The Women’s World Cup Final is set to take place on Sunday, July 7 in Lyon, with the USA and Holland going head to head to lift the prestigious trophy.
It’s been a tournament to remember for many reasons and proved to be a fantastic advertisement for the women’s game, but now it all comes down to one final game.
The USA head into the final as favourites, and they are of course defending champions. Four years ago, in Vancouver the USA managed to go the whole tournament unbeaten, securing a 4-0 win against Japan in the final. This time round they have managed to do the same and remain unbeaten heading into this final. As the most successful women’s team internationally, you can see why the USA are heavily fancied.
USA Deserved Finalists
They endured what many would describe as a tough route to the final, and while they made it out of their group with ease, even beating Thailand 13-0 in their opening game. Plus the squad faced fierce competition from the knockout stages onwards. The USA had to make it past Spain, France and then England to book their place in the final, winning all three games 2-1. And now they will be hoping their grit and determination will be enough to see them retain their crown.
The Dutch Lives Up To Expectations
A lot of experts felt that the Netherlands would go well at the World Cup, and that has proven to be the case. Like the USA, the Netherlands won all three of their group games, coasting towards the knockout stages. The round of 16 saw them come up against 2015 finalists Japan, who they managed to beat 2-1, before a 2-0 win against Italy and a 1-0 victory over Sweden in extra time saw them book their place in the final.
USA Big Names
The Netherlands are underdogs without a doubt, especially when you consider that the USA have three players – Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd – in the top 10 scoring charts. Morgan currently leads the way with 6 goals and 3 assists from 400 minutes played, but one thing is for sure, the USA have matchwinners in their ranks, and plenty of them.
The Netherlands Have The Potential
All eyes have been on Vivianne Miedema for the Netherlands, the team’s top scorer with 3 goals from 6 games. It’s still an impressive strike rate, and you must consider that the USA scored 13 goals in a single game against Thailand. Many are also of the opinion that the Netherlands have played some impressive football in France, and this could be key to them overturning the experienced USA team in Lyon.
Elsewhere, England and Sweden will play in the third-place playoff at the Stade de Nice on Saturday, with Phil Neville’s Lionesses looking to end the tournament on a high. England impressed regularly in France, but they just didn’t have enough in the crucial moments against the USA in the semis. A win in Nice would be a nice end what has been a solid effort from the Lionesses.