The 2003 USA FIFA Women’s World Cup ended with a historic golden goal from Nia Kunzer. This sealed the inaugural crown of the Women’s World Cup for Germany, which was also the first country to win a title with a female coach and the first to experience success at a global exhibition with their men’s and women’s teams.
Germany 2-1 Sweden – Germany wins with a golden goal
October 12, 2003 | Home Depot Center, Carson (USA)
Aim: 0-1 Hanna Ljungberg (41 ‘), 1-1 Maren Meinert (46’), 2-1 Nia Kunzer (golden goal, 98 ‘)
The composition of players:
- German: Silke Rottenberg – Kerstin Stegemann, Ariane Hingst, Sandra Minnert, Stefanie Gottschlich – Kerstin Garefrekes (Martina Muller 76 ‘), Bettina Wiegmann (c), Renate Lingor, Pia Wunderlich (Nia Kunzer 88)) – Maren Meinert, Birgit Prin
- Sweden: Caroline Jonsson – Karolina Westberg, Jane Tornqvist, Hanna Marklund, Sara Larsson (Kristin Bengtsson 76 ‘), Frida Ostberg – Malin Mostrom (c), Malin Andersson (Therese Sjogran 53’), Anna Sjostrom (Linda Fagerstrom 53 ‘) – Hanna Ljungberg, Victoria Svensson
Four years after the US won the 1999 edition in a dramatic penalty shootout, the 2003 Women’s World Cup reached the same climax gripping her in the final. The fact that four out of five participating European teams reached the quarter-finals illustrates how decisive the tournament was for the teams from the Old Continent. Russia and Norway may be eliminated in the last eight, but they beat Asian and African champions respectively, Korea DPR and Nigeria, who both packed their bags for home after the group stage. Even more surprising was Germany’s 3-0 victory over the highly favored US team in the semifinals.
Germany and Sweden made a high-quality spectacle in the final, with the latter finally winning thanks to Kunzer’s golden goal in the eighth minute of extra time.
However, before that, the Scandinavians looked good and took the lead in the 41st minute through Hanna Ljungberg, who took advantage of Victoria Svensson’s perfect ball through the ball before clinically placing it under Silke Rottenberg and into the goal. Despite that goal, Rottenberg was still named the Tournament Goalkeeper after the match. Ljungberg’s goal gave Sweden the lead in the first half, but the joy of the goalscorer turned into despair in the final minutes of normal time after wasting a brilliant chance with a 1-1 draw, when Maren Meinert equalized for Germany right at the start of the match. second round.
Ljungberg tried to hit Frida Ostberg’s first cross with his right foot, but he missed the ball completely and the opportunity was lost. Even the smallest detail can be decisive in the final, and this one is no different. The popular Swedish striker, no doubt one of the tournament’s best players, learned the hard lesson that football can sometimes be very cruel.
Germany retained their title four years later, but Sweden were eliminated in the group stage.
It’s hard to choose just one player who stands out from this Women’s World Cup. The 17-year-old Marta star greatly improved in the tournament, and he made a lasting impression with three goals in four matches for Brazil. His incredible ball control and positional play even won praise from China’s PR head coach Ma Lianxing: “The way he plays shows the way forward for football.”
Abby Wambach, 23 at the time, was another impressive person. His technique, physical strength and tireless efforts to regain ownership make him the most feared striker in the US team. The names of the two players are now etched forever in the history of women’s football. The same applies to German Birgit Prinz, who not only took home the adidas Golden Ball award as the tournament’s best player, but also the Golden Boot adidas to finish as top scorer.
What they say
“There is a one-week gap between the semifinals and the finals. It’s difficult to maintain a high level of tension. We don’t do that as well as Sweden. They also have a very good team and in the finals we have enough luck. Maybe that’s what you need to win the World Cup, a little luck on that. “
Maren Meinert (Germany)
“At the time the disappointment was devastating, but with hindsight you just have to accept it. At that time social media was not like it is today so we didn’t know how big the deal was in Sweden. We were at first a little embarrassed when we were told that we would be taken up the bus is open around Stockholm from the airport. We didn’t expect anyone to come, but there were so many people there. d achieved something big. Yes, we lost in the finals, but we were really good. “
Therese Sjogran (Sweden)
“At first I was confused and had absolutely no idea what was happening. I really didn’t realize what I was doing at first because my header was really not strong. Then after two or three seconds I felt the first of us the players holding the neck I and I realized that we were world champions. It was an indescribable moment. Scoring goals to win the World Cup was always special. I don’t care who scored, but the fact that it was me and that was gold. The goal was crazy. “
Nia Kunzer (Germany)
“Right now it feels very bad, but with a little time we might be very satisfied with ourselves. We finished as runners-up at the World Cup and only lost the final with a golden goal.”
Hanna Ljunberg (Sweden)