FIFA 2023 Women’s World Cup Highlights
The FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023, the global showcase of football talent with record-setting crowds, was the highlight of the summer.
If you missed it – or are in post-tournament withdrawals – you can catch highlights of the Women’s World Cup here.
Tournament highlights ranged from the heartwarming…
Australia’s deep run thrilled fans, who filled stadiums to capacity and roared as the 10th-ranked Matildas, including Chelsea superstar striker Sam Kerr returning from injury, finished in 4th place.
…To the heartbreaking
The United States entered as the top ranked team but were knocked out of the round of 16 in a penalty shootout with Sweden, ranked #3. It was the USWNT’s earliest ever exit from the tournament, which they have won twice. Sweden went on to win the bronze medal.
…To the surprising
There were strong showings from formidable African and Caribbean teams, whose federations have historically underfunded women’s soccer. Of the four African teams who qualified, three made it to the round of 16 – Nigeria, South Africa, and Morocco. Morocco entered the tournament as the second-lowest-ranked team but advanced out of the group stage ahead of Germany, the #2 ranked team in the world.
…To the electrifying
Japan’s stunning 4-0 win over Spain showcased their tactical acumen and perfectly-executed counterattack. Hinata Miyazawa’s two goals in that game lifted her to win the Golden Boot, awarded to the tournament’s top scorer. Watch all her goals here.
Australia and France battled it out in the longest-ever penalty shootout, an absolute nail biter.
Eighteen-year old Colombian sensation Linda Caicedo scored the breathtaking Goal of the Tournament.
…To the shocking
After Spain’s 1-0 victory over England in the final, their first-ever championship was marred by an unwelcome post-game performance by Luis Rubiales, head of the Spanish soccer federation, who kissed goal-scorer Jenni Hermoso on the lips without her consent.
The incident has caused a reckoning with sexism in Spain, and the fallout is ongoing, as Rubiales finally resigned and the Spanish women’s coach Jorge Vilda, a close ally, has just been fired. Under the country’s new sexual violence laws, Rubiales is now under criminal investigation. Players worldwide have expressed support for Hermoso and the Spanish team, reiterating what a tragedy it was to have the team’s first-ever world cup victory eclipsed by scandal.
Silencing naysayers who had predicted the expanded roster of 32 teams would dilute quality, several up-and-coming teams had late runs into the tournament. Multiple top teams exited unexpectedly early. Technical skill and team parity are higher than ever.
Despite disappointment for the USWNT, the 2023 Women’s World Cup showed that the women’s game is on the rise worldwide, fueling global investment and ensuring excitement on the pitch come 2027.