They’re the best there is, the best there was and might even be the best there ever will be.
The ‘tour-de-four’ was in full force overnight as the US lifted World Championship number four – becoming just the second nation to win consecutive Women’s World Cups.
Despite being held goalless in the first half for the first time all tournament, the US – like all great sides – found a way to win, scoring two goals in eight minutes to defeat a gallant Netherlands.
The 57,900 in attendance perhaps begun to wonder whether the Dutch could do the unthinkable as the 12th minute became the 13th and the US had not found the back of the net.
Much of this was a result of the heroic first half efforts of Sari van Veenendaal in goals for the Dutch – keeping Alex Morgan and co at bay with some world class goalkeeping.
With the Dutch holding firm in defence, it would only be a clumsy defensive error which would gift the US a chance to take the lead.
A 60th minute penalty awarded to the US after Dutch defender Stefanie van der Gragt mistimed her clearance out of defence and caught Alex Morgan’s chest with a high boot.
The referee, however, did not see this as a penalty at first glance but awarded it after consulting the VAR, allowing Megan Rapinoe to step up and convert 2019 World Cup goal number seven – becoming the outright competition top scorer.
The game was then put to bed eight minutes later when Rose Lavelle found the bottom right hand corner with a precise finish after strolling through the Dutch defence – ensuring the World Cup trophy would remain in American hands.
Rapinoe took home the player of the match and player of the tournament in a clean sweep of awards for the 34-year-old.
The US – and the Netherlands – will now look to next year’s Olympics where a new gold medallist will be crowned after Germany failed to qualify.