Watch out boys!
The recordbreaking 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup has finally come to an end. The United States triumphed over Japan in a stunning 5 to 2 victory becoming the first nation to win 3 Women’s World Cup titles. The 2015 WWC was filled with some of the biggest upsets, the most fantastic goals and arguably the best football the women’s game has ever offered.
- THE TEAMS
This year was the first time in Women’s World Cup that the number of teams was expanded to 24 teams; and the debutants did not disappoint. Thailand, Ivory Coast, Spain, Switzerland, Cameroon and Ecuador made history for their nation by scoring their first goals in the World Cup. As the host nation, the Canadian fans helped Canada make it to the quarterfinals; their best performance ever in this tournament. Age showed to be only a number in the women’s game. Brazilian Formiga and World Champion Homare Sawa became the only female players to play in six World Cups while Christine Rampone became the oldest player at age 40 to play in the World Cup. Five time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, Marta broke Birgit Prinz record for most goals ever scored in the World Cup with 15 career goals.
- THE CONTROVERSY
Although the 2015 World Cup set new heights for the women’s game, it was also combated with gender discrimination. This was the first world tournament for either male or female to have been played on artificial turf. In early 2015, the top players around the world tried to sue FIFA but the lawsuit was filed too late and their request was declined. Artificial turf is notorious for causing aches, burns, increased temperature and the black beads in the field are sometimes inhaled by the players. Abby Wambach complained during the tournament, that turf affected her playing ability. She told reporters “Because I’m way more carefree (on grass)… The ball as it comes off my head against Sweden, it’s a dry turf and bounces higher. If it hits the grass, it’s harder for a goalkeeper to react. So if the ball bounces higher, the goalkeeper has more time to react off the turf”
- THE OWN GOAL
Perhaps one of the most talked about moments in the World Cup was Laura Bassett’s late own goal in the semifinal against Japan. After both teams converted their penalties, the game was tied and the two teams seemed pretty much even. Until in the 92nd minute of extra time Laura Bassett scored an own goals 12 yards out putting Japan in the final. It was a heartbreaking moment to watch the team comforted Basset who was sobbing on the field. However, the Dutch Lionesses went off to win the third place match against Germany, their best performance ever in the World Cup.
- THE FINAL
This World cup was concluded with a thrilling final. In the first three minutes of the game Carli Lloyd scored the fastest goal in a Women’s final. Two minutes later, she scored again off another set piece. Following Lauren Holiday’s goal, in the 16th minute Carli Lloyd scored an amazing goal from 54 yards out. Carli Lloyd became the first woman to score a hattrick in a final and only the second ever player (male or female). The first was Geoff Hurst in 1966, however with modern technology it has been proven that his second goal did not actually cross the line. So Lloyd’s the first legitimate hattrick and also the quickest hattrick in a World Cup match. The United States made even more history with becoming the team with most goals scored in all world cups, a total of 112.
- THE BUZZ
In addition, the FIFA Women’s World Cup cultivated the most views for the FIFA YouTube webpage in a month, surpassing the 2014 Men’s World Cup. This final broke the 1999 Women’s World Cup Final for most watched soccer game on U.S national network television with over 20 millions views. The United States women national team had a celebration parade in NYC becoming the first women’s national team to host such an event. Having had the privilege to attend this World Cup, I feel so lucky to be part of the something so historic. Women’s soccer is here better than ever. And it looks like it here to stay. Watch out boys!