As the world of football counts down to the reveal of the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ official emblem and slogan – in Paris on 19 September – we are counting down the 10 Most Memorable Moments in FIFA Women’s World Cup history.
USA came into the 2011 Women’s World Cup still smarting from a humiliating 4-0 semi-final defeat to Brazil four years earlier. When they were reunited with the South Americans in the quarter-finals in Germany, Abby Wambach and the veterans of that defeat saw a score to be settled. “They were gloating in front of us,” Wambach said of the Brazilians’ celebrations in 2007. “We remembered that, and we told the younger players that story just so they understood the meaning of it.”
Why so special?
The goal itself was wonderful, with Wambach bulleting home a brave and brilliant header from an equally impressive Megan Rapinoe cross. “That pass from Rapinoe must have been the best of the entire tournament,” the scorer told FIFA.com afterwards. But it was the context in which it was scored – in the 122nd minute of extra time, with USA on the verge of losing to Brazil once again – that secured the its place in football folklore. USA went on to win the ensuing penalty shoot-out, and in 2015, ahead of the last Women’s World Cup, Wambach’s header topped a FIFA.com poll on the tournament’s greatest-ever goal.
What she said
“The power of that goal is amazing. People tell me all the time how they remember where they were when it happened. It’s cool that I was a part of it, but I think it’s more cool to kind of look at it from an evolutionary aspect, to see where the game was and where the game has gone. It was kind of a defining moment, not just for myself and my career, but a defining moment for the team. In the United States, that 2011 moment against Brazil put women's soccer back on the map.”
Press play to relive Wambach’s goal, and click here for more on this unforgettable moment.