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1999 FIFA Women's World Cup

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1999 FIFA Women's World Cup USA '99
1999 FIFA Women's World Cup.gif
Tournament logo
Tournament details
Host countryUnited States
Dates19 June – 10 July
Teams16
Venue(s)8 (in 8 host cities)
Final positions
Champions United States (2nd title)
Runners-up China PR
Third place Brazil
Fourth place Norway
Tournament statistics
Matches played32
Goals scored123 (3.84 per match)
Attendance1,194,215 (37,319 per match)
Top scorer(s)Brazil Sissi
China Sun Wen
(7 goals)
Best player(s)China Sun Wen
1995
2003

The 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup was the third edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup, the world championship for women's national association football teams. It took place in the United States at eight venues across the country from 19 June to 10 July 1999. The tournament was the most successful edition of the Women's World Cup in terms of attendance, television ratings, and public interest.

The 1999 edition was the first to field sixteen teams, increased from the twelve in 1995, and featured an all-female roster of referees and match officials. It was primarily played in large American football venues due to expected demand following the successful 1996 Olympics women's tournament and had an average attendance of 37,319 spectators per match. The 1999 edition remains the most-attended of the FIFA Women's World Cup, despite the expansion of matches in subsequent editions, and earned a profit of $4 million on its $30 million operating budget.

The final, played at the Rose Bowl near Los Angeles, California, was attended by 90,185 people and set an international record for most spectators to watch a women's sporting event. The United States won the tournament by defeating China in a penalty shootout after a scoreless draw, with the winning penalty scored by Brandi Chastain in the fifth round. Chinese forward Sun Wen and Brazilian forward Sissi were the joint top goalscorers of the tournament, with seven goals each.

The tournament was considered a "watershed moment" for women's sports that increased interest and participation in women's soccer. A new professional league, the Women's United Soccer Association, was established following the tournament and played for three seasons before folding. The United States would go on to host the 2003 edition after China withdrew due to the ongoing SARS outbreak, playing in smaller venues and unable to repeat as world champions.

Host selection[edit]

The United States Soccer Federation announced their intention to bid for the 1999 tournament in February 1995, shortly after hosting the 1994 men's World Cup.[1] Australia and Chile both expressed interest in bidding, but withdrew from the process in December 1995,[2] leaving the United States as the sole applicant by the deadline for bids in March 1996.[3] The FIFA Executive Committee officially awarded hosting rights to the United States on 31 May 1996, the same day that the 2002 men's World Cup was awarded to Japan and South Korea.[4]

Venues[edit]

The tournament's 32 matches were organized into 15 doubleheaders, consisting of two matches played back-to-back in the same stadium, with the exception of the semi-finals.[5] The semi-finals were played in separate venues, but organized as doubleheaders with Major League Soccer's San Jose Clash and New England Revolution.[6][7] Eight venues were used for the tournament, located in Chicago, on the East Coast, and on the West Coast.[8] Most of the stadiums were American football venues used by National Football League and college football teams, and had much higher capacities than most of the stadiums used in the first two tournaments. The tournament's organizers originally planned to use five smaller college football venues on the East Coast, as FIFA requested that the venues be limited to a single time zone, and stage the final match at RFK Memorial Stadium in Washington, D.C.[4][9] The organizing commitee received bids from 15 stadiums in 1997,[10] and chose to use larger stadiums for major matches after the success of the inaugural women's soccer tournament at the 1996 Summer Olympics.[11][12]

The eight venues and host cities were announced on 19 November 1997, including five large American football venues that were used in the 1994 men's World Cup.[8] The tournament final was awarded to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, reprising its role from the 1984 Summer Olympics and 1994 World Cup, while the opening match would be played at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, near New York City.[5] The tournament's organizing committee estimated that the 1999 World Cup would average an attendance of 25,000 per match, with U.S. matches and later knockout ties at near sellouts in the larger venues.[8] Jack Kent Cooke Stadium in Landover, Maryland, serving the Washington, D.C. market, had a limited capacity of 41,000 seats due to ongoing construction during the group stage, but it was later raised to 55,000 for the quarter-finals.[13]

In addition to the large football stadiums, Civic Stadium in Portland, Oregon, and Spartan Stadium in San Jose, California, were planned to host several group stage matches and one quarter-finals doubleheader.[5] For the tournament, Civic Stadium was outfitted with a temporary grass field that was laid over its artificial turf surface, which debuted during a warm-up friendly on 6 June.[14] Other venues underwent small modifications to host the tournament's matches, including converting football locker rooms to accommodate more teams and changing the dimensions of the playing field.[7]

Ticket pre-sales at discounted prices began in October 1997 and over 300,000 were sold by April 1999.[15] By early June, ticket sales had surpassed 500,000. The opening weekend's eight matches were organized into four doubleheaders that attracted a total of 134,236 spectators, surpassing the total attendance for the 1995 World Cup; the United States–Denmark match drew 78,972 at Giants Stadium in New Jersey, setting a new U.S. record for attendance of a women's sporting event.[16] The figure was later surpassed by the final, played between the United States and China at the Rose Bowl in front of a crowd of 90,185 spectators—a world record for women's sports.[17]

