Written by Oluwaseun Oyediji
The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be the ninth edition of the global women’s football Mundial. The tournament has witnessed some interesting, heartwarming, and historical moments since its inception in 1991.
We take a look at the top 10 great moments of the FIFA Women’s World Cup counting down from ten to one.
- Biggest win in World Cup history
On June 11, 2019, the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) recorded the biggest win in Women’s World Cup history. It was a 13-0 thrashing of debutant, Thailand in one of its group games. Alex Morgan scored five goals, Rose Lavelle converted two goals alongside Sam Mewis while Lindsey Horan, Mallory Pugh, Carli Lloyd, and Megan Rapinoe also find the back of the net.
- Solveig Gulbrandsen’s moments for Norway
The Norwegian midfielder played five Women’s World Cups and scored in four of the tournaments. Her first goal came on June 23, 1999, while her final World Cup goal was scored on June 22, 2015.
- First goal of the World Cup
China’s Ma Li scored the first goal at the first match of the World Cup in 1991. She converted China’s first goal which was the first goal of the tournament in the 21st minute at the Tianhe Stadium, in Guangzhou.
China recorded a 4-0 win over Norway in the first match of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
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- First player to score five goals in a match
The American star, Michelle Akers in 1991 scored five goals in a single match of the World Cup. She bagged a hat trick by halftime as the USA bashed Chinese Taipei 7-0 on November 24 becoming the first player to achieve such a feat.
At the end of the tournament, Akers scored a total number of 10 goals to win the top goal scorer prize at the maiden FIFA Women’s World Cup.
- Oldest player to score at the World Cup final
34-year-old Megan Rapinoe scored her 50th international goal in the final of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup against The Netherlands. She scored a 61st-minute penalty becoming the oldest player to score in the World Cup final. She has won two World Cups and a FIFA Best Player Award.
- First player to score in five straight World Cup games
German captain Birgit Prinz at the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup scored consecutively in all five matches leading to the final. Unfortunately, she couldn’t score in the final but made up for that four years later when she scored against Brazil in 2007.
Prinz ended her career with two World Cup titles and scored 14 goals in five World Cup tournaments.
- First female referees to officiate at World Cup
On November 29, 1991, three referees made history at the first FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Guedes Claudia Vasconcelos (Brazil), Linda Black (New Zealand), and Zuo Xindi (China) became the first female referees at any FIFA-organised tournament or match. They officiated the third-place match between Sweden and Germany. Sweden went on to claim the bronze medal with a 4-0 win over Germany.
- First player to score at five World Cups
Brazilian star Marta in 2019 became the first player (male or female) to score in five World Cups when she scored against Australia.
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In the next match, she scored a penalty against Italy taking her total number of World Cup goals to 17, making her the outright top goal scorer in the World Cup for male or female. She is one of the greatest women’s player of all time.
- Germany’s Invisibility in 2007
Germany fought so hard at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup. They played against top teams at the tournament without conceding for the whole tournament, even in the final against Brazil.
The team scored a total number of 21 goals without conceding in the tournament.
- First hat trick at FIFA Women’s World Cup
Carli Lloyd at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup scored the first hat trick at the World Cup final against Japan. She rounded up the hat trick in style after 16 minutes from the halfway line to give the Americans sweet revenge over Japan.
Japan defeated USWNT on penalties in 2011 to win its first Women’s World Cup. A hat trick from Llyod with two goals by Lawren Holiday and Tobin Heath helped the USA to a 5-2 win over Japan.
Yuki Nagasato and Julie Ertz own goal reduced the deficit for Japan.
As we look forward to this year’s tournament in Australia and New Zealand, it is expected that more memorable events will be added to the list.
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