Remembering the first Women's World Cup Final

  • Today is the 30th anniversary of the first Women's World Cup Final

  • USA defeated Norway 2-1 in Guangzhou, China PR in front of 63,000 fans

  • FIFA.com celebrates the milestone with videos, quotes and stats

The inaugural FIFA Women's World Cup was a coming-of-age moment for women's football and the Final, played in front of 63,000 supporters in Guangzhou's Tianhe Stadium, was a true inflection point in its trajectory.

FIFA.com celebrates the 30th anniversary of that momentous day to mark its significance and to appreciate how far the game has come today.

Line-ups

Norway: 1. Reidun Seth; 5. Gunn Lisbeth Nyborg, 8. Heidi Stoere, 16. Tina Svensson; 2. Cathrine Zaborowski (sub 79' 13. Liv Straedet), 4. Gro Espeseth, 6. Agnete Carlsen, 7. Tone Haugen; 9. Hege Riise, 10. Linda Medalen, 11. Birthe Hegstad Coach: Even Pellerud

USA: 1. Mary Harvey; 4. Carla Overbeck, 8. Linda Hamilton; 3. Shannon Higgins, 11. Julie Foudy, 13. Kristine Lilly, 14. Joy Fawcett; 2. April Heinrichs, 9. Mia Hamm, 10 Michelle Akers, 12. Carin Jennings Manager: Anson Dorrance

Goals summary

20' Akers 29' Medalen 78' Akers

Watch highlights of the Final

Chastain explains significance of the first Women's World Cup

"I have an out-of-body experience when I think about being in the first-ever anything," Brandi Chastain told FIFA. "The World Cup has a gravitas to it, it has a weight to it, and women's football at that time in the 90s didn't really have it. It was really building into 1999 before that happened."

Part 1

Part 2

6
In keeping with the true spirit of the celebration, six female referees or assistant referees were appointed among match officials for the first time in FIFA history. Claudia de Vasconcelos of Brazil, the referee for the 3rd-place match, became the first woman to officiate at this level for FIFA.

Exclusive interview with the scorer of the first goal in Women's World Cup history

"I am proud of scoring the first Women’s World Cup goal. But I wasn't aware of this when I scored. We were so tense in the opening game and I was totally focused on my play. It was from a set-piece from the right. Wu Weiying's free-kick was so fast that all I needed to do was fling myself and nod in-almost effortlessly."

Take a deeper dive

Watch a mini-documentary called "Raising Their Game: Blazing the way in 1991", taking a closer look at the first Women's World Cup and looking at the emergence of one of the all-time greats, Michelle Akers.

The opening ceremony of the 1st First Women Soccer World Cup on November 16, 1991 in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province. The 1st Women Soccer World Cup took place from 16 to 24 November in 1991. Imago.

FIFA Women's World Cup China PR 1991™

Blazing the way in 1991

13 Jun 2012

Carin Gabarra, winner of the first adidas Golden Ball award, on her hopes for the future of the women's game

"I want girls to follow their dreams, younger girls to play confidently and to feel like they’re accepted and that they’re athletes, not female athletes, and be able to compete and play at any level they choose."

20
Michelle Akers, Carin Jennings and April Heinrichs combined to score 20 of the 25 goals for the Stars and Stripes, including all five (Jennings 3, Heinrichs 2) in a 5-2 semi-final victory over Germany as well as both goals (Akers) in a 2-1 win over Norway to win the title.

Current stars reflect on China PR 1991's significance

A trio of current stars featuring Australia's Caitlin Foord, Japan's Mana Iwabuchi and exciting, young talent from England Lauren James sit down to watch highlights of the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup, to observe how far women's football has come, to look ahead to the 2023 edition in Australia and New Zealand and more.

The Showcase at the FIFA Museum

The FIFA Museum takes you through an exhibit dedicated to this milestone of women’s football that saw the US national team win its first title.