Taking place in both New Zealand and Australia, the 2023 Women’s World Cup was the first to be co-hosted and lasted approximately one month. The tournament was full of dramatic goals, high-caliber competition, and historic moments.
Some of the highlights of the tournament included Colombia’s incredible upset win over Germany. Heading into this game, Germany was heavily favoured to win over the underdog team, Colombia. However, Colombia star player Linda Caicedo lit up the tournament, leading her team to victory at the age of just 18.
The teams of the tournament co-hosts, Australia and New Zealand, were eliminated relatively early in the tournament after some unexpected losses, including an Australian upset loss to Nigeria. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the tournament was the American team’s performance. For the first time, the American team did not make it to the semi-finals—a feat that had become the expectation for the heavily-favoured and historically successful football team. Throughout the history of this tournament, only four teams had won: the United States, Germany, Japan and Norway. However, this year, none of these teams won the chance to play in the finals, making way for a new champion.
The debate as to the “best goal” from this year’s tournament is a highly contested area of conversation. Some claim the best was Ireland’s Katie McCabe’s corner kick against Canada, others suggest England’s Lauren James long-range try against Denmark was the most impressive. However, most agree that Caicedo’s solo effort in the previously mentioned upset win over Germany is the clear favorite and the highlight of the tournament. The skill, will, and finesse of that goal stands out as one of the most impressive plays seen in a Women’s World Cup in a long time and will likely become one of the most historic goals in women’s football.
While this tournament saw a plethora of highs and lows, perhaps the climax of the tournament was its ending: the final between England and Spain. These two football-crazed nations went head to head in perhaps the most dramatic final in the Women’s World Cup in the past decade.
Both teams shared the stage for the first time, never having reached this level of play or this portion of the tournament in the years prior—Spain, specifically, had never made it past the 16th round of the tournament. Neither team seemed to have an edge over the other, and it was clear that everyone involved was nervous. Then, in the early morning of August 20, 2023, in a Sydney stadium packed with over 70 000 fans, Spanish player Olga Carmona scored the goal that would become the ultimate game winner. The first Spanish Women’s World Cup championship in history was secured. This victory did not only thrill Spain’s fans, but won over fans around the world, captivating an audience and bringing new eyes to women’s football.
Locked on Leafs Columnist (Volume 48 & 49) — Omar is in his fourth year at UTM, working towards completing a major in CCIT and double minors in Political Science and Anthropology. Omar loves to keep up with various sports teams, his favourite being the Toronto Maple Leafs. When he isn’t stressing over exams or the Leafs you can find him watching movies, looking at shoes he can only hope to afford, and trying his best to avoid parking tickets on campus.