Rapinoe hails 'crazy' USA after World Cup win

By Sports Desk July 07, 2019

Megan Rapinoe dubbed her United States team-mates "crazy" and "special" after she scored the opening goal in their 2-0 Women's World Cup final victory over Netherlands.

The 34-year-old Reign FC forward scored a 61st-minute penalty to put Jill Ellis' side ahead against a resilient Netherlands team before Rose Lavelle lit up the game with a virtuoso goal eight minutes later.

The result helped USA triumph for the fourth time on the biggest stage of the women's game and Rapinoe, who was part of the team that won the tournament in 2015, paid tribute to the spirit in the camp.

"I don't think I can [describe it]," the forward told BBC Sport. "It's unbelievable.

"Just to know all the people in our group who put in so much work, obviously the players, we have all our friends and family here.

"It's surreal. I don't know how to feel right now. It's ridiculous.

"We're crazy, that's what makes us special. We've got no quit in us, we're so tight and we'll do anything to win."

Lavelle's goal was her third of the tournament and Rapinoe praised the 24-year-old midfielder's creativity as being pivotal to USA's success, while highlighting her performance in the final as her best.

"That was what she's been missing, just that little bit, all tournament," said Rapinoe.

"She's been on the dribble, opening up everything for us. For her to get that reward on the biggest stage you possibly can, I'm so proud of her.

"She's a superstar, not even in the making - she's a straight-up superstar."

USA coach Jill Ellis pointed to her players' "fantastic resilience and chemistry" in her summing up of a moment she admitted left her lost for words.

Ellis previously led the USA to glory in the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship and the 2015 World Cup, and she said of her current squad: "They put their hearts and souls into this journey and I can't thank them enough. It has been fantastic.

"I could barely speak but I just said to them they were unbelievable, congratulations, they made history, enjoy it.

"This is unbelievable, I've got no words."

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