Pasadena, California
(Los Angeles area)
Stanford, California
(San Francisco area)
Chicago, Illinois Foxborough, Massachusetts
(Boston area)
Rose Bowl Stanford Stadium Soldier Field Foxboro Stadium
Capacity: 95,542 Capacity: 85,429 Capacity: 65,080 Capacity: 58,868
Rose Bowl aerial.jpg StanfordStadium2004.jpg Soldier Field Chicago aerial view.jpg Foxborostade crop.png
Venues of the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup in the United States
Source: FIFA Technical Report[18]
Portland, Oregon San Jose, California
(San Francisco area)
Landover, Maryland
(Washington, D.C. area)
East Rutherford, New Jersey
(New York City area)
Civic Stadium Spartan Stadium Jack Kent Cooke Stadium Giants Stadium
Capacity: 27,396 Capacity: 26,000 Capacity: 80,116 Capacity: 77,716
PGEParkpano (cropped).jpg SPStaSJ.jpg Fedexfieldsat.png Giants Stadium aerial crop.jpg

Participating teams and officials[edit]

Qualification[edit]

Map of qualified countries and their final ranking in the tournament

The 1999 Women's World Cup had sixteen participating teams, an increase from the twelve in 1995 and the largest field in the tournament's history.[19] Ghana, Mexico, North Korea, and Russia all made their Women's World Cup debuts at the 1999 tournament.[20] Of the remaining twelve teams, three were returning for their second tournament and nine had participated in all three editions since 1991.[21]

Besides the United States, who were granted automatic qualification as hosts, the participants were determined through a series of six tournaments run by the continental confederations of world football from 1997 to 1998, comprising 63 total countries playing in 141 matches.[19] FIFA allocated six berths to Europe, three to Asia, two each to Africa and North America, and one each to Oceania and South America; an additional berth was determined by a play-off series between the second-place finishers in North American and South American tournaments.[19]

The tournament also doubled as qualification for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, with the seven best quarter-finalists advancing alongside hosts Australia.[22][23]

Draw[edit]

The final draw for the tournament took place on 14 February 1999, on a temporary outdoor stage at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, California.[24] It was televised live by ESPN during the halftime of an exhibition match between the United States women's team and the FIFA Women's World Stars that was being played at the stadium.[25] The United States lost the match 2–1, which marked their first home defeat in more than 40 matches.[26]

The draw was conducted using four pots of four teams each, with the highest-ranked teams, China, Germany, Norway, and the United States, placed in the seeded Pot A. The remaining pots were organized based on geographic location, with four European teams in Pot B, South America, Asia, and Oceania represented in Pot C, and North America and Africa in Pot D. The United States was placed in slot A1 and was separated from Canada and Mexico; similarly, China was separated from Japan and North Korea in the draw.[27]

As a result of the restrictions in seeding and pot placement, two of the World Cup groups each contained two European teams.[27] Group B was dubbed the "Group of death" due to the placement of the non-seeded Brazil, an Olympic semi-finalist, alongside Germany, Italy, and Mexico.[28][29] The drawn teams in Groups C and D were switched to place China's opening match at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, with hopes of attracting the San Francisco Bay Area's Chinese American community. The opponent for the United States's opener was also switched from North Korea to Denmark for political purposes.[24]

Squads[edit]

Each team's squad for the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup consisted of 20 players, the same as the 1995 tournament. The sixteen participating national associations were required to confirm their final rosters no later than 9 June 1999.[30] The full rosters were published by FIFA on 12 June 1999 on their website.[31] Several teams, including the United States, Canada, and Mexico, drew much of their roster from university teams in the U.S.[20][32][33] The oldest player at the tournament was Norwegian captain Linda Medalen, who turned 34 before the opening matchday, while the youngest was 16-year-old Ifeanyi Chiejine of Nigeria.[34]

Match officials[edit]

The 1999 tournament was the first World Cup to feature a pool of 31 referees entirely composed of women, by a directive from FIFA president Sepp Blatter that was approved the year prior.[35] The referees were staged at two facilities in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. to reduce travel, working in groups during matches and training.[36] Prior to the tournament, several coaches raised concerns over the quality of the referee pool, particularly those chosen for geographic diversity.[37] By the end of the group stage, several coaches had complained of inconsistent calls for fouls and offside, which were blamed in part on the unfamiliarity of working in front of large crowds.[38] In a post-tournament report, FIFA stated that it had been a successful trial of all-female referees and that further development would produce better results in future tournaments.[39]

The following referees were named in the final list published by FIFA on 13 April 1999.[40] American referee Kari Seitz was selected as a replacement on eight hours' notice in June for another official who had been denied a travel visa to the United States.[41]

Preparations[edit]

The organizing committee for the 1999 tournament was led by chairwoman Donna de Varona, a former Olympian swimmer and co-founder of Women's Sports Foundation,[42][43] and president Marla Messing, an attorney and protégé of U.S. soccer president Alan Rothenberg who had helped organize the 1994 men's World Cup in the United States. The committee was headquartered in Century City, California,[44] and had a $30 million budget for the tournament, a tenth of the size of the men's tournament,[45] which was partially funded by a $2.5 million loan from the U.S. Soccer Foundation using profits from the 1994 men's World Cup.[15][46] Messing submitted the committee's business plan for the tournament in September 1998, two days before giving birth to her first child.[47]

