THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) The women’s World Cup trophy was back in Dutch hands after they extended their record haul of titles to seven by beating Australia 2-0 in the final on Saturday.
Winners of the last two Olympics, the Netherlands regained the World Cup it last won in 2006, and conceded to Argentina in Rosario four years ago.
After Roos Drost was brought down in the circle, captain Maartje Paumen scored from a penalty in the 12th minute, making her the top scorer in a second straight World Cup, and Kim Lammers doubled the score in the 29th in her last international before retiring.
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”We waited until our chances came, and we were easy (relaxed),” Lammers said.
”Finally, we got the penalty shot and Maartje Paumen, she’s a killer. There’s a lot of pressure but she always does it.”
Paumen finished the tournament with seven goals, one more than Australia’s Anna Flanagan.
Australia, on the rise after winning the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, had difficulty keeping possession and struggled to find any weakness in the Dutch defense. They drew a penalty corner with one second to play in the first half but couldn’t capitalize.
”They’re a great team and absolutely a little bit better than us at the moment,” Australia’s Madonna Blyth said. ”We gave it everything we had, we worked for 70 minutes, we created some good chances.”
For the Dutch players, the win in front of 15,000 fans at Kyocera Stadium was a moment to savor.
”I could only dream of this,” Lammers said. ”It’s a dream to score, first in a final, and in our own home, and it’s my 200th cap, so yeah, I’m so proud.”
Another superstar, Luciana Aymar, the eight-time world player of the year, scored twice in her international finale as Argentina beat the United States 2-1 to win the bronze medal.
On Sunday, the men’s final features the same nations, with defending champion Australia slightly favored against the Netherlands.