After kicking off the tournament with a record 13-0 win against Thailand, the United States women’s national soccer team won the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup with a score of 2-0 against the Netherlands on July 7.
Despite the Netherlands losing the final match against the U.S., the game marked a significant improvement for the country as they made their first Women’s World Cup appearance in 2015. This year there were four newcomers to the competition: South Africa, Chile, Scotland and Jamaica.
“We were able to show women’s football of the greatest quality,” said President of the French Football Federation Noёl le Graёt at the tournament’s closing remarks before the final game. “These kind of great events are really indispensable. They are a source of enrichment, around football. We’ve gotten so many good results. We need these kinds of important events, these kinds of championships. We need something different from men’s football.”
U.S. team co-captain and forward Megan Rapinoe was awarded the Adidas Golden Boot for scoring the most goals throughout the tournament, and her co-captain Alex Morgan won the Adidas Silver Boot. Rapinoe also won the Adidas Golden Ball, which is given to the overall best player in the tournament.
Rapinoe said in June the U.S. team would break tradition and not be “going to the fucking White House” if they were to win the Women’s World Cup. Upon their victory, the team has stuck to this commitment, and Rapinoe has since further criticized the White House and President Donald Trump, instead accepting invitations to visit with Democratic lawmakers such as Nancy Pelosi and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“This is such a special moment for us, and to be able to sort of leverage this moment and talk about the things that we want to talk about and to celebrate like this with the leaders of our country is an incredible moment,” Rapinoe told CNN. “So yes to AOC, yes to Nancy Pelosi, yes to the bipartisan Congress, yes to Chuck Schumer—yes to anyone else [who] wants to invite us and have a real substantive conversation, and that believes in the same things that we believe in.”
Netherlands came in second overall, while Sweden placed third and England placed fourth. The final game between the Netherlands and Sweden was deadlocked with both teams having zero points until almost 100 minutes into the game when 24-year-old Dutch team member Jackie Groenen scored the winning low-shot to the bottom left corner of the goal from nearly 25 meters away.
“We have achieved so much,” midfielder Kosovare Asllani from Sweden told FIFA reporters after the game against the Dutch. “No one thought we would take one of three Olympic sports nor that we would win bronze. We should be proud.”
“This Women’s World Cup in France has been phenomenal, emotional, passionate, fantastic,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said before the final game between the U.S and the Netherlands. “The best Women’s World Cup ever. Something extraordinary happened here…that’s why there will be a before and after the Women’s World Cup 2019.”