Women’s World Cup: Final Preview

Four weeks of almost endless soccer all comes down to this, the final of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup between defending champions the United States and reigning European champions the Netherlands.

For the United States, everything has led to this moment as they go for a second straight World Cup title and fourth in their illustrious women’s soccer history. On the other end, this all new ground for a Netherlands side who never played in a Women’s World Cup tournament as early as five years ago.

Now the two sides will meet in Lyon to determine who leaves France as champions and with a new star above their crest.


The Teams

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via FIFA.com

Two team. One trophy. It’s the old guard of the United States taking on the newcomers in the Netherlands for the right to be crowned World Cup champions on Sunday in Lyon. Here’s a quick rundown of both sides, what to expect from each, and how we expect them to lineup on the pitch.

United States

If you had to place money on one team to make the Final before the tournament, the United States would have been your best bet. This marks the third straight tournament that the United States will be making an appearance in the Final, a Women’s World Cup record. They also came into France as the defending champions and now are one win away from putting a fourth star above on their jerseys.

How they got here: def. England 2-1 in the semifinals

Projected Lineup: (4-3-3) Naeher; O’Hara, Dahlkemper, Sauerbrunn, Dunn; Horan, Ertz, Lavelle; Heath, Morgan, Rapinoe

Netherlands

There isn’t much women’s soccer history to write home about for the Netherlands, at least not before this tournament. After making their Women’s World Cup debut in 2015, the Dutch were crowned European champions in 2017 and now will play on the game’s biggest stage for the first time. They bring a talented attacking front into Lyon that will surely test the United States back line. It remains to be seen how they will stack up against the powerhouse American midfield.

How they got here: def. Sweden 1-0 in extra time in the semifinals

Projected Lineup: (4-3-3) Van Veenendaal; Van Lunteren, Van der Gragt, Bloodworth, Van Dongen; Groenen, Van de Donk, Spitse; Beerensteyn, Miedema, Martens


Third Place Match Recap

It’s not a match either side wanted to play, but like the men’s version, the Women’s World Cup also features a Third Place Match and it was England taking on Sweden for the bronze medal. A fast start then steady defense and timely saves sent Sweden home on a high with a 2-1 victory over the Lionesses.

England 1-2 Sweden

From the start, Sweden were playing on the front foot against and England side that looked completely disinterested in the early going. Goals by Kosovare Asllani and Sofia Jakobsson in the opening 22 minutes pushed Sweden out to an early 2-0 lead, but England settled and found its game as the first half went on.

In a sign they would not go quietly, England cut the lead in half off a great solo run and finish from Fran Kirby in the 31st minute. Two minutes later England seemed to level the game when Ellen White scored her tournament leading 7th goal. Unfortunately for the English, VAR stepped in and overruled the goal as the result of a handball by White.

England continued to push for an equalizer in the second half and were clearly the better side as time ticked away. Lucy Bronze had a wide open look at goal off a rebound but her volley shot was cleared off the line by a Swedish defender. Sweden held on the rest of the wy and secured a third place finish at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Goals

  • Kosovare Asllani | SWE (11′)
  • Sofia Jakobsson | SWE (22′)
  • Fran Kirby | ENG (31′)

Highlights


Women’s World Cup Final

It all comes down to this, the United States versus the Netherlands at the Stade de Lyon with the Women’s World Cup title on the line. It’s the odds on favorite who has been here before against the popular dark horse on the biggest stage for the first time. Both sides bring elite attacking units into the match, but the midfield is where the match, and the title, could be decided.

United States v. Netherlands

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via @FOXSoccer

Make no mistake, these are two very good teams who both have earned their right to play for a World Cup championship. The United States battled their way through an incredibly difficult slate of knockout matches while the Netherlands did the same on their side of the bracket. Both sides have elite attacking talent up front that can pour in the goals, but the midfield is where this match could very well be won or lost. That is a huge advantage for the United States who have the best midfield in the world regardless of who they put on the field. If the Netherlands is to win this game, they will need their attackers to exploit a vulnerable United States back line on the counter attack.

  • Time: 11:00 AM
  • Location: Stade de Lyon (Lyon)
  • How to Watch: FOX

You can watch the Women’s World Cup Final live on FOX or by streaming online at FoxSports.com with a cable sign in.

If highlights are more your style, check out @FOXSoccer on Twitter where goals and game recaps are posted throughout the day.

All game times are listed in Eastern Standard Time


Final Prediction

There is a clear favorite in this match and a clear underdog, but that means very little once the ball is kicked. Netherlands likes to play an open style that allows them to get looks at goal, but it also presents a precarious situation when facing the United States. Playing such an open style can make them vulnerable to attack going the other way and that’s where the United States shines the brightest. Whoever they play in midfield will have plenty of time and space to make plays and get the ball to one of Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath, or Megan Rapinoe. That is a deadly combination and should be what propels the United States to a fourth Women’s World Cup title.

Our Pick

United States 3, Netherlands 1


Golden Boot Outlook

The Golden Boot Award goes to the top goal scorer at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

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via FIFA.com

No goals for Ellen White on Saturday meaning she is eliminated from the Golden Boot race. It all comes down to Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe on Sunday.


Once the Women’s World Cup Final is over we will have one last World Cupdate post on Monday morning recapping the action and that will bring an end to our daily coverage of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. There will be a full tournament recap running later in the week so keep checking back so you don’t miss out.

1 Comment

  1. Hey, Rob we’re Twitter hockey pals and I just found your new blog! I noticed your logo and thought it could use a bit of a clean up. So in appreciation of all your women’s soccer coverage I though I’d mocked up a new one based on your current one for you guys. It’s much the same style and similar font (Oswald if you’re curious) just run through logo making software for polish. It yours free and clear, for commercial or non-commercial whatever, if you like it and wanna use it. Here you go, cheers!- https://imgur.com/HpL7y37

    Like

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