Revolution

BSJ Match Report: US Women 2, Netherlands 0 – Americans win World Cup for fourth time behind Rapinoe, Lavelle goals

All you need to know about the US women’s 2-0 win over the Netherlands in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Lyon, France Sunday in quickie form, complete with BSJ insight and analysis:

HEADLINES

That’s Four, and it’s Fantastic: With a dominant attack and some strong defending in the middle, the United States women’s national soccer team captured its fourth World Cup title Sunday thanks to its 2-0 win over The Netherlands in Lyon. Megan Rapinoe took home the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball as the tournament MVP, and she scored the match-winning penalty at the hour mark, while Alex Morgan took the Silver Boot; Rose Lavelle scored the clincher at the 69-minute mark and took the Bronze Ball.

Rapinoe penalty, Lavelle puts Americans in the ascendency: After a tough first half which saw the Dutch withstand the Yank attack, the US kept pouring it on against Oranje keeper Sari Van Veenendaal — and with Morgan drawing a VAR-aided penalty after a high boot from Anouk Dekker, Rapinoe buried the resulting spot-kick, Van Veenendaal stuttering on her line, to give the Americans a deserved 1-0 lead 61 minutes in. Eight minutes later, Lavelle — who temporarily called Boston home when she was with the Breakers in NWSL, before their demise in January 2018 — had acres of space around her as she drove up the center, took one touch to get it on her left, and sent a heat-seeking missile into the back of the net to all but lift the trophy.

Mewis gets the start, nearly gets a goal: Hanson’s Samantha Mewis, who subbed on for Lavelle in the semifinal against England, started in the middle line of Jill Ellis’ 4-3-3 alongside Julie Ertz and Lavelle, and the former Whitman-Hanson Panther used her height to get into American attack on corner services. And she got her head on one in the 38th minute, sending it toward Van Veenendaal. She even had the pass to release Lavelle on the match-sealer.

TURNING POINT

The penalty. Some will — and have — said that it was wrong to have VAR make a decision in the world championship game, but that was a high boot, she didn’t go for the ball, and took Morgan down. The fact the referee didn’t immediately point to the spot is a different discussion entirely.

FOUR UP

Megan Rapinoe: Enough said. Pinoe didn’t have her best game; she was a touch slow due to the hammy, got beat to the ball quite a bit. But with ice in her veins, she grabbed the ball, set it on the spot, waited for the referee to signal to resume, and she buried the pen to give the Americans a lead they rightfully deserved.

Rose Lavelle: The former Boston Breaker had the goal of her life as she made that subtle first touch to get the ball on her favored left foot, and Van Veenendaal had no chance to stop it.

Julie Ertz: In the Soccer Weekend comments section, BSJ member KD23 asked me who the key player in the XI for me Sunday, and I said Ertz. Her influence in the game was extremely subtle, from getting the ball into the box to sinking back into more of a holding midfielder role in the second half after Ali Kreiger stepped into Kelly O’Hara’s place. She came up with some big stops to thwart the Netherlands’ attack.

Alyssa Naeher: The Nutmeg State native didn’t have too much to do Sunday, but she came up with a smart rush off her line to kick the ball some 50 yards in the first half to keep the Dutch off the scoreboard.

ONE DOWN

Crystal Dunn: We know she’s out of position by necessity, and she’s had some really good games in this tournament. But quite a few of Dunn’s passes were off, right to an orange shirt. Yes, those things happen, and her teammates bailed her out… but there were too many of them for that to happen.

SECOND GUESS

You gotta pull that trigger, Tobin Heath. Too many slow attacks ... were you waiting for the cavalry? No, Tobin -- you are the cavalry. Take it to the house.

STATS THAT MATTER

Rapinoe and Morgan both had 6 goals and 3 assists apiece, but Rapinoe claims the Golden Boot by doing so in 428 minutes to Morgan’s 490.

The 26 goals by the Americans is a new record in a Women’s World Cup, breaking a tie by the ’91 Americans and the ’03 Germans, who both scored 25 en route to lifting the trophy.

Rapinoe is the second American to win the Golden Boot: Michelle Akers won it in 1991. She is also the third American to win the Golden Ball, after Carli Lloyd four years ago and Carin Jennings in 1991.

The Netherlands had 27 clearances from its defending third.

The US had the ball for 53 percent of the match, with 283 of 407 passes completed.

QUOTABLE QUOTES

“That’s what she’s been missing a little bit all tournament; she’s been on the dribble, so dangerous for us. She’s opened everything for us. For her to get that reward tonight on the biggest stage you possibly can… I’m so proud of her. She’s a superstar not in the making, she’s straight-up superstar.” — Megan Rapinoe, on Rose Lavelle

TWO TAKES THAT SWEENS WILL REGRET LATER

Pay these women. Right now. Don’t wait for mediation. Pay. These. Women.

So, umm…. When do these players come to Boston? Or Foxborough? Or anywhere in New England, for that matter? Oh, that’s right… no one stepped up to save the Breakers, which is our loss.

UP NEXT

The US players will now have seven days to return to their National Women’s Soccer League teams for the rest of the 2019 season; as of Sunday, no new international fixtures have been released.

FINAL THOUGHT

Enough said, Sammy. Enough. Said.