Four years ago, the United States Women’s National Soccer (USWNT) team won the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time in 16 years. This time, their goal was to defend that championship.
In every game leading up to the final, the U.S. scored within the first 12 minutes. However, that was not the case on Sunday and there was no score at the half. But at ten minutes into the second half, a foul would lead to a penalty kick for United States forward Megan Rapinoe, who was the Golden Ball winner for being the best player of the World Cup. She froze the goalie and scored the game’s first goal in the 61st minute. Eight minutes later, another U.S. goal came from midfielder Rose Lavelle.
Then, the defense stepped up and closed the game to win 2-0 over the Netherlands. With the win, this marked the USWNT’s second straight and fourth ever FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. Both offensive and defensively, they were able to hold strong and score early and often.
That began in their first game in pool play of the World Cup by winning 13-0 against Thailand. They would go onto to sweep their pool. Then it was time for bracket play and the knockout rounds. In the round of 16, it was Spain. After an early goal by Rapinoe, the Spanish would score to tie things up a couple minutes later. A 1-1 tie would last until the 76th minute when Rapinoe would score for the second time via a penalty shot.
A 2-1 win over the Spaniards would lead to a date against the hometown Frenchwomen. In was one of the best game to look forward to. Some reporters called it the final that wasn’t. Like the game against Spain, Rapinoe would score twice and the United States would win 2-1.
In the semifinals, head coach Jill Ellis decided to not have Rapinoe in the match. Rapinoe’s backup, Christen Press scored via a header in the tenth minute. Then, one of the superstars of this World Cup, Alex Morgan scored for a third consecutive 2-1 victory.
The United States continues to dominate when it comes to women’s soccer. They did not have a deficit throughout the World Cup and proved to everyone when they were prone to fail, they couldn’t and wouldn’t both offensively and defensively. They demonstrated to everyone why they should be crowned the champions and win back-to-back World Cup titles.