(USA vs Norway, 1991)
The one that started it all. In 1992, the USA won the first ever Women’s World Cup against Norway. The victorious team’s front line made up of Akers, the centre, and wingers, April Heinrichs and Carin Jennings, was known as the ‘triple edged sword.’ Akers scored both goals in this match which made the US team the first ever Women’s World Cup champions.
Another player made history by bringing a touch of showmanship to the Women’s World Cup. After scoring two goals back to back in the final ten minutes against Japan, Smith famously took off her boot and kissed it. Smith has scored a record breaking 41 goals for her country and has been named among the best female football players in the world. This iconic celebration delighted fans and became the image of her career, and England’s 2007 World Cup.
(Brazil vs USA, 2007)
Marta demonstrated why she has been named the world’s best female player with her flamboyant goal against the USA in the tournament’s semi final. Marta’s goal is one of the most memorable game winners in the tournament’s history, as she kicked the ball over her shoulder before spinning and moving past the American defender, Tina Ellerston.
Brandi Chastain scores winning goal in penalty shoot out against China. She took the fifth kick for the US, and broke the 4-4 tie which took the American side to their second ever World Cup victory. In celebration, Chastain pulled off her shirt and fell to her knees with clenched fists before she was embraced by her team. The photo of her celebration made the cover of “Sports Illustrated and quickly became iconic worldwide.
(USA vs Japan, 2015)
Carli Lloyd again shows how she flourishes under the pressure of a big occasion. Following in the spirit of her two goals in the 2012 Olympic gold medal match, Lloyd scored a 13 minute hat trick in the 2015 World Cup final against Japan. Lloyd also set up the final goal, scored in the 84th minute, demonstrating her role as a dominant and determined player and goal scorer for the USA.
BY - Lydia Cronin
7 July 2015