WELLINGTON, New Zealand — When the United States was desperate for a spark, Lindsey Horan channeled her anger into a much-needed goal to keep the Americans unbeaten at the Women’s World Cup.
Horan was fuming after she was knocked over by Danielle van de Donk in the second half of Thursday’s rematch of the 2019 women’s final, when the United States beat the Netherlands to win their second consecutive World Cup title.
She got her revenge minutes after the tackle in a sequence that included Horan cursing about van de Donk before shoving her, as well. The two trash-talked and were separated by a referee before Horan scored the game-saving goal for the United States.
Horan scored on a well-timed header off a corner kick from Rose Lavelle in the 62nd minute to give the Americans the goal they needed to sneak out a 1-1 draw with the Netherlands. The United States remained unbeaten in 19 consecutive matches.
“I don’t think you ever want to get me mad because I don’t react in a good way,” Horan said. “I just want something more. I want to win more, I want to score more and I want more for my team.”
Horan and van de Donk were smiling after the game — van de Donk was wearing a swimming cap because of a cut to her head from a later collision — but almost anything goes in the World Cup. The two are professional teammates for French club Lyon.
“Dan is that type of player that, when she’s on my team, it’s incredible because she’s going to fight to the last second to win the game, and go into that last tackle, and that’s what she did,” Horan said. “Unfortunately, I did not take it in a good way, I got a little heated, and she got to hear it.”
Horan already has one yellow card from the opening win over Vietnam, and she had to be calmed by American defender Julie Ertz.
“She was like, `Linds, don’t get another yellow card, just score this goal to shut everyone up,'” Horan said.
She did just that, scoring her 29th career goal for the U.S. team and fourth in a World Cup. Horan knew her shot was good before it even crossed the goal line. Her expression gave her away.
Van de Donk knew she had lit a fire in Horan.
“She got a bit feisty and she came over, we just had a little talk,” van de Donk said. “The referee came in between, it wasn’t very necessary. I mean, we just played football again after that.”
The draw meant neither team earned a spot in the knockout round yet. The United States and the Netherlands are tied atop the Group E standings, but the Americans have the edge, 4-2 in goals scored so far this tournament.
Portugal defeated Vietnam 2-0 Thursday in the late Group E match in Hamilton. The United States plays Portugal in its group finale on Tuesday in Auckland, and the Netherlands plays Vietnam the same day in Dunedin.
The game was a rematch from four years ago when the Americans beat the Dutch 2-0 in the final at Lyon to clinch back-to-back titles, and fourth overall.
Jill Roord helped the Netherlands pounce first on a strike from atop the box that went though Horan’s legs in the 17th minute. They held that 1-0 lead at halftime — just the sixth time the United States had trailed at the half in 52 World Cup matches, and first time since 2011 against Sweden.
Lavelle, who scored four years ago in the final but has been hampered by injury, subbed in and gave the United States instant energy. Then came the tackle on Horan, and the United States was back in the game.
“I think the first half, we feel a little bit disappointed in how we played, but I think we fixed things right away, the pressure that we got on, and the amount of chances and opportunities that came from it,” Horan said.
The U.S. roster has 14 World Cup newcomers this year, and coach Vlatko Andonovski was pleased with how the team found its way in the second half.
“I thought it was a very good match for our team, especially for a group of young players,” he said. “They grew throughout the game individually, but also as a team we grew throughout.”
Megan Rapinoe, the American star who came in as a substitute in the opening game against Vietnam for her 200th appearance with the team, was not used in Thursday’s match. Rapinoe has announced that this is her final World Cup and she will retire at the end of the season.
The Dutch were without forward Lineth Beerensteyn, who was hurt early in her team’s 1-0 victory over Portugal to open the tournament, and leading scorer Vivianne Miedema, who ruptured her ACL while playing for Arsenal in December.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with the U.S. team at their hotel on the eve of the match and was at the game. Blinken was in Wellington for a formal bilateral meeting with New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta, and he will also meet with Prime Minister Chris Hipkins.
The top finisher in the group opens the knockout round in Sydney against the second-place finisher in Group G, which includes Sweden, South Africa, Italy and Argentina. The second-place finisher heads to Melbourne against the top Group G team.
Story by Anne M. Peterson.