The 2019 Women’s World Cup final sees the United States facing off against the Netherlands in a matchup that pits the team ranked No. 1 in the world by FIFA against the reigning European champions, as reported by SB Nation. The American women have become the first team to reach three consecutive World Cup finals and will be looking to become the first team since Germany in 2007 to win back-to-back tournaments. The Dutch women will be looking to confirm their meteoric rise to the top, lifting the trophy in only their second ever appearance in the tournament.
Due to the Netherlands minimal appearances in the World Cup, these two teams have very little history and this is actually their first competitive match. They have met twice before in international friendlies, however, with the United States winning 3-1 in both games. In their last meeting in 2016, the Dutch opened the scoring with a goal by Shanice van de Sanden in the second minute before the United States took over with goals from Carli Lloyd and Allie Long, along with a Dutch own goal, to put things away.
While the United States has yet to match the dominance of their 13-0 win over Thailand in their opening match, they have made it through some difficult matchups and injury problems to make it to the final. They have made a habit of scoring early in this World Cup, with their latest opening goal coming surprisingly against Thailand after only 12 minutes.
The American women followed up their dominant group stage run with a surprisingly difficult match against Spain that required two penalties for the United States to make it through. They went on to pull off two more 2-1 victories over France and England, proving their mettle and depth in their squad as they faced down their European foes.
In their path to the final, the Netherlands brushed aside concerns over their form in the run-up to the tournament along with a difficult group to top Group E with victories over New Zealand, Cameroon, and Canada. Japan gave them everything they could handle in the Round of 16, with a 90th-minute penalty securing the victory for the Dutch. Italy proved to be another tough test, with the Netherlands needing 70 minutes before scoring. It took extra time for the Dutch women to defeat Sweden with Jackie Groenen breaking the stalemate in the 99th minute.
Having their semifinal go to extra time along with their one less day of rest made an already difficult task for the Netherlands even more difficult, with the United States considered clear favorites. Still, England exposed some weaknesses in the American defense that could be exploited, and the Netherlands have the attacking ability to take advantage. However, the Americans have their own overwhelming attack, and the Dutch will have to play their finest ever game if they expect to pull off the upset.
Date: Sunday, July 7
Time: 5 p.m. local, 4 p.m. BST, 11 a.m. ET
TV Info: Fox (U.S.), BBC One (UK)