The eyes of the world were fixed firmly on Canada in June as 24 teams launched their bids to lift the trophy at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015, with only four sides remaining in contention by the end of the month. The tournament meant that most of the major women’s leagues were on hiatus, prompting clubs to turn their attention to the transfer market. FIFA.com brings you all the biggest stories from the past month of women’s football.
International football Trio of debutants reach Round of 16* *With eight teams – Switzerland, the Netherlands, Cameroon, Thailand, Côte d’Ivoire, Costa Rica, Spain and Ecuador – stepping onto the FIFA Women’s World Cup stage for the first time, three of them progressed to the Round of 16. Newcomers Cameroon were narrowly beaten 1-0 by China PR, while Switzerland suffered a similar fate as coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s charges performed strongly on their tournament debut before succumbing to hosts Canada. The Oranje Leeuwinnen came up short in a 2-1 reverse to reigning world champions Japan.
One woman’s joy...
*...is another woman’s sorrow, to paraphrase the old saying, and this sentiment seemed to apply perfectly to Brazil’s early exit. Despite being ranked seventh in the world, the South Americans were forced to head home after a Round of 16 defeat by Australia that marked the first big surprise of the tournament. The result means Brazil’s women must wait at least another four years for their first international title and marked the Matildas’ first-ever knockout win at a Women’s World Cup. Hosts Canada also began their campaign amid great expectations but were unable to go the distance. John Herdman’s side exited the competition after being beaten by England in the quarter-finals, ending their dream of lifting the trophy in front of a home crowd.*
Olympics here we come!
*France and Germany have now secured their places at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament 2016, qualifying for Rio de Janeiro by being among the three best European sides at this summer’s World Cup. Four other teams now have a chance to fight it out for the remaining European spot. Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Norway will compete in a mini-tournament after all four exited in the Round of 16, while England will not be represented at the Olympics as a single nation.*
Club football *Transfer market merry-go-round begins to turn
*German international Anja Mittag has been in fine goalscoring form alongside Celia Sasic at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada, a sight that will no doubt give her future employers great joy. UEFA Women’s Champions League finalists Paris Saint-Germain secured the striker’s services before the tournament began, with Mittag signing a two-year contract after spending the past three years playing for Swedish champions Rosengard. Meanwhile Annike Krahn will be leaving PSG to take up a new challenge at Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen next season, while 21-year-old Australian midfielder Emily van Egmond will also be heading to Germany, moving from W-League side Newcastle Jets to Champions League winners 1. FFC Frankfurt.
Brondby secure the Danish double
*Brondby ended their season in Denmark by winning both the cup and championship. Coach Per Nielsen’s side lifted the domestic cup by beating Fortuna Hjorring in early June before finishing their league campaign with a clear advantage over the same team. The Elitedivisionen’s new season begins on 8 August 2015 as the newly crowned champions start the defence of their title against Vejle.*
Development *In June *FIFA.com launched a social media campaign and microsite to promote the Live Your Goals initiative, which aims to increase the number of girls and women playing football to 45 million by the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019™ while spreading the #LiveYourGoals message. The new website provides details of Live Your Goals projects around the world, including the numerous events that took place in June. Visitors to the site can also access football association contact details, video clips recalling the success stories of some of the sport’s most popular stars and the official Live Your Goals television advertisement.
A round-up of the Live Your Goals activities in June will appear on FIFA.com tomorrow.
The stat 15 – The impressive goal tally Germany posted in the group stages of the Women’s World Cup while conceding just once. No team scored more often during this phase of the 2015 tournament.
The quote *"This is a real women’s football country. Those fans showed everyone around the world how to support the women’s game. Stick with us, that’s all I’m going to say. Stick with us. We’ll be back fighting and we’ll learn from this." Canada coach John Herdman on the Canadian Soccer Association’s website after their defeat by England*