The event attracted several major corporate sponsors who had previously shied away from women's soccer, including McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Fujifilm, Gillette, and Allstate. The official equipment sponsor of the tournament was Adidas, who supplied the match balls and other equipment.[48] A new Women's World Cup Trophy was commissioned for the tournament, designed by William Sawaya of Sawaya & Moroni.[49] It cost $30,000 to design and assemble the 4.6-kilogram (10 lb) trophy, which was unveiled on 19 April 1999, following a bureaucratic issue that prevented it from being displayed at the February draw.[50][51] FIFA also organized several other business events during the tournament, including the FIFA Women's Football Symposium and an extraordinary session of the FIFA Congress, which both took place in Los Angeles before the final.[52]

Following the bombing of a Chinese embassy in Belgrade a few weeks before the tournament, FIFA feared that the Chinese team would pull out of the World Cup. However, the team arrived as planned and played in the World Cup.[53] The closing of the U.S. embassy in Beijing also affected the visa process for the North Korean team and staff, as the country did not have formal diplomatic relations with the U.S., but their visas were approved in time for the tournament.[54]

Media and marketing[edit]

All 32 matches were televised in the United States on ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2, including 26 with live broadcasts and six on tape delay.[55][56] The network also carried some matches in 70 other countries on its affiliated channels.[15] Lifetime Television produced several documentaries and special programs for the World Cup. Eurosport broadcast most matches live across 55 countries, while local broadcasters in several countries also carried matches.[57] The Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), the largest women's professional sports league in the country, rescheduled several games to avoid clashing with World Cup fixtures and also cross-promoted the tournament during its television broadcasts.[15][58] Over 2,000 accredited journalists were sent to cover the event, including 950 writers, 410 photographers, and 600 broadcast personnel.[59]

The official slogan of the tournament was "This is my game. This is my future. Watch me play.", which was unveiled alongside the logo and branding in July 1997.[43][60] The organizing committee sponsored and arranged training camps and other events for youth soccer players, including attending World Cup matches.[15] Boy band 'N Sync and pop performers B*Witched and Billie performed at the opening ceremony for the Women's World Cup at Giants Stadium;[61] Billie's single, "Because We Want To", was chosen as the tournament's official song.[62] Singer Jennifer Lopez performed during the closing ceremony at the Rose Bowl prior to the final, where she also recorded an official music video for her single "Let's Get Loud".[63][64]

Group stage[edit]

The sixteen participating teams were organized into four groups, labelled A to D, by the final draw on 14 February 1999.[24] The group stage consisted of 24 matches played in a round-robin format, in which each team played one match against the other three in their group.[65] Teams were awarded three points for a win, one point for a draw, and none for a defeat.[66] In the event of a tie on points, group position would be determined by several tiebreakers, beginning with goal differential and the number of goals scored.[67] The winners and runners-up from each group qualified for the first round of the knockout stage, which began with the quarter-finals on 30 June 1999.[65]

Group A[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1  United States (H) 3 3 0 0 13 1 +12 9
2  Nigeria 3 2 0 1 5 8 −3 6
3  North Korea 3 1 0 2 4 6 −2 3
4  Denmark 3 0 0 3 1 8 −7 0
(H): Host country

Hosts and 1991 champions United States were placed in Group A alongside Denmark, who were undefeated in European qualification, Nigeria, champions of the African qualifying competition, and North Korea in their World Cup debut.[21] The United States defeated Denmark 3–0 in the opening match, which was played on 19 June in front of a record 78,972 at Giants Stadium, with goals scored by Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, and Kristine Lilly.[68] The following day at the Rose Bowl, North Korea lost 2–1 to Nigeria after conceding a goal to Rita Nwadike in the 79th minute shortly after finding an equalizer to compensate for an earlier goal from Mercy Akide, who assisted Nwadike.[69]

The United States hosted Nigeria at Chicago's Soldier Field for their second match and fell behind in the second minute by conceding a goal to Nkiru Okosieme after a defensive mistake. The Americans rallied back and found an equalizer in the form of an own goal scored by Ifeanyi Chiejine in the 19th minute, which initiated a 23-minute period where the home side scored six goals on their way to a 7–1 victory.[70][71] North Korea earned an upset victory over Denmark in Portland, winning 3–1 with two first-half goals and another in the 73rd minute shortly before conceding to the Danes.[72] The North Korean victory denied an instant berth to the quarter-finals for the United States and also preserved potential qualification for all four teams in the group.[70]

Nigeria became the first African team to advance to the quarter-finals of a Women's World Cup, having clinched a place with a 2–0 win against Denmark in their final match of the group stage. Nigeria's Super Falcons took the lead with a goal by Mercy Akide in the first half and added a second by Okosieme in the 81st minute, while Denmark had a goal disallowed and was unable to finish its chances.[73] The United States rested several of its starting players for its final group stage match against North Korea, but finished with a 3–0 victory with a goal from reserve striker Shannon MacMillan and another two scored by midfielder Tisha Venturini in the second half.[74] The Americans finished first in Group A, with nine points, followed by Nigeria with six.[75]


Denmark 0–3 United States
Report Hamm Goal 17'
Foudy Goal 73'
Lilly Goal 89'

North Korea 1–2 Nigeria
Jo Goal 74' Report Akide Goal 50'
Nwadike Goal 79'
Attendance: 17,100

