Lyon, France (CNN)When a novice is faced with a foe as experienced and ruthless as the USWNT at the Women’s World Cup, the outcome is almost inevitable and so it was on a muggy afternoon in Lyon when the reigning world champion defended its title with a comfortable 2-0 win over the Netherlands.
Competing in its first World Cup final, few gave the Dutch hope. The reigning European champion it may be, but it had not yet come up against the best team in the world, the dominant force of its generation.
The Netherlands held on for over an hour but two goals within eight minutes sealed the underdog’s fate.
In a tournament where she has transcended her sport, Megan Rapinoe coolly drilled home a penalty before a Rose Lavelle thunderbolt made sure of a second successive title, and a fourth in eight editions.