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Sunday, July 7, 2019

"The United States is World Champions Again: 2-0 over the Netherlands" by Alessandro Grandesso

Megan Rapinoe (May 2019) (cropped).jpg
Image credit: CC BY 2.0
Megan Rapinoe.
Synopsis:

Alessandro Grandesso of La Gazzetta dello Sport provides his match report of the FIFA 2019 Women's World Cup final from Lyon, France, between the United States of America and the Netherlands. With goals by Megan Rapinoe from the spot, and Rose Lavelle from a great solo run, the Americans successfully repeated as FIFA World Cup champions. Megan Rapinoe became the second American to win the Golden Boot. She also won the Golden Ball as the best player. Alex Morgan of the United States was awarded the Silver Boot.

Italian to English translation by Steve Amoia.

Discussion Items:

1. The Queens of Women's Soccer.
2. The Strategy.
3. The Triumph.


1. The Queens of Women's Soccer:

They are always the queens of the world in women's soccer.

The United States is crowned champion for the fourth time. For the second straight time, in eight editions of the Women's World Cup. Not even Holland, the reigning European champions, was able to overcome the established order and prognostications. Not withstanding a promising first half, nullified by a generous penalty that was awarded, converted by the usual Rapinoe. And then the second goal by Lavelle.

2. The Strategy:


Never before had a rival resisted the USA in the first quarter of an hour. Neither France, who conceded after two minutes, nor England in the semi-final after 10 minutes. Two teams who affronted the challenge with their heads held high, placing emphasis on a technical plane and on ball possession. However, they were immediately submerged by the offensive impetuosity of the players of Jill Ellis.

The Netherlands did things differently. They were not interested in possession (only 38 percent after the first 15 minutes). And they were compacted into two solid defensive lines in which the American trio of Rapinoe-Morgan-Heath tried to break  down. All of which by relying on physical authority, and by cutting down the spaces in midfield with Groenen and Spitse. And making restarts with the ideas of Miedema.

It was a strategy that disoriented the Americans who were dangerous only after 27 minutes on a corner kick. But the powerful turning shot by Lavelle was parried by the Dutch keeper, Van Veenendaal. Then she was saved by the post on a back heel by Morgan, which was served up by Rapinoe in the 39th minute. Before making herself decisive by extending and punching out a shot by Morgan again in the 40th minute.

3. The Triumph:


A final outburst which the Netherlands replied to in the most difficult way in injury time. But the first half still ended, 0-0. Which was already a surprise in itself.

Less so was the penalty awarded in the 60th minute. Van Der Graft rose her foot too high and struck the back of Morgan. With the support of VAR, the French referee, Frappart, pointed to the spot. The team captain, Rapinoe, converted with her usual calmness in the 61st minute placing her atop the tournaments scorers' table with her teammate, Morgan, and the Englishwoman, White, at six goals, respectively. It was a tough blow for the Dutch who caved in at the 69th minute when Lavelle came out of the midfield, avoided Van Der Gragt, and blasted the ball past the goalkeeper with a powerful left-footed shot. It was a goal that guaranteed the victory which was deserved in light of the nine shots on target versus one. In this way, the Stars and Stripes flag always waves over the world of women's football.

Italian source: La Gazzetta dello Sport; "Stati Uniti ancora campione del mondo: 2-0 all'Olanda" ("The United States is World Champions Again: 2-0 over the Netherlands"); 7/7/2019; Alessandro Grandesso.


Steve Amoia
is a freelance writer and translator
based in Washington, D.C. He is the publisher of World Football Commentaries since 2006 and published The Soccer Translator from 2008 to 2015. He has also contributed at AC Cugini Scuola Calcio, Beyond The Pitch, Football Media, Italian Soccer Serie A.com, Keeper Skool, and Soccerlens (Sportslens), respectively.

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