United States 7–1 Nigeria
Chiejine Goal 19' (o.g.)
Hamm Goal 20'
Milbrett Goal 23'83'
Lilly Goal 32'
Akers Goal 39'
Parlow Goal 42'
Report Okosieme Goal 2'
Attendance: 65,080

North Korea 3–1 Denmark
Jin Goal 15'
Jo Goal 39'
Kim Goal 73'
Report Johansen Goal 74'
Attendance: 20,129

Nigeria 2–0 Denmark
Akide Goal 25'
Okosieme Goal 81'
Report

United States 3–0 North Korea
MacMillan Goal 56'
Venturini Goal 68'76'
Report

Group B[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1  Brazil 3 2 1 0 12 4 +8 7
2  Germany 3 1 2 0 10 4 +6 5
3  Italy 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 4
4  Mexico 3 0 0 3 1 15 −14 0

Group B, dubbed the Group of death,[28] included 1995 runners-up Germany, Olympics semi-finalist Brazil, 1991 quarter-finalist Italy, and newcomers Mexico.[20][21] Brazil opened the group stage with a 7–1 blowout win over Mexico at Giants Stadium, which began with a 1–1 tie in the first ten minutes of the match. Forward Pretinha and midfielder Sissi both scored hat-tricks, the former's completed in stoppage time and the latter in the 50th minute, while Kátia scored from a penalty kick before half-time.[76] Italy and Germany played to a 1–1 draw the following day at the Rose Bowl, avoiding a likely upset with a Bettina Wiegmann equalizer scored in the 61st minute from a penalty kick.[77]

Sissi scored twice for Brazil in their second match, a 2–0 victory against Italy in Chicago, and earned the team a quarter-finals berth.[78] Mexico was eliminated from the group in a 6–0 loss to Germany in Portland, having been outshot 43–2 and unable to force a save from German goalkeeper Silke Rottenberg until the 89th minute. Inka Grings scored a hat-trick for the Germans, including the opening and closing goals of the match, while her teammates Sandra Smisek, Ariane Hingst, and Renate Lingor each scored one goal in the second half.[79]

Brazil and Germany played on the final matchday for first place in Group B, as the second-place team would be drawn against the United States in the quarter-finals. After conceding to Germany's Birgit Prinz in the eighth minute, Brazil rallied from behind and took a 2–1 lead by the end of the first half on goals by Kátia and Sissi. A penalty kick, awarded to Germany in the first minute of the second half after Prinz was fouled in the box, was converted by Wiegmann to tie the match at 2–2. The Germans then took a 3–2 lead on a deflected shot by Steffi Jones, but the match was tied at 3–3 by a last-minute header from substitute forward Maycon in stoppage time. Brazil finished atop the group and would play Nigeria in the quarter-finals, while Germany advanced as the second-placed team to face the United States.[80][81] Italy, who were already eliminated by the Brazil–Germany draw, defeated Mexico 2–0 at Foxboro Stadium to finish the tournament with a 1–1–1 record.[82]


Brazil 7–1 Mexico
Pretinha Goal 3'12'90+1'
Sissi Goal 29'42'50'
Kátia Goal 35' (pen.)
Report Domínguez Goal 10'

Italy 1–1 Germany
Panico Goal 36' Report Wiegmann Goal 61' (pen.)
Attendance: 17,100

Brazil 2–0 Italy
Sissi Goal 3'63' Report
Attendance: 65,080

Germany 6–0 Mexico
Grings Goal 10'57'90+2'
Smisek Goal 46'
Hingst Goal 49'
Lingor Goal 89'
Report
Attendance: 20,129

Germany 3–3 Brazil
Prinz Goal 8'
Wiegmann Goal 46' (pen.)
Jones Goal 58'
Report Kátia Goal 15'
Sissi Goal 20'
Maycon Goal 90+4'

Mexico 0–2 Italy
Report Panico Goal 37'
Zanni Goal 51'

Group C[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1  Norway 3 3 0 0 13 2 +11 9
2  Russia 3 2 0 1 10 3 +7 6
3  Canada 3 0 1 2 3 12 −9 1
4  Japan 3 0 1 2 1 10 −9 1

Reigning World Cup champions Norway were seeded into Group C, which also had 1995 quarter-finalists Japan, North American qualification champions Canada, and newcomers Russia, who qualified through the European play-offs.[20] Canada took the lead in the 32nd minute of its opening match against Japan, played at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, but conceded to Japanese forward Nami Otake in the 64th minute and ended the match with a 1–1 draw.[83] Norway began its defense of the World Cup title in Massachusetts with a 2–1 win over the debuting Russians, with a goal by Brit Sandaune off a 28th-minute corner kick taken by Marianne Pettersen, who scored in the 68th minute and took nine more shots; Galina Komarova scored a consolation goal for Russia in the 78th minute, but the team was unable to record more than two shots on goal for the entire match.[84]

At Jack Kent Cooke Stadium near Washington, D.C., Norway became the first team to secure a place in the quarter-finals by winning 7–1 in a rout of Canada. Canada had tied the match at 1–1 with a goal in the 31st minute by Charmaine Hooper, but the Norwegian forward Ann Kristin Aarønes, who had scored the first goal in the eighth minute, restored her team's lead with a header in the 36th minute.[85] Norway scored five more goals in the second half, equaling the goals conceded by Canada during their first-round match against Norway in the 1995 tournament.[86] Four days after their defeat to Norway, the Russians earned their first World Cup win by defeating Japan 5–0 at Portland's Civic Stadium. The team scored four goals in the second half, including two scored by Olga Letyushova and three throughout the match that were assisted by captain Irina Grigorieva.[87]

