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Dutch women fired up by ‘arrogant’ US attitude before World Cup final

It would be a denouement befitting a tournament which has re-defined women’s football if Holland can defeat the all-powerful United States in Lyon today.


The OranjeLeeuwinnen’s supporters have illuminated the event, painting the cities where they have played the signature colour of Dutch football.

They did not reach their first World Cup until 2015, yet have been in the ascendancy ever since — reaching the last 16 back then before winning the 2017 European Championships on home soil.

A celebratory cruise through Amsterdam’s canals is planned on Tuesday if they win.

They pose a threat in the form of attacking trio Lieke Martens, Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema and Shanice van de Sanden.

Martens, a winger named FIFA Player of the Year in 2017, is struggling with a toe injury sustained in the 1-0 semi-final win over Sweden. Miedema, 22, is the one to watch. She is already her nation’s all-time leading scorer.

But the Dutch defence has looked vulnerable, even against Cameroon, and fatigue seemed to be telling against the Swedes.

They will be up against a US side for whom the totemic Megan Rapinoe has recovered from the hamstring injury which kept her out for the England semi-final.

Holland midfielder Danielle van de Donk has said she thinks the US team are arrogant.

‘They’re basically already congratulating us on finishing in second place,’ she said. ‘I love it. Let them say what they want to say.

‘The final is a game like any other. It will start at 0-0 and there are still at least 90 minutes to play. We’ll show them on the pitch how much we want to win that World Cup. Let’s talk afterwards!’

England felt the US were over-confident, too. Self-belief does not seem to be doing the reigning champions too much damage.

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