- World Cup teams make strong start to UEFA Women’s EURO qualification
- Vietnam and South Africa clinch titles
- Lucy Bronze crowned Europe’s best player for the 2018/19 season
Several weeks have passed since the USA deservedly became the new (and old) world champions at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™. Now women’s football is back in full swing around the world in leagues, tournaments and international qualifiers. FIFA.com rounds up some recent highlights.
UEFA Women’s EURO 2021 qualifying underway – Kosovo make triumphant debut
World Cup teams Italy, Netherlands, Scotland, Norway and Germany notched up 34 goals between them in the first matchday of qualifiers for the UEFA Women’s EURO 2021. Ten of these were provided by Germany alone, as they recorded a resounding win over Montenegro. In front of a crowd of 6,275 fans, Svenja Huth, Sara Doorsoun, Turid Knaak, Lea Schuller and Linda Dallmann all got their names on the scoresheet, while Klara Buhl netted her first two international goals and Alexandra Popp scored a hat-trick.
Kim Little delivered a standout performance in Scotland’s 8-0 triumph over Cyprus, finding the target five times during the match.
Other results for World Cup teams: Israel 2-3 Italy, Estonia 0-7 Netherlands, Northern Ireland 0-6 Norway
France, Sweden and Spain have not yet started their qualifying campaigns, while England qualify automatically as hosts.
Accolade for Lucy Bronze
Lucy Bronze was named UEFA Women’s Player of the Year 2018/19. The world-class Lyon and England defender made a vital contribution for her club last season as they won the UEFA Women’s Champions League and helped steer her homeland to the semi-finals of the Women’s World Cup. Her Lyon team-mate Ada Hegerberg finished second in the poll, followed by France international Amandine Henry.
Ecstasy for Banyana Banyana
South Africa won the COSAFA Women’s Championship once again at the 2019 tournament, but were made to work hard for their sixth title in the final against Zambia. A single goal from Tiisetso Makhubela was all that separated the teams at the Wolfson Stadium in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Banyana Banyana had the better chances and were rewarded when Makhubela ruthlessly capitalised on an error from the Zambia goalkeeper. Finishing as runners-up marked the best-ever performance from the Zambians, who collected the bronze medal on the three previous occasions and denied the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 side a goal until midway through the second half.
Zimbabwe secured third place with a 3-0 win over Botswana.
- Pia Sundhage made her debut as Brazil coach, leading her team to a 5-0 friendly win over Argentina.
- Vietnam triumphed at the tenth edition of the AFF Women’s Championship contested by teams in southeast Asia. Their 1-0 win over hosts Thailand meant they lifted the trophy for the third time.
- Lara Dickenmann retired from the Swiss national team. The 33-year-old won 135 caps for Switzerland over a 17-year international career.
- French referee Stephanie Frappart made history as she officiated the UEFA Super Cup, the clash between UEFA Champions League winners Liverpool and UEFA Europa League winners Chelsea.
- The UEFA Women’s Champions League round of 32 draw was made. Bayern Munich face Swedish side Goteborg, Wolfsburg will play Mitrovica from Kosovo, and defending champions Lyon were drawn against Russian side Ryazan-VDV.
- World champions USA recorded a dominant 4-0 win over Portugal in front of a record crowd of 49,504 fans as part of their 2019 Victory Tour. Carli Lloyd scored her 115th international goal and her tenth of the USA’s World Cup-winning year.
- In international friendlies, France beat Spain 2-0 while England and Belgium battled to a 3-3 draw.
- Everything you need to know about The Best FIFA Women’s Player 2019, The Best FIFA Women’s Coach 2019 and The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper 2019.