Martens starts, Rapinoe returns for World Cup final


Forward Lieke Martens was named in the starting lineup for the Netherlands in their women’s World Cup final on Sunday against holders the United States, who recalled winger Megan Rapinoe into the first team after she sat out the semi-final

Rapinoe, who has scored five goals in helping the U.S. to reach their fifth World Cup final, missed the 2-1 win over England because of a slight hamstring strain.

The 34-year-old takes the place of Christen Press who scored the opening goal in the semi-final.

Midfielder Rose Lavelle also starts despite fears over a knock she received in the same match.

Samantha Mewis starts alongside her in place of Lindsey Horan who is dropped to the bench.

Martens, the 2017 world player of the year, aggravated a toe injury celebrating her late penalty winner against Japan in the last 16 and has been in and out of training since.

However, she made the cut to feature in the European champions’ first ever World Cup final, supporting all-time Dutch goalscorer Vivianne Miedema up front.

The U.S. are aiming to win a record-extending fourth world title out of eight editions.