Russia qualified for the quarter-finals with a 4–1 victory over Canada at Giants Stadium in New Jersey, finishing in second place with six points. Grigorieva scored Russia's first goal in the 54th minute and assisted on their second, the first of two goals scored by Elena Fomina; Canada had reduced the lead to 2–1 with a goal by Charmaine Hooper in the 76th minute, but Fomina's second in the 86th minute and a stoppage time goal from Olga Karasseva finished off the match.[88] Norway finished unbeaten in the group stage by defeating Japan 4–0 at Soldier Field on 26 June, benefiting from an early penalty kick and an own goal that were both caused by Hiromi Isozaki. The Norwegian team lost captain Linda Medalen and forward Ann Kristin Aarønes to injuries in the first half, but not before the latter had scored the team's third goal; the final goal of the match was scored in the 61st minute by Dagny Mellgren, who headed in a cross produced by Unni Lehn, who had assisted on Isozaki's own goal.[89]


Japan 1–1 Canada
Otake Goal 64' Report Burtini Goal 32'

Russia 1–2 Norway
Komarova Goal 78' Report Sandaune Goal 28'
Pettersen Goal 68'
Attendance: 14,873
Referee: Xiudi Zuo (China)

Norway 7–1 Canada
Aarønes Goal 8'36'
Lehn Goal 49'
Riise Goal 54'
Medalen Goal 68'
Pettersen Goal 76'
Gulbrandsen Goal 87'
Report Hooper Goal 31'

Japan 0–5 Russia
Report Savina Goal 29'
Letyushova Goal 52'90'
N. Karasseva Goal 58'
Barbashina Goal 80'
Attendance: 17,668

Canada 1–4 Russia
Hooper Goal 76' Report Grigorieva Goal 54'
Fomina Goal 66'86'
O. Karasseva Goal 90+1'
Attendance: 29,401
Referee: Xiudi Zuo (China)

Norway 4–0 Japan
Riise Goal 8' (pen.)
Isozaki Goal 26' (o.g.)
Aarønes Goal 36'
Mellgren Goal 61'
Report

Group D[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1  China PR 3 3 0 0 12 2 +10 9
2  Sweden 3 2 0 1 6 3 +3 6
3  Australia 3 0 1 2 3 7 −4 1
4  Ghana 3 0 1 2 1 10 −9 1

Group D included 1995 semi-finalists and Olympics runners-up China, 1995's last-place team Australia, newcomers and African tournament runners-up Ghana, and previous hosts and semi-finalists Sweden.[20][90] In their opening match against Sweden at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, China conceded an early goal in the second minute to Swedish defender Kristin Bengtsson. Forward Jin Yan scored the equalizer for China in the 17th minute and broke through in the 69th minute with a goal by Liu Ailing to win 2–1.[91] Australia and Ghana played to a 1–1 draw at Foxboro Stadium in the group's other opening match a day later, which began with a red card shown to Ghanaian midfielder Barikisu Tettey-Quao in the 25th minute.[92] The Matildas took the lead in the 74th minute on a goal scored by captain Julie Murray to beat Ghanaian goalkeeper Memunatu Sulemana, who had made 11 saves during the match to keep her team level despite the red card. Ghana equalized less than two minutes later with a finish by substitute Nana Gyamfuah following a rebound off Australian goalkeeper Tracey Wheeler's save, securing a point in the group standings.[93]

Sweden took an early lead in its second match, played against Australia at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium near Washington, D.C., with a header in the eighth minute by Jane Törnqvist off a corner kick and a tap-in goal by Hanna Ljungberg twelve minutes later. Julie Murray's goal in the 32nd minute reduced the lead to 2–1 at half-time, but Ljungberg scored again in the 69th minute due to a defensive error from Australia, confirming a 3–1 victory for the Swedes.[86][94] Sun Wen completed a hat-trick in the first 54 minutes of China's match against Ghana, which ended in a 7–0 victory at Portland's Civic Stadium and clinched the team's quarter-finals berth. Ghana lost defender Regina Ansah to a red card in the 52nd minute and also earned three yellow cards for challenges on Chinese players, who continued to score in the second half; Zhang Ouying scored a pair of goals in the 82nd minute and at the beginning stoppage time, while Zhao Lihong added another stoppage time goal a minute later.[95][96]

China closed out its group stage by defeating Australia 3–1, extending its winning streak to three matches and outscoring its opponents 12–2. Australian forward Alicia Ferguson was sent off for a tackle in the second minute, which remains the record for the fastest red card in Women's World Cup history.[97] Sun Wen scored her first goal in the 39th minute and followed with a second shortly after half-time, having received passes from Zhao Lihong for both goals. Cheryl Salisbury reduced the lead to 2–1 with her strike in the 66th minute, ending a 253-minute shutout streak for Chinese goalkeeper Gao Hong, but Liu Ying scored in 73rd minute to assure a Chinese victory over the Matildas.[98][99] Sweden advanced to the quarter-finals with a 2–0 victory over Ghana in Chicago, relying on two goals scored by early substitute Victoria Svensson in the 58th and 86th minutes.[100]


