The curtain falls on a historic France 2019 as three-time world champions, USA, square up against the European champions on Sunday morning.
The stage is set for the final of the FIFA Women World Cup as the Netherlands seek to tame the United States of America and claim their first ever world title.
Both sides have had a hugely successful tournament and any of the two sides who wins after the blast of the final whistle would be a deserving champion.
Path to the Final: USA
The Stripes and Stars started their tournament with a dominant 13 to nil victory over debutantes Thailand.
Up next was Chile. But despite having the best goalkeeper in the world, the South Americans were dispatched with relative ease, a 3 – 0 result fair on both teams.
Another routine 2 – 0 win over a heavily rotated Swedish side, saw the United States conclude the group stages in colourful fashion: a huge eighteen goals scored and none conceded.
An open, possession-based and attack-minded Spain waited for the Americans in the Second Round but Jill Ellis’ side had enough in the tank to squeeze out a 2 – 1 victory.
Any game against tournament hosts is never easy but the North American ladies got the better of France to record a 2 – 1 win the quarter-finals.
In the semi-final, the USA were ambushed by a talented England team managed by former Manchester United stalwart, Phil Neville. Yet again, Alex Morgan and co found the needed solutions to see of the challenge of the Lionesses in a game that ended 2 – 1.
Path to Final: Netherlands
Oranje Leeuwinnen’s first game at the World Cup was against New Zealand. But despite dominating the game from start to finish, the game’s only goal did not arrive until the second minute of injury time.
A straight forward 3 – 1 win over Cameroon followed. Canada were dispatched 2 – 1 in the final group stage match to give the Dutch team a perfect three wins in three games record.
A second round match up against Japan did not go so smoothly as an evenly matched game needed a late penalty to put the 2 – 1 win in the Netherland’s favour.
Their most impressive victory would however come in the next round against Italy. The fun, attacking Italians had turned many heads by beating one of the tournament favourites, Australia, in the group stages. But the Dutch women put Italy to the sword in a dominant 2 – 0 victory.
Sweden, in the semi-final, provided the Netherland’s stiffest challenge so far. With the game heading for penalty kicks, Netherlands rose up to the challenge once again to blast home the all important winner in the 99th minute.
The United States of America are still the huge favourites and with solid reasons. They have been champions three times, have some of the best players in the world, and blessed with a bench that is deep and scary. And in Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, they boast two players that thrive when the pressure is cranked up to maximum levels.
The Dutch Ladies are, however, not going to give up without a fight. There’s a reason why they are European champions. They are yet undefeated, have won all their six matches at the World Cup and have only conceded three goals, same as their opponents.
If any team can get the better of this incredibly talented American side, it is this Netherlands.
The match kicks off 10.00am Nigerian time.