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.
The background Having not appeared at a Women’s World Cup for 12 years, England travelled to China in 2007 with a strong desire to make up for lost time, having under-performed two years earlier in the UEFA Women’s Championship on home soil. However, coming up against a Japan side on the rise, and a clash with Germany to come, the pressure was on.
Why so special? Having fallen behind to an Aya Miyama free-kick just after the break, with ten minutes remaining England looked set to draw a blank in their opener. Enter Kelly Smith. A neat turn, and a bit of luck, following Karen Carney’s pass saw the Arsenal striker slot England level with a left-footed effort, celebrating by planting a kiss on the boot which applied the finishing touch. Three minutes later she converted with her right and both boots came off. Although another Miyama free-kick levelled things up late on, Smith’s double helped propel the Lionesses towards the quarter-finals.
What she said “I had about a second to score. No more. Suddenly, my mind was on fire. ‘This is it! Just do it!’ And I did it. I placed the ball coolly into the bottom left-hand corner of the net. My mind went blank. It was a pretty euphoric moment for me. ‘Oh my God!’ I had just scored my fist ever goal in a World Cup finals and I really didn’t know what to do or how to feel. I was not prepared for it to be like this. I simply had no idea how to celebrate the goal. Filled with elation and pride, and without thinking, I took my left boot off and kissed it.”