Sweden 1–2 China PR
Bengtsson Goal 2' Report Jin Y. Goal 17'
Liu A.L. Goal 69'
Attendance: 23,298

Australia 1–1 Ghana
Murray Goal 74' Report Gyamfua Goal 76'
Attendance: 14,867

Australia 1–3 Sweden
Murray Goal 32' Report Törnqvist Goal 8'
Ljungberg Goal 21'69'
Attendance: 16,448
Referee: Fatou Gaye (Senegal)

China PR 7–0 Ghana
Sun W. Goal 9'21'54'
Jin Y. Goal 16'
Zhang O.Y. Goal 82'90+1'
Zhao L.H. Goal 90+2'
Report
Attendance: 17,668

China PR 3–1 Australia
Sun W. Goal 39'51'
Liu Y. Goal 73'
Report Salisbury Goal 66'

Ghana 0–2 Sweden
Report Svensson Goal 58'86'
Attendance: 34,256

Knockout stage[edit]

The knockout stage of the Women's World Cup consisted of three single-elimination rounds leading to a final and a third-place playoff. Following a tie in regulation time, two 15-minute periods of extra time would be used to determine a winner. For the first time in Women's World Cup history, the golden goal would be used during extra time to instantly decide the winner in sudden death.[101] If the score remained tied at the end of extra time, a penalty shootout would ensue.[102][103]

Bracket[edit]

 
Quarter-finalsSemi-finalsFinal
 
          
 
1 July – Landover
 
 
 United States 3
 
4 July – Stanford
 
 Germany 2
 
 United States 2
 
1 July – Landover
 
 Brazil 0
 
 Brazil (a.e.t.) 4
 
10 July – Pasadena
 
 Nigeria 3
 
 United States (pen.) 0 (5)
 
30 June – San Jose
 
 China PR 0 (4)
 
 Norway 3
 
4 July – Foxborough
 
 Sweden 1
 
 Norway 0
 
30 June – San Jose
 
 China PR 5 Third place
 
 China PR 2
 
10 July – Pasadena
 
 Russia 0
 
 Brazil (pen.) 0 (5)
 
 
 Norway 0 (4)
 

Quarter-finals[edit]

The first match of a quarter-finals doubleheader at Spartan Stadium in San Jose featured China and Russia, the only team to debut at the tournament and also advance to the knockout stage.[104] China advanced with a 2–0 victory over Russia, with a first-half goal by Pu Wei and a goal scored by Jin Yan in the 56th minute, while the Russians did not manage a shot towards goal until the 91st minute.[105] The second match of the doubleheader, between neighboring rivals Norway and Sweden, began with a scoreless first half and ended with four goals scored in the second half for a 3–1 Norwegian win. Norway opened the scoring with a header by Ann Kristin Aarønes in the 51st minute, which was followed by a goal from Marianne Pettersen in the 58th minute and a penalty scored by Hege Riise in the 72nd minute; Sweden received a consolation goal by way of a run and hard shot from Malin Moström in the 90th minute.[106][107]

The next doubleheader, at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium near Washington, D.C., began with a match between the United States and Germany played in front of 54,642, including U.S. President Bill Clinton, First Lady Hillary Clinton, and Chelsea Clinton.[108] U.S. defender Brandi Chastain scored an own goal in the fifth minute after a miscommunication with goalkeeper Briana Scurry, but the Americans found an equalizing goal eleven minutes later from a shot by Tiffeny Milbrett.[109] Germany retook the lead in stoppage time just before half-time on a strike by Bettina Wiegmann that beat Scurry from 22 yards (20 m). Chastain redeemed herself by scoring the second equalizing goal for the U.S. in the 49th minute, finishing a corner kick that was taken by Mia Hamm.[110] Defender Joy Fawcett's header off a corner kick in 66th minute proved to be the game-winning goal, allowing the United States to advance with a 3–2 defeat of the Germans.[109]

The second match at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium, featuring Brazil and Nigeria, was the first in FIFA Women's World Cup history to be decided by a golden goal in extra time.[111] Cidinha scored twice in the first 22 minutes of the match and was joined by Nenê in the 35th minute to give Brazil a 3–0 lead at half-time. Nigeria substituted goalkeeper Ann Chiejine for Judith Chime and began pressing its attackers early in the second half. The Super Eagles scored their first goal in the 63rd minute, through Prisca Emeafu taking advantage of a defensive mistake, and a second in the 72nd minute from a rebound scored by Nkiru Okosieme. Nkechi Egbe scored the equalizing goal for Nigeria in the 85th minute with a far-post strike from 14 yards (13 m). The goal forced sudden death extra time, which Nigeria would play with only 10 players after forward Patience Avre was ejected in the 87th minute for receiving a second yellow card.[112] Brazilian midfielder Sissi, who had assisted two of the first-half goals, scored from 22 yards (66 ft) in the 104th minute to win the match 4–3 on golden goals for Brazil.[111][113]

The top seven quarter-finalists also qualified for the 2000 Summer Olympics alongside hosts Australia, who were eliminated in the group stage. Russia was eliminated from the quarter-finals by two goals and failed to score, placing them last among the quarter-finalists and thus unable to participate in the Olympics.[114]


China PR 2–0 Russia
Pu W. Goal 37'
Jin Y. Goal 56'
Report

Norway 3–1 Sweden
Aarønes Goal 51'
Pettersen Goal 58'
Riise Goal 72' (pen.)
Report Moström Goal 90'
Attendance: 21,411

