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Most memorable women's football moments

Top-20 most memorable women's football moments of the decade

January 2, 2020 By Juan Aguerrevere
Stop what you're doing and let's take a journey back to this decade's most memorable moments in women's football.

The third decade since the inaugural FIFA Women's World Cup in 1991 has come to a close and it is filled with memorable moments including finals, goals, blockbuster matches, award ceremonies, broken records and celebrations. Here are LiveSoccerTV's top-20 most unforgettable moments from 2009 to 2019:

USWNT 2-2 Brazil blockbuster quarter-final at the FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany (2011)

The decade kicked-off with the FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany and its unforgettable quarter-final match between Team USA and Brazil. The USWNT got on the board early in the game after just 90 seconds when Brazilian defender Daiane scored an own goal. Marta drew a penalty in the second half and took it, but Hope Solo blocked the attempt. Turns out Marta was allowed to retake it due to encroachment and bagged in an equalizer taking the game to extra time. Marta struck again early in extra-time bringing euphoria to the Brazilians, but the Americans put an end to premature celebrations when Abby Wambach's powerful header drew the game in added time. The game went to penalties and Hope Solo made a brilliant save against Daiane to make her day a complete living-nightmare and take the U.S. to the semi-finals.


Japan becoming the fourth nation to win a FIFA Women's World Cup (2011)

Only three teams had lifted the World Cup trophy coming into the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany. That was until the Japanese women's national team shocked the world with an incredible run defeating Germany in the quarter-finals, Sweden in the semi-finals and ultimately the USWNT in the final. Japan's 2-0 loss to England during the group stage phase did not convince football fans around the world, but a flawless knock-out round run and a penalty shootout against the USA saw it win its first World Cup.


Carli Lloyd's FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 Final half-field goal (2015)

All eyes were on the USWNT after a disappointing final loss against Japan four years prior. The Americans delivered one of the most outstanding performances winning 5-2, but it was Carli Lloyd who stole the show by scoring a hat-trick in the opening 15 minutes of the match. The third goal was an unforgettable strike from just past the halfway line forcing the goalkeeper to tumble to the ground and see the ball as it bounced off her glove and in the goal. The goal speaks for itself.


Raquel Rodriguez becoming the first Hispanic to win a Mac Herman Trophy (2016) 

The Missouri Athletic Club's (MAC) Herman Trophy is awarded to the best female and male players in the NCAA Division 1 soccer. Raquel Rodriguez, from Costa Rica, became the first Hispanic to win the award after a fantastic senior year season. She tallied 18 points on six goals and six assists. One of the goals came in the 1-0 victory over Duke in the 2015 Women's College Cup final. She also excelled in the classroom being named to the NSCAA Women's NCAA Division I and II Scholar All-America First Team and the NCAA Division I and II Women's Scholar Player of the Year.


Sweden knocking out the USWNT in the 2016 Olympics (2016)

The USWNT was ousted from an Olympic medal in 2016 by Sweden making it the first time the US missed out on a medal in women's football. What made this moment even more shocking were the post-match exchanges during interviews between Hope Solo and former Team USA manager, Pia Sundhage, who managed Sweden at the time. Solo called out Sweden for playing like a "bunch of cowards," and Sundhage simply responded to the criticism by saying "It's OK to be a coward if you win." Solo was suspended and her contract was terminated as a result and never played for the national team again.


Ada Hegerberg deciding not to feature in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup (2017) 

Ada Hegerberg broke the news by announcing that she would not play for Norway in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup because of inequality in the sport. The news became even more shocking when she won the first Women's Ballon d'Or in 2018 and her fourth Champions League with Lyon making her the best player in the world at the time. Pay disparities, unequal treatment and Norway prioritizing the men's team made her come to the decision to not represent her country at the biggest stage.


