FIFAWWC19 FINAL USA vs Netherlands It's All Over

A month worth of football has now come to an end and what a fitting end it was. I think most of the world had written off the Netherlands before the game had even kicked off but they definitely put up a fight to the USA. They kept the USA at bay through the first half with Van Veenendaal pulling off some fantastic saves, although they defensively kept the USA at bay the Dutch attack just couldn't keep up and actually provide chances themselves.

Towards the end of the first half a nasty head clash between Martens and O'Hara, saw O'Hara having to be substituted off at half time, which whilst it was unfortunate (especially with me being a massive O'Hara fan) it saw Krieger entering the field which come a year ago you wouldn't have expected to see her on the squad list let alone playing in the final. Krieger came on and added fresh legs to the already threatening right hand side. 

There was another head injury in the 2nd half around the 54th minute mark when Sauerbrunn went down with bloody coming out of a wound, yet another clash of head, Sauerbrunn ended up getting her head bandaged up and coming back on. For me this game just went to show how much improvement needs to be done with head injuries in the game, both Kelley and Martens should have been taken off before the end of the half as it looked a lot worse than they made it out to be.

The Dutch kept the game at 0-0 until the 61st minute when a high boot from Van Der Gragt caught Alex Morgan's arm. This was missed by the referee initially as she was blindsided but VAR showed clearly it was definitely a penalty. Rapinoe stepped up to take this and easily slotted the ball home. Only 8 minutes later Lavelle doubled the lead to put the USA 2-0 up a brilliant run through the middle and a brilliant finish the beat the Dutch defence and keeper. That is what I love about Lavelle she has the ability to cut through defences and create space whether that is for her or her teammates. 

Although the Dutch kept pushing and trying they just didn't have that final quality to challenge the USA defence and Naeher, but the Dutch can definitely be proud of how well they have played as they have been on of my favourites to watch throughout the competition and the fan base has been absolutely incredible. As for the USA for the whole competition people have been on their backs saying they are too arrogant, their celebrations are too much and disrespectful but honestly I am glad they won as it is a perfect way to shut those haters up. You can talk the talk if you can walk the walk just like the USA do, they big themselves up but then the performances back those statements up. As for the celebrations, you would do the same if you scored any goal in the biggest tournament on the biggest stage, they are just a bit of fun. I don't see people complaining when Messi or Ronaldo celebrate in any game do you? 

I am curious now though to see how many of these players announce their international retirement? Who do you think may end up retiring?

A stand out player in this game and the whole tournament for me has definitely been Rose Lavelle, the media may have made it the Megan Rapinoe show but Lavelle has stood out on her own with some brilliant play in midfield and grabbing herself a couple of goals in the process. 

Who wants to see my team of the tournament? Well check back tomorrow to see who made the cut along with that I will be breaking down the players who received awards for this tournament.

But for now I will leave you with these pictures of 4 of my favourites with the trophy, just look how happy they all look and what it means to them.

See you soon

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