Football Features

The records already broken at the 2019 Women’s World Cup

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 15:57, 12 June 2019

This summer’s Women’s World Cup, currently taking place in France, is undoubtedly the biggest ever.

From humble beginnings in 1991, the competition has grown exponentially in terms of global interest and team participation.

Before today, Nigeria had never won their second match at a Women’s World Cup tournament. That changed with a 2-0 win over South Korea.

But the 2019 edition has been all about making history, and to prove it we rounded up all of the records that have already been toppled after just the first round of games.

USWNT go record crazy

1. Most goals scored by a team in a men’s or women’s World Cup match

It was brutal to watch. No one expected Thailand, the lowest-ranked team in the competition and playing in their second World Cup finals, to give the defending champions United States a problem, but few predicted the 13-0 pasting they would receive.

Group F, which also boasts Sweden, could potentially be decided on goal-difference – so, it was natural Jill Ellis’ team would go all out. And they did. Going into the break 3-0 up they’d register 10 more in the second half. A ruthless display which saw them score the most goals in a single men’s or women’s World Cup match.

2. Largest margin of victory in a World Cup finals match

To call this a statement of intent would be an understatement. Before the U.S. Women’s National team squared off against their less illustrious rivals, the record winning margin in a WWC match was 11 when then-world champions Germany humbled Argentina 11-0 in their opening game at the 2007 finals.

That record was tied in the 85th minute when substitute Mallory Pugh scored her first World Cup finals goal. It would exclusively belong to the USWNT two minute later as Alex Morgan bagged her fifth of the game. Not satisfied, a final push saw 2015 hero Carli Lloyd score in a fifth consecutive WWC game.

3. Most goals scored by a player in a World Cup finals match

As mentioned, it was a night to remember for Alex Morgan, widely considered among the game’s elite. The 29-year-old Californian was in ruthless form. Having opened the scoring in the 12th minute, she would complete her hat-trick with 16 minutes left on the clock and the scoreline reading 8-0.

Five more goals would be scored in the final 15 minutes with Morgan grabbing two of those. Having fallen shy of registering a double hat-trick, she nonetheless equalled a FIFA Women’s World Cup record of most goals scored by a single player in a match. Morgan’s effort tied compatriot Michelle Akers who bagged five against Chinese Taipei in their 7-0 1991 quarter-final meeting.

4. Most individual goal scorers in a single Women’s World Cup finals match

Despite registering 13 goals only Morgan went home with a match ball. She was one of seven players to find themselves on the scoresheet – a World Cup record. Morgan was joined by Rose Lavelle (two goals), Linsey Horan, Sam Mewis (two goals), Megan Rapinoe, Mallory Pugh and Carli Lloyd.

The previous record came in the aforementioned Germany 11-0 Argentina (2007) game. However, those goals were distributed between five players: Melanie Behringer (two goals), Kerstin Garefrekes, Birgit Prinz (hat-trick), Renate Lingor (two goals) and Sandra Smisek (hat-trick).

Formiga eternal

5. Oldest player to feature in a Women’s World Cup

Miraildes Maciel Mota, also known as Formiga, started in Brazil’s opener against newcomers Jamaica and subsequently wrote a piece of history. At the age of 41 years and 98 days old, she overtook Christie Rampone’s record as the oldest player to feature in a Women’s World Cup match.

Rampone was 40 years and 12 days old when she featured in USA’s 5-2 win over Japan in the 2015 final. Formiga will be hoping to go all the way and be part of Brazil’s first successful women’s team. Unlike their male counterparts, they are yet to taste glory at this level.

6. First player to appear at seven editions of the Women’s World Cup

Formiga will be hoping seventh time’s a charm. Having made her international debut in 1995, the Salvador-born midfielder was part of Brazil’s squad at that year’s World Cup finals in Sweden and would feature in five following tournaments before making it seven in France – a feat never done before – where she plays her club football with Paris Saint-Germain. During this incredible run, Formiga would collect a silver (2007) and bronze (1999) medal.

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Age is but a number

7. Oldest hat-trick hero

Brazil missed six-time women’s player of the year Marta in their opener against the Reggae Girlz, but no problem, they still had her strike partner and fellow centurion Cristiane Rozeira who netted a 49-minute hat-trick to hand the Seleção a 3-0 win and a commanding start to France 2019.

No stranger to trebles, she not only became the tournament’s first hat-trick scorer, but also the oldest player in the tournament’s history to do so. Cristiane, aged 34y and 25d old, surpassed the record held by Cristiano Ronaldo (33y and 130d old), which he set in Portugal’s 3-3 draw with Spain last summer.

8. Youngest clean sheet keeper

After keeping out South Korea on Wednesday, Nigeria’s Chiamaka Nnadozie became the youngest ever goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet at a Women’s World Cup finals. Nnadozie is just 18 years and 186 days old, and at this rate she’s certain to break more records throughout what could be a long career.


9. A record viewership

It goes without saying that women’s football has reached a level of popularity never before seen. England, a traditional powerhouse in the men’s game, is feeling the effects. The Lionesses led by Phil Neville sit among hosts France, Germany and the USA as favourites to be crowned champions in Lyon on July 7.

Their opening game against fierce domestic rivals Scotland was viewed at its peak by 6.1 million people which, according to broadcaster BBC, broke UK television viewing figure records for a women’s football game. One can imagine that figure increasing if they go all the way.

Ebi walks into the record books

10. The first African player to make appearances at five World Cups

Nigeria were humbled in their first outing against 1995 champions Norway (who are missing the first female Ballon d’Or recipient Ada Hegerberg). Playing the full 90 minutes was centre-back Ebi Onome who created a piece of continental history.

Never before has an African footballer – man or woman – played in five different World Cup tournaments. Ebi (36) was the first and can be proud of this landmark achievement. “Playing in my fifth World Cup is really, really amazing, and I worked hard for it,” she told “I thank God it come to pass. I would say I’m enjoying it – just not today’s game.”