Players of the United States celebrate with the trophy during the awarding ceremony for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup final between the United States and the Netherlands in Lyon, France, on July 7, 2019. The United States claimed the title after defeating the Netherlands 2-0. (Xinhua/Ding Xu)
LYON, France, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Thanks to Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle's second-half goals in eight minutes, the United States saw off the Netherlands 2-0 here on Sunday to claim their second straight World Cup title.
The U.S. co-captain Rapinoe opened the scoring in the 61st minute through a penalty kick, before Lavelle doubled the lead following a solo run on 69 minutes.
After lifting the trophy in Lyon, the Americans came out the most decorated women's soccer team in history, taking four championships from eight editions all together since 1991.
U.S. coach Jill Ellis gave all the credit to her players, saying that "they're an amazing group of players and an even better group of people."
"I could barely speak (in the huddle). I just said, 'You're unbelievable. Congratulations. You made history. Enjoy it,'" she said.
Alex Morgan, who was awarded the Silver Boot with six goals and 490 minutes played after narrowly edged by teammate and Golden Boot winner Megan Rapinoe with an equal tally and 428 minutes played, told media that she couldn't describe the emotions of the moment of lifting the trophy.
"This team is something special, and to do it back-to-back is pretty incredible. We had a hard route to the final. I'm just proud of this team. We felt confident. We felt like it was going to take us a bit to gain momentum throughout the tournament," she said.
"Jill (Ellis) did a great job in terms of managing the team," she added.
Morgan earned the penalty for the U.S., as French referee Stephanie Frappart called a high-boot foul of Stefanie van der Gragt inside the box on Morgan after consulting with the VAR and checking the monitor.
Rapinoe stepped up from the spot and slotted a powerful shot past Dutch keeper Sari van Veenendaal, who hardly moved after guessing the wrong way.
It's just the second penalty ever awarded in the Women's World Cup final. The first one was in China 2007.
Just eight minutes later, Lavelle made a terrific individual effort on a counter-attack, dribbling through the midfield, setting up a left-footed shot and hammering it into the bottom-right corner of the Dutch women's goal.
It's the first time, however, in this World Cup that the defending champions failed to open scoring early in the first half.
The U.S., who started the game strongly to create a number of dangerous chances in the fist half, had previously scored in the first 12 minutes of every match in France 2019.
Dutch keeper Van Veenendaal, a 1.80m-tall girl playing for England's Arsenal WFC, made excellent saves to keep the European champions' sheets clean.
Julie Ertz launched a 28-minute attempt with a right-footed volley from inside the box, but Van Veenendaal just managed to push it away.
The Arsenal goalie then made a double save in the 38th minute, standing tall and blocking attempts from Samantha Mewis and Alex Morgan to keep her side safe.
Three minutes later, Morgan whipped a left-footed effort towards the bottom-right corner of goal and only saw Van Veenendaal got down quickly to palm it wide.
It's also Van Veenendaal who made three saves late in the second half and prevented a rout from the U.S. after the Netherlands trailing.