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The path to a record fourth world championship started with a historic rout, tightened in the knockout stages and was blazed throughout by a brilliant Megan Rapinoe. Here is a look at the Americans’ seven matches, all victories, in the 2019 World Cup.
The U.S. squad began its title defense with a thrashing of Thailand — the most lopsided victory in World Cup history, for men or women. Alex Morgan equaled a Women’s World Cup record with five goals, and Rose Lavelle and Samantha Mewis scored two apiece. Six goals came in the final 20 minutes, including stoppage time, prompting debate about the outlandish final score and the Americans’ exuberant celebrations. Read more about the game.
The Americans cruised to another shutout, clinching their spot in the knockout round with a victory in Paris that could have been far worse if not for the heroics of Chilean goalkeeper Christiane Endler. The U.S. team scored all of its goals in the first half, with Carli Lloyd adding to her World Cup legend by striking twice. Through two matches, the U.S. had a 16-0 goal differential and a 65-3 advantage in shots. Read more about the game.
The U.S. team passed its first real test, shutting out one of its fiercest international rivals and clinching the top spot in Group F. Lindsey Horan scored in the third minute, and the Americans doubled their lead with a Swedish own goal early in the second half. It was the first time since 2003 that the U.S. team won all three of its group matches, and the first time it had ever won all three via shutout. Read more about the game.
The U.S. team was hardly at its best, but perseverance and two Megan Rapinoe penalty kicks clinched a quarterfinal berth. The Americans allowed their first goal of the tournament, which left the score tied at halftime. But a controversial late penalty kick put the U.S. team back ahead, setting up the tournament’s most anticipated match. Read more about the game.
For the second consecutive match, Megan Rapinoe scored both goals as the Americans survived a challenge from a European foe. The first goal came in the fifth minute on a free kick through a wall of French bodies and chaos; the second came midway through the second half in the run of play. France got one back on a header in the 81st minute and continued to threaten from there, but the Americans survived to eliminate the hosts and win their 10th straight World Cup match, equaling the record. Read more about the game.
The Americans earned a third straight 2-1 win despite the absence of co-captain Megan Rapinoe, who was sidelined by a hamstring injury. Her replacement, Christen Press, started the scoring in the 10th minute, and after England equalized in the 19th, Alex Morgan scored the winning goal in the 31st. England later had an apparent goal disallowed when Ellen White was ruled offside, and U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher preserved the lead with a save on a penalty kick in the 84th minute, sending the U.S. team to its third straight World Cup final. Read more about the game.
The Netherlands appeared undaunted despite being first-time finalists and held the Americans, who had scored by the 12th minute of every previous match, without a goal well into the second half. But the U.S. broke through in the 61st minute when Megan Rapinoe converted a penalty awarded after Alex Morgan was fouled in the box. Rose Lavelle added punctuation eight minutes later when she surged into space and drove home a shot from just inside the box. The Americans were world champions for the fourth time, led by Rapinoe, who won the Golden Ball as tournament MVP and the Golden Boot as its leading scorer. Read more about the game.