FIFA Women's World Cup
Mjelde's emotionally charged free-kick
22 Apr 2019
- Mjelde scored an unstoppable free-kick against Germany
- Mixed emotions made the goal extra special
- Vote for your favourite goal from the ten on the shortlist
As part of our search for the best goal in the history of the FIFA Women's World Cup™, today we focus on a strike from the last edition at Canada 2015.
Emotions are as much a part of football as the fans, goals and the ball itself. With that in mind, Maren Mjelde's effort for Norway has all the ingredients to be a strong contender to win the vote.
“Even now, I get emotional talking about it,” Mjelde once told FIFA.com when asked about her goal. That she still gets a lump in her throat has less to do with the quality of her shot or its significance in the 1-1 group stage draw with Germany than it does with the backdrop to the game.
Her mother, who was battling cancer at the time, was watching on in the stands and it was to her that Mjelde dedicated the goal. Her mother has since recovered and Norway have qualified once more for the Women's World Cup, with Mjelde set to captain her country again in France in just a few weeks' time.
Norway had been a goal down since Anja Mittag's sixth-minute opener for Germany in the Group B encounter at the Lansdowne Stadium in Ottawa on Matchday 2. When the Scandinavians were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area, Mjelde grabbed the ball, took a three-step run-up and curled an unstoppable effort over the wall and in off the underside of the bar to secure her side a 1-1 draw.
Norway finished as group runners-up behind Germany and progressed to the knockout rounds, where they were eliminated by England in the last 16.
What they said
"I remember I had been practising free-kicks the whole month leading up to the World Cup, and I couldn't have hit that one any better than I did. I’ve actually been trying ever since and never managed a free-kick as perfect as that one. So, to do it in a World Cup, in a game like that, you can’t get much better.
"And yes, it was very emotional for me because in the year leading up to the World Cup my mum had been diagnosed with cancer. She’s fine now fortunately – she’s through all that and healthy again - but it was a worrying time. Even now, I get emotional talking about - but it’s good emotions these days at least. My parents were in the stands to see that goal and it made it extra special because we had gone through a lot together during that period."