The Netherlands and one more victory separate between the USA and their fourth FIFA Women’s World Cup crown. The US women are back for their third consecutive final. Aiming the repeat their show from the 2015 finale. Empowered with some of the ladies from the winning squad four years ago.
Standing in the way of the ‘fourth star’ for the US are the Netherlands, who have reached their maiden Women’s World Cup final in only their second appearance at the global finals. Their meteoric rise has been fuelled by a golden generation, spearheaded by the attacking flair of Vivianne Miedema, Lieke Martens and Shanice van de Sanden.
Both sides’ outstanding attacking talents should make for a hardfought final, with the race for the adidas Golden Boot another interesting subplot.
The USA, guided by Jill Ellis, have rampaged into the final with wins over Thailand (13-0), Chile (3-0), Sweden (2-0), Spain (2-1) and France (2-1) and England (2-1).
The defending champions have won 12 consecutive matches and extended their unbeaten streak to 14 this year in all competitions. Ellis is still undefeated as a coach at the World Cup.
Just like the USA, the Dutch too have an all-win record en route to the final as they have prevailed over New Zealand (1-0), Cameroon (3-1), Canada (2-1), Japan (2-1), Italy (2-0), Sweden (1-0).
It will also be a battle of the experience against learners. Sixteen of the 23 Dutch players are aged 26 or below. This is the team’s debut in a World Cup final and just their second ever World Cup appearance.
In sharp contrast, this is their second or third final for many US players. That experience is a huge boost in confidence for the side, which has at least six players aged 30 or above among its projected starting line-up.
Pre match estimations rate veterans firm favourites against the newcomers.
A record-extending fourth title for the US, or a maiden crown for the Dutch – who will be the history-makers on Sunday at 8:30 pm India time.
Indian football fans can catch the LIVE action on Sony Sports cluster channels with LIVE streaming on Sony’s OTT platform SonyLIV.