United States 3–2 Germany
Milbrett Goal 16'
Chastain Goal 49'
Fawcett Goal 66'
Report Chastain Goal 5' (o.g.)
Wiegmann Goal 45+1'

Brazil 4–3 (a.e.t.) Nigeria
Cidinha Goal 4'22'
Nenê Goal 35'
Sissi Golden goal 104'
Report Emeafu Goal 63'
Okosieme Goal 72'
Egbe Goal 85'

Semi-finals[edit]

The semi-finals fixtures on U.S. Independence Day were organized as doubleheaders with the host Major League Soccer teams, the New England Revolution and the San Jose Clash, who played regular season matches afterwards against the MetroStars and D.C. United, respectively.[115][116] The United States faced Brazil at Stanford Stadium in the San Francisco Bay Area in front of 73,123 spectators and began the match with an early lead, following a mistimed catch from Brazilian goalkeeper Maravilha that allowed Cindy Parlow to score from a header in the fifth minute. Brazil responded with several shots in the second half that required goalkeeper Briana Scurry to make three major saves to preserve the lead.[117] On a counterattack in the 80th minute, U.S. striker Mia Hamm drew a penalty kick after a foul from Brazilian captain Elane. Veteran midfielder Michelle Akers, who had stayed on despite two serious blows to the head, converted the penalty kick to give the United States a 2–0 victory.[118]

In the second semi-final, played before 28,986 attendees at Foxboro Stadium in Massachusetts, China defeated reigning champions Norway in a 5–0 rout that matched the team's worst-ever margin of defeat.[119] Sun Wen opened the scoring in the third minute with a rebound off goalkeeper Bente Nordby and was followed by a right-footed volley by Liu Ailing eleven minutes later off a corner kick, increasing the team's lead to 2–0. Liu added a second goal herself in the 51st minute, scoring off a left-footed volley from 15 yards (14 m), and Fan Yunjie scored China's fourth goal in the 65th minute with another volley to finish a free kick taken by Sun.[120] China was awarded a penalty kick in the 72nd minute for a handball in the Norwegian box and Sun converted it, scoring her seventh goal of the tournament to tie Sissi as the leading goalscorer.[119]


United States 2–0 Brazil
Parlow Goal 5'
Akers Goal 80' (pen.)
Report
Attendance: 73,123

Norway 0–5 China PR
Report Sun W. Goal 3'72' (pen.)
Liu A.L. Goal 14'51'
Fan Y.J. Goal 65'
Attendance: 28,986

Third place play-off[edit]

The third-place play-off, contested by Norway and Brazil, was the first part of a doubleheader with the final at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, kicking off in the morning.[121] Norway had the majority of chances to score during the match, but their shots were saved by goalkeeper Maravilha to preserve a shutout. Pretinha had two chances to score for Brazil and take the lead, but they were denied by Norwegian goalkeeper Bente Nordby late in the second half.[122] The match remained scoreless after regulation time and stoppage time, and advanced straight into a penalty shootout instead of golden goal extra time due to the constraints of television scheduling ahead of the final.[103] Pretinha missed her penalty, but the remaining five taken by her teammates were all scored; Norway lost its lead in the shootout with a miss in the third round by Silje Jørgensen, and the shootout ended 5–4 in Brazil's favor after Ann Kristin Aarønes missed in the sixth round and Formiga converted hers.[103][121]


A No extra time was played before proceeding to a penalty shootout.[121]

Final[edit]

U.S. defender Brandi Chastain scored the winning penalty in the final

The 1999 final at the Rose Bowl was played in front of 90,185 spectators, setting a world record for a women's sports event, and witnessed by an estimated audience of 17.9 million television viewers in the United States, which peaked at 40 million.[28][123][124] The two finalists, the United States and China, had previously played in the gold medal match at the 1996 Summer Olympics, which the U.S. won 2–1 in Atlanta.[123] The match was scoreless after regulation time, with several attempts at the goal made by the hosts, and moved into extra time. China shot twice towards the U.S. goal in extra time, but saves by midfielder Kristine Lilly and goalkeeper Briana Scurry preserved the tie, which persisted until the end of extra time.[125]

In the ensuing penalty shootout, the first four players scored on their shots, while Liu Ying had her attempt in the third round saved by Scurry. Lilly and Mia Hamm successfully converted their penalties and gave the Americans a lead, but Zhang Ouying and Sun Wen were able to convert theirs and force sudden-death rounds.[126] Brandi Chastain, who had missed a penalty kick in the Algarve Cup against the Chinese months earlier, beat goalkeeper Gao Hong and won the shootout 5–4 for the United States.[125] Chastain celebrated by removing her jersey and revealing her sports bra underneath, creating one of the most iconic moments in the history of women's sports as it appeared on the covers of various magazines and newspapers.[127][128][129]


Aftermath and legacy[edit]

The 1999 Women's World Cup is regarded as a watershed moment in the history of U.S. women's soccer due to the cultural impact of the tournament and its high public interest.[130][131] The tournament had a total attendance of 1.194 million spectators and averaged 37,319 per match, which both remain the highest for any Women's World Cup despite the addition of more matches in later editions.[132] Television ratings for the tournament were especially high,[133][134] including 17.9 million U.S. viewers for the final—the largest audience for a soccer match in the country's history until a group stage match in the 2014 men's World Cup, which drew 18.2 million on ESPN, and the 2015 final, which drew 25.4 million on Fox.[124][135] The organizing committee reported an estimated profit of $4 million on its $30 million operating budget, which made the tournament a financial success.[136]

