The United States (U.S.) claimed a record-extending fourth FIFA Women’s World Cup with a 2-0 win over European champions, The Netherlands, on Sunday, through goals from Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle.
Rapinoe broke the deadlock with a 61st-minute VAR-awarded penalty kick before Lavelle rounded off the victory eight minutes later with a left foot effort from just inside the area.
The Netherlands battled throughout and goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal kept out the U.S. for an hour with a series of superb saves in front of 57,900 fans at Lyon’s Groupama Stadium.
But Van Veenendaal stood motionless when winger Rapinoe converted the spot kick to join team mate Alex Morgan and England’s Ellen White on six goals at the tournament.
Lavelle’s attempt also eluded the Dutch goalkeeper soon after as U.S. have now added to their 1991, 1999 and 2015 titles.
Meanwhile, the crowd in Lyon booed FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, and French president, Emmanuel Macron.
This was as the U.S. fans demanded equal pay for the players after their team claimed a fourth global title by beating The Netherlands 2-0.
Macron and Infantino, the head of football’s world governing body, were turned upon by the supporters as they approached the ceremony podium.
It was a sharp contrast with the hero-like reception given to player of the match Megan Rapinoe by the 57,900 crowd.
In spite of a recent rebound, Macron’s popularity was last at 38 per cent in an Ifop poll, up 15 points since a low in December at the peak of the anti-government yellow-vest crisis.
After the game, Rapinoe told reporters: “I think everyone is ready for this conversation and move to the next step. I think we’re done with: ‘Are we worth it? Should we have equal pay?’.”
Earlier this year, members of the U.S. squad were named as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the national football federation alleging gender discrimination.
It was filed in a federal court last month and it says the women are not paid the same as their male counterparts.
On Saturday, Rapinoe launched a scathing attack on FIFA, saying the organization did not respect the women’s game.
Rapinoe said FIFA’s decision to allow the men’s Copa America final and Gold Cup showpiece to take place on the same day as the women’s final was “unbelievable”.
Rapinoe shook Infantino and Macron’s hands as she received her medal.
“It’s unbelievable to know all the people who put in so much in this group,” she said.
“We have all our families and friends here. It’s surreal. I don’t know how to feel right now. It’s ridiculous”.