The final of the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup was an association football match that took place on July 10, 1999, to determine the winner of the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup. The host United States and China played to a scoreless draw following double golden goal extra time. After that, the United States won the title 5–4 with a penalties victory.
|Event||1999 FIFA Women's World Cup|
|After golden goal extra time|
United States won 5–4 on penalties
|Date||July 10, 1999|
|Venue||Rose Bowl, Pasadena|
|Referee||Nicole Petignat (Switzerland)|
The match represented one of the most important events in the history of American athletics. It was played before over 90,000 fans. The well-known image of Brandi Chastain celebrating the winning spot kick that was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated became one of the defining images of women's athletics in the United States.
The match featured two powerhouses of women's association football. The United States had won the first FIFA World Cup championship in China and the gold medal at the 1996 Olympics. China had won the silver at the 1996 Olympics and had defeated the United States in the final of the 1999 Algarve Cup. The teams featured two of the superstars of women's soccer, strikers Mia Hamm of the United States and Sun Wen of China.
The United States was bidding to become the first team to win a world championship on home soil, something China had failed to do in 1991, as well as the first team to win multiple championships. China, meanwhile, was attempting to join the United States and Norway as World Cup champions.
Route to the finalEdit
The United States had qualified automatically as host nation. Accordingly, they elected to skip the 1998 CONCACAF Women's Championship, which served as the CONCACAF qualifier. They would not fail to win a CONCACAF championship again until 2010. China had qualified by winning their sixth straight AFC Women's Championship in 1997.
Once at the finals, the United States reached the knockout stage by easily winning Group A. After trailing 2–1 at halftime, they advanced through the quarterfinals by defeating Germany 3–2. The United States then defeated Brazil 2–0 to reach the final.
|United States||Round||China PR|
|North Korea||3–0||Match 3||Australia||3–1|
The match was played on July 10, 1999, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The United States and China played to a scoreless draw during regulation and golden goal extra time. The United States won the title 5–4 on a penalty shootout. The win gave the United States its second world cup title.
The game was a tepid affair with neither side getting many chances. Perhaps the best chance for either team to score came in extra time, when China's Fan Yunjie hit a header toward the post that was defended by Kristine Lilly.
After both teams failed to score, the teams squared off for a shootout to decide the winners of the cup. China shot first, and Xie Huilin scored, only to be matched by the United States' Carla Overbeck. In the second round, Qiu Haiyan's goal was matched by Joy Fawcett.
Liu Ying was China's third-round shooter, but her shot was saved by United States goalkeeper Briana Scurry. Despite Scurry coming well off her line (a violation that should have resulted in a re-kick for Liu), the save stood. Kristine Lilly then got a shot past Chinese goalkeeper Gao Hong to give the United States the advantage.
Zhang Ouying, Mia Hamm, and Sun Wen each converted their penalty opportunities, leaving the United States' Brandi Chastain with a shot to win the tournament. She put the ball past Gao, leading to an ecstatic celebration by the Americans, who had clinched the title on home soil.
|United States||0–0 (a.e.t./g.g.)||China|
The United States became the first team to win two Women's World Cup titles. Brandi Chastain's celebration, which ended with her removing her jersey and revealing her sports bra underneath, appeared on the covers of Sports Illustrated, Time, and various newspapers the following day. The celebration was criticized for being allegedly disrespectful, unfeminine, or inappropriate, but has endured as one of the most iconic moments in women's sports history. Chinese media protested Scurry's save on Liu Ying, accusing her of cheating for stepping ahead of the line before Liu kicked the ball; Scurry confirmed that she did intentionally step over the line, but stated that "everybody does it".
The final and tournament as a whole created greater interest in women's soccer, particularly the United States team, and broke attendance and television records for women's sports. Its reported attendance of 90,185 set a new international record for a women's sporting event, although the unofficial 1971 Women's World Cup final at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City was seen by an estimated 110,000 people. This record was broken in 2022 when the second leg of the UEFA Women's Champions League quarterfinal between archrivals FC Barcelona and Real Madrid drew 91,553 to Camp Nou in Barcelona. The final averaged 17.9 million viewers and peaked at 40 million on U.S. broadcast television, which remained unsurpassed until the 2014 men's World Cup and the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Final.
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