For the United States, a fifth World Cup Final. For the Netherlands, defying all the odds, their second World Cup tournament and first final appearance. All on the line. All for everything. The title, World Champions.
The United States had scored a goal in the opening 15 minutes at each game this tournament. For Holland, largely a second-half team, they have been level at every game so far in this tournament. Thus, like most soccer games, but this one in particular, who would score first, and who would score last would be a key sticking point.
Oranje would be the first to prevent the United States from scoring in the opening 15; in fact, they would triple that, preventing a goal in the first 45. Regardless, the pressure was on, the Dutch sat back and absorbed it much better than even their own pundits would think, even forcing the USA to play around the back a bit, but it was largely an onslaught, and Sari van Veenendaal made four huge saves. Ultimately, at halftime, the United States would have a 5-1 attempts advantage.
The second half would start with Kelley O’Hara being subbed out in favor of Ali Krieger after a head collision with Lieke Martens. A few minutes into the half would see another head-to-head collision this time between the other Utah Royal on the pitch in Becky Sauerbrunn and Daniëlle van de Donk. Becky would leave the game for a few minutes soaked in her own blood, and Holland unable to take advantage. The major story of the tournament would make yet again another appearance in the 58th minute as VAR would show as a dangerously high boot struck Alex Morgan in the box, sending Megan Rapinoe to the spot where she beat the keeper to give the USA the lead. A second goal would come nine minutes after the kick off the boot of Rose Lavelle, making a Dutch comeback much, much harder.
The United States would hold on to win its fourth World Cup, effectively winning 50% of the World Cups which have been played. They also become the second country to win the tournament back-to-back, following Germany who won it in 2003 and 2007. With the multi-goal win, the United States set a new record for most goals scored in a tournament with 26, and Megan Rapinoe won the Golden Boot.