Deyna Castellanos reaching Puskas Award Final 3 (2017)

At the time, Deyna Castellanos, 18, was a wonderkid who was playing for Venezuela and Florida State University. She caught international attention when she scored an incredible half-field goal against Cameroon in the 2016 U-17 Women's World Cup. She became the third female player to make it to the final three of the Puskas nominations and even got a picture with her Cristiano Ronaldo.


Haiti becoming the first Caribbean nation to qualify to a U-20 World Cup (2018) 

Haiti qualified for the U-20 Women's World Cup in France becoming the first-ever Haitian team to qualify for a Women's World Cup at any level. Moreover, Haiti was the first Caribbean country to qualify for a U-20 Women's World Cup after finishing third at the 2018 CONCACAF Women's U-20 Championship. The Haitians lost all their matches by minimal difference and were able to score three goals in the course of the tournament.


Creation of the Ballon d'Or Feminin (2018)

Ada Hegerberg became the first woman to be awarded the first edition of the Ballon d'Or Feminin. She had just won four Champions League titles with Lyon and scored enough goals to be named the world's best woman footballer. The celebrations were interrupted by French DJ Martin Solveig when he asked Hegerberg to twerk as she received her award on the stage. This will forever be remembered as one of the most cringe and disrespectful moments in football history.


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I wrote a little piece about the biggest night of my life so far.. Hope you like it! Link in bio @playerstribuneglobal

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Khadija "Bunny" Shaw named Footballer of the Year by the Guardian (2018) 

The Guardian Footballer of the Year award is not handed to the best player of the year like other awards. It's much more special than that. Khadija "Bunny" Shaw, 21 at the time, became the third winner after taking the Reggae Girlz to their first-ever World Cup, helping the Tennessee Volunteers to their best ever season and sharing her personal life story. Shaw lost four brothers in a short period of time – three who died to gang-related violence – while playing accomplishing wonders on the pitch.


Ada Hegerberg first half hat-trick against Barcelona in the Women's Champions League final first half (2019)

Like Carli Lloyd, Ada Hegerberg scored a hat-trick during the first-half of a final. This time it was at the club level when Olympique Lyon met Barcelona in the UEFA Women's Champions League final. Coming into the match as the world's best footballer, Hegerberg scored three goals in the opening 30 minutes to help Lyon win its sixth Champions League title.



Jamaica scoring first World Cup goal (2019) 

Jamaica became the first Caribbean nation to qualify for a FIFA Women's World Cup by defeating Panama in a penalty-kick shootout in the third-place match of the 2018 CONCACAF Women's Championship. The cinderella team joined Australia, brazil and Italy in the tournament's group of death. The idea of a goal was far-fetched. After a 3-0 loss to Brazil and a 5-0 defeat to Italy, Havana Solaun, a University of Florida graduate, scored a goal against the Matilda's bringing joy to the Caribbean island and all the people rooting for it. 


Cameroon vs. England FIFA Women's World Cup on-pitch outrage (2019)

Cameroon headed into the round-of-16 of the FIFA Women's World Cup at France as a wildcard after a lone 2-1 group-stage-win over New Zealand. The Indomitable Lionesses went head-to-head against Phil Neville's English side which featured incredible players with the likes of Lucy Bronze, Ellen White, Steph Houghton and Nikita Paris. The match went exactly how you think it would go with England towering over the Central African nation. However, we'll never forget the Cameroonian's extraordinary reactions to White's goal and a disallowed conversion from Ajara Nchout. The pitch was filled with rage, tears and false injustice as the Africans felt that they were cheated causing them to huddle up and attempt to walk out the field.


