bit—all tournament,” Rapinoe said of Lavelle’s goal. “For her to get that reward tonight on the biggest stage that you possibly can, I’m so proud of her. She’s a superstar, not even in the making. She’s a straight up superstar.”
Reports are that the USWNT will once again be honored with a ticker tape parade through New York City’s Canyon of Heroes, just as they were following their 2015 win.
Full highlights of #USANED are below.