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USA win World Cup again after win against Netherlands

The World Cup is going back to USA after the champions sealed a 2-0 win against stubborn Netherlands team in the final on Sunday.

Captain and forward Megan Rapinoe put the US ahead on the hour from the penalty spot after a check with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) ruled Stefanie van der Gragt fouled with a high boot.

The Netherlands resistance then seemed to fade as Rose Lavelle doubled the lead just eight minutes later with a solo run through midfield.

The win makes this the fourth World Cup for USA, who lifted the trophy in 1991, 1999 and 2015 as well.

Rapinoe praised the team spirit in the USA camp, describing the players as “tight” and adding “we’ll do anything to win”.

The 34-year-old forward, who won both the Golden Ball (player of the tournament) and Golden Boot (leading scorer) awards for the World Cup, reserved special praise for team-mate Lavelle, whose goal cemented the victory.

She said: ‘That was what she’s been missing, just that little bit. All tournament, she’s been on the dribble, so dangerous for us. She’s opened up everything for us.’

Both of the most recent US successes have been achieved under the management of Jill Ellis, who was born in England.

Speaking after the final whistle, USA coach Ellis told Fox Sports: “This is just an amazing group of players, but an even better group of people, just fantastic resilience, just chemistry.’

The build up to USA’s quarter-final match with France had been dominated by a row between Rapinoe and US President Donald Trump after footage shot earlier this year emerged of her saying: ‘I’m not going to the f***ing White House’ when she was asked if she would visit should her team be victorious at the World Cup.

Rapinoe, who is gay, has previously accused Trump of being “sexist” and “misogynistic” and she refuses to sing the national anthem before matches. Trump this week launched his own attack on Rapinoe on Twitter, accusing her of disrespect.

Donald Trump tweeted his congratulations to the team but has not commented on Rapinoe’s potential snub.