Marta breaking the all-time FIFA Women's World Cup goal record (2019)

Marta broke a couple of records during France 2019. She became the first player, woman or man, to score in five World Cups when she slotted a penalty past Lydia Williams in the second group-stage match against the Matildas. But the record everyone roared about was surpassing Miroslav Klose's 16-goal tally making her the footballer to score the most overall goals in the competition's history. It came in the shape of another penalty, this time against Italy in a 1-0 win. Brazil then fell to the host nation, France, in the round-of-16 and Marta delivered this inspirational speech that would hit home to young girls in the post-match interview



USWNT's Alex Morgan tea celebration (2019)

The FIFA Women's World Cup was filled with notable celebrations including Megan Rapinoe's iconic stretched-arms celebration, Isabell Herlovesen's gymnastics routine finish celebration, Sam Kerr's imitation of Tim Cahill's "boxing with corner flag" celebration, Ellen White's "goggles" celebration, amongst many others. But the one that caused the most people buzzing was Alex Morgan's "tea-cup" celebration after scoring Team USA's game-winner against England. Morgan defended the action by saying that she meant it as "that's the news" while also saying that men can "grab their crotches" and that women are held in a double standard in terms of celebrations. We'll let you decide.


Jill Ellis back-to-back FIFA Women's World Cup titles (2019)

What better way to end this roll of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup moments than with Jill Ellis' back-to-back World Cup wins. She became the first head coach, man or woman, to win two consecutive World Cups defeating a mighty and talented Netherlands 2-0 in the final. Ellis' team broke a series of records during the competition including most goals and highest margin of victory in a single Women's World Cup match (vs Thailand, 13-0), most goals in a FIFA Women's World Cup tournament and most FIFA Women's World Cup wins. After five years leading the USWNT, the English native announced the fact that she would step down as U.S. Women's National Team head coach on July 30. Her record remained at 102-7-18. Simply impeccable.


Stephanie Frappart officiates the UEFA Super Cup (2019) 

On August 14, Stephanie Frappart did what no other woman official had ever done, officiate a major men's European final. This was not the first time she had broken the chains to forbidden lands as she was the first female referee to take charge of a Ligue 2 and Ligue 1 match in the past. The match had its fair share of controversies especially during the penalty shootout with Liverpool's Adrian stepping off his line on different attempts and it not being called. Some blamed her even though var should've noticed this and called it back. Nevertheless, Frappart is another woman doing great things in the sport and she's been recognized for it by earning numerous awards including the IFFHS' World's Best Woman Referee 2019 award and a Globe Soccer Award for Best Referee of the Year.


Australia's historic equal pay deal (2019)

As of November 2019, the Matildas earn as much as their counterparts, the Socceroos, after a historic deal aimed to close the gender pay gap at the country's international level. The four-year deal includes a wide range of arrangements such as both teams sharing an equal split of all commercial revenues, the women's team will be allowed to travel business class for international travel and lastly, coaching and operational support will be brought to the same standard as the men's team. This is exactly what Ada Hegerberg has called and protested for to the Norwegian Football Association.


Katie Meyer's celebrations and taunting with Stanford (2019)

Stanford's trash-talking goalkeeper, Katie Meyer, broke national and even international headlines after videos of her taunting opponents during the NCAA National Championship semi-final against UCLA and final against North Carolina surfaced the internet. Only a freshman, Meyer made a name for herself after blocking UCLA's Mia Fishel's penalty securing her team a spot in the final. She followed up with a clean sheet in the final and two saves during the penalty shootout that ultimately led Stanford to its third-ever NCAA Tournament title.


Christine Sinclair becomes CONCACAF top goal scorer (2019) 

The Canadian Striker finished the year two goal short of overcoming Abby Wambach's all-time goalscoring record in women's football of 184, but she did become the CONCACAF all-time top goal scorer. Sinclair, 36, is bound to break the record in 2020 as she has not hinted retirement yet despite playing at an international level since the year 2000.

This upcoming decade will bring you the 2020, 2024 and 2028 Olympics, the 2023 and 2027 Women's World Cups and plenty of more women's football that we so dearly adore. We hope that other national football associations follow the footsteps of Australia and that league football keeps growing to give more value to this realm. Have a happy new year and best wishes to you and your endeavors.

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