USA win World Cup again after 2-0 win against stubborn Netherlands team

The World Cup is going back to USA after the champions sealed a 2-0 win against stubborn Netherlands team in the final on Sunday.

Captain and forward Megan Rapinoe put the US ahead on the hour from the penalty spot after a check with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) ruled Stefanie van der Gragt fouled with a high boot.

The Netherlands resistance then seemed to fade as Rose Lavelle doubled the lead just eight minutes later with a solo run through midfield.

Dutch goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal made a string of impressive saves for the first hour of the game before the champions broke the deadlock and she kept the score at 2-0 with a close-range stop from Crystal Dunn.

Megan Rapinoe celebrates opening the scoring in Lyon. Credit: PA

The win makes this the fourth World Cup for USA, who lifted the trophy in 1991, 1999 and 2015 as well.

Rapinoe praised the team spirit in the USA camp, describing the players as "tight" and adding "we'll do anything to win".

The 34-year-old forward, who won both the Golden Ball (player of the tournament) and Golden Boot (leading scorer) awards for the World Cup, reserved special praise for team-mate Lavelle, whose goal cemented the victory.

She said: "That was what she's been missing, just that little bit. All tournament, she's been on the dribble, so dangerous for us. She's opened up everything for us.

"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 at this point."

It's the fourth time USA has won the World Cup. Credit: PA

Both of the most recent US successes have been achieved under the management of Jill Ellis, who was born in England.

Speaking after the final whistle, USA coach Ellis told Fox Sports: "This is just an amazing group of players, but an even better group of people, just fantastic resilience, just chemistry.

"They've put their hearts and souls into this journey and I can't thank them enough. It's been fantastic."

USA's Rose Lavelle (left) celebrates scoring her side's second goal of the game with team-mate Alex Morgan. Credit: PA

Asked what she had said to her players in the huddle as the celebrations began, Portsmouth-born Ellis added: "I could barely speak, but I just said to them they were unbelievable, congratulations, they made history, enjoy it. It's unbelievable. I've got no words, I'm sorry."

Rapinoe's spot-kick saw her finish alongside team-mate Alex Morgan and England's Ellen White as the tournament's joint top-scorer with six goals.

  • Will Megan Rapinoe go to the White House?

Megan Rapinoe has openly criticised US President Donald Trump. Credit: PA

The build up to USA's quarter-final match with France had been dominated by a row between Rapinoe and US President Donald Trump after footage shot earlier this year emerged of her saying "I'm not going to the f***ing White House" when she was asked if she would visit should her team be victorious at the World Cup.

Rapinoe, who is gay, has previously accused Trump of being "sexist" and "misogynistic" and she refuses to sing the national anthem before matches. Trump this week launched his own attack on Rapinoe on Twitter, accusing her of disrespect.

Donald Trump tweeted his congratulations to the team but has not commented on Rapinoe's potential snub.