Game-Changers: Unforgettable Moments in Women's World Cup History
The 2023 FIFA World Cup kicked off in Australia and New Zealand on July 20. It’s the first time 32 teams will partake in the tournament, which is a defining moment in women’s soccer. While you will have many upcoming sports events to keep you entertained throughout the World Cup and beyond, let’s take a look at the most iconic moments in Women’s Soccer World Cup history!
8 Most Unforgettable Moments From the Women's World Cup
While you wait for the upcoming sports events in the soccer Women’s World Cup and beyond, here are some unforgettable moments and events that took place in the previous Women’s World Cups:
The U.S. Women's Team Won the First-Ever World Cup
In 1991, FIFA finally introduced the Women’s World Cup, dubbing it the “1st FIFA World Championship for Women’s Football for the M&M’s Cup. While the games were 80 minutes instead of the standard 90 and no significant broadcast deals were in place, the U.S. won the monumental tournament.
Even though no one in the country could watch the tournament, the inaugural World Cup paved the way for future Women’s World Cup events. If you wish to watch the iconic clips from the final, you can head to FIFA’s YouTube channel.
Germany Didn't Concede a Single Goal in the 2007 World Cup
Germany was undoubtedly a must-watch contender for the 2007 Women’s World Cup. However, little did the fans know the Germans would turn out to be an unstoppable force in the tournament.
Despite the 0-0 draw against England, Germany recorded a 2-0 win over Japan and an 11-0 win over Argentina. It also dominated in the knockout stages, winning 3-0 over Norway and North Korea.
The final against Brazil was the real challenge for Germany as the South Americans had scored 17 goals in the tournament. That said, the Germans went on to lift the cup as they defeated Brazil by 2-0.
Japan Became the First Asian Country to Win the World Cup
Mere months after Japan was hit by the third deadliest earthquake in the country’s history, this resilient nation lifted the trophy in a glorious moment in 2011. It was undoubtedly a tournament full of emotions for Japan as the players grappled with the devastation back home.
Nobody expected much from the Asian side as it had failed to advance past the group stage in the three earlier editions of the World Cup. However, with a determined mindset, Japan made it past Germany and Japan to enter the final.
The final saw the clash between the ever-dominant U.S. and the underdogs – Japan. After 120 minutes of play and two goals apiece, the teams had a penalty shootout. Japan stood its ground and triumphed 3-1, lifting the cup and scripting a fantastic win.
U.S.A Set World Cup Record with 13-0 Annihilation
U.S. women’s soccer team superstar Alex Morgan netted five goals in a memorable match that kicked off the country’s 2019 World Cup journey. Americans decimated Thailand and ended up scoring 13 goals while successfully keeping their opponent from scoring.
The relentless American side added to their tally of goals with contributions from Rose Lavelle, Lindsey Horan, Megan Rapinoe, and more. With a 13-0 emphatic win, the U.S. set a new record for goals scored, beating Germany’s record of 11-0 against Argentina.
Fabienne Humm Scored the Fastest World Cup Hat Trick
Switzerland emerged onto the World Cup scene in 2015 and made an impression in their second match as they beat Ecuador 10-1.
While the result itself was historic, Swiss midfielder Fabienne Humm penned her own legend as she scored three consecutive goals in five minutes. She found the net in the 47, 49, and 52nd minutes, giving her the honor of scoring the fastest World Cup hat trick of all time.
Cameron Shocked New Zealand
In 2019, Cameroon scored a goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time that put them through to the knockout stage for the second time. The team won 2-1 against New Zealand in France.
Thanks to a bizarre turn of events, Cameroon scored all three goals in the match. The ‘Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon,’ Ajara Nchout, scored the first goal just after the hour mark.
Then, New Zealand got a reprieve as Cameroon defender Aurella Awona sliced a volley into her net, resulting in an owl goal. Cameroon continued to exert pressure, resulting in Nchout producing the winning curler five minutes into the added injury time. It led Cameroon to snatch an incredible win.
Carli Lloyd Scored a World Cup Final Hat Trick
Only three soccer players can claim to have scored a hat trick in a World Cup final – Kylian Mbappe, Geoff Hurst, and Carli Lloyd. However, only Lloyd can proudly say she did it within 16 minutes.
The U.S. icon cemented her legendary status in the 2015 final against Japan when she scored three goals in the first 16 minutes of play. As it turned out, those goals were enough for the U.S. to script their win as they won 3-0.
Lloyd squashed Japan’s hopes when she arguably scored the best goal ever at the Women’s World Cup final. Winning the ball in the U.S.’s half, she threw the ball from the halfway line and watched as it nestled into the back of the net. The incredible hit earned her that memorable hat trick.
Sinclair Scores with a Broken Nose
Canada’s captain Christine Sinclair secured her name in the honor books of Canadians when she scored an iconic goal despite having a severely broken nose described as basically being on the side of her face.
At the 2011 World Cup in Germany, Sinclair was elbowed by a German defender in Canada’s first game. Instead of leaving the field to tend to her broken nose, Sinclair carried on playing the game.
Moments later, Canada was awarded a free-kick outside Germany’s penalty space. Captain Courageous stepped up, curled the ball that went flying, and landed marginally inside the upright wall, resulting in a classic goal in the Women’s World Cup.
There’s no doubt that the aforementioned moments shaped the nature of women’s soccer and popularized the previous World Cups. This year’s tournament will surely immortalize some more joyful and legendary moments.
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