The United States became the first team to win two Women's World Cups as well as the first to simultaneously hold the World Cup and Olympics.[126] The team, regarded as the best to have been produced by the U.S. women's program,[137][138] became instant celebrities and appeared on various late-night talk shows and news programs.[139][140][141] They went on to finish as silver medalists at the 2000 Summer Olympics behind Norway and won three subsequent gold medals.[142] The United States finished third at the next two editions of the Women's World Cup before returning to the finals twice in the 2010s: losing to Japan in 2011 and defeating them in 2015 to take home their third World Cup title.[143] Several members of the 2011 and 2015 teams cited the 1999 tournament as providing inspiration during their pursuit of a professional career in the sport;[144] Christie Rampone was the last member of the 1999 team to retire, doing so in 2017 after earning 311 caps.[145]

The organizers and supporters of the Women's World Cup had hoped to ride the momentum from the tournament's popularity to form a professional women's soccer league akin to Major League Soccer, which was established after the 1994 men's World Cup.[146][147] The Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) was formed in January 2000 and began play in April 2001 with eight teams and the support of the United States Soccer Federation.[148][149] The league's $40 million five-year budget lasted only one season while its attendance and television ratings struggled to meet projections and investor demands.[150] The league played three full seasons before folding in September 2003 with losses of an estimated $90 million and an average attendance of 6,667 in its final season.[151] The league's teams continued playing in exhibition matches, but eventually folded, while another professional league was founded in 2007 and folded after three seasons.[152][153]

China was originally awarded the rights to host the 2003 tournament, but the outbreak of SARS forced them to withdraw.[154] The United States stepped in to host the tournament, which was organized in three months and was unsuccessfully used to prevent the WUSA from folding.[155][156] The 2003 tournament used smaller venues, including several soccer-specific stadiums built for Major League Soccer teams, and its television broadcasts competed against American football and baseball games that were scheduled at the same time.[157][158] It averaged an attendance of 20,525 and ended with a victory for Germany while the United States finished in third place.[159]

Awards[edit]

Chinese striker Sun Wen was awarded the Golden Ball and shared the Golden Boot with Brazilian forward Sissi, having tied her with seven goals and three assists.[160] Sissi also won the Silver Ball, while American veteran Michelle Akers won the Bronze Ball and Ann Kristin Aarønes won the Bronze Shoe with four goals and one assist. China won the FIFA Fair Play Award for its disciplinary record during the tournament.[28][160] The awards for the tournament were presented at the FIFA World Player of the Year ceremony on 24 January 2000 in Brussels.[161]

Golden Ball Silver Ball Bronze Ball
China Sun Wen Brazil Sissi United States Michelle Akers
Golden Shoe Bronze Shoe
Brazil Sissi China Sun Wen Norway Ann Kristin Aarønes
7 goals (tie) 4 goals
FIFA Fair Play Award
 China PR

All-Star Team[edit]

The sixteen members of the Women's World Cup All-Star Team were announced on 8 July 1999, including seven players from China and five from the United States.[162] It was the first all-star team to be chosen during the World Cup by FIFA officials.[163]

Goalkeepers Defenders Midfielders Forwards

China Gao Hong
United States Briana Scurry

China Wang Liping
China Wen Lirong
Germany Doris Fitschen
United States Brandi Chastain
United States Carla Overbeck

Brazil Sissi
China Liu Ailing
China Zhao Lihong
Germany Bettina Wiegmann
United States Michelle Akers

China Jin Yan
China Sun Wen
Norway Ann Kristin Aarønes
United States Mia Hamm

Statistics[edit]

Goalscorers[edit]

Sissi of Brazil and Sun Wen of China won the Golden Shoe award for scoring seven goals. In total, 123 goals were scored by 74 different players, with three of them credited as own goals.[164] The tournament averaged 3.84 goals per match, a Women's World Cup record, and included four hat-tricks.[97]

7 goals
4 goals
3 goals
2 goals
1 goal
Own goals

Tournament ranking[edit]

Rank Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1  United States 6 5 1 0 18 3 +15 16
2  China PR 6 5 1 0 19 2 +17 16
3  Brazil 6 3 2 1 16 9 +7 11
4  Norway 6 4 1 1 16 8 +8 13
Eliminated in the quarter-finals
5  Russia 4 2 0 2 10 5 +5 6
6  Sweden 4 2 0 2 7 6 +1 6
7  Nigeria 4 2 0 2 8 12 −4 6
8  Germany 4 1 2 1 12 7 +5 5
Eliminated in the group stage
9  Italy 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 4
10  North Korea 3 1 0 2 4 6 −2 3
11  Australia 3 0 1 2 3 7 −4 1
12  Canada 3 0 1 2 3 12 −9 1
13  Ghana 3 0 1 2 1 10 −9 1
 Japan 3 0 1 2 1 10 −9 1
15  Denmark 3 0 0 3 1 8 −7 0
16  Mexico 3 0 0 3 1 15 −14 0
Source: FIFA Technical Report[165]

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External links[edit]