FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019: The best moments so far

Al Jazeera takes a look at some of the best moments that have taken place in the tournament under way in France.

This year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup is under way in France and being played in nine cities across the country over the next month. 

The tournament started earlier this month and will end on July 7 with the final match to be played in Lyon. 

FIFA said it wants to reach a record one billion television viewers through the month-long tournament, which is currently in its second week.

Here are some of the most memorable moments from the event so far:

Marta makes history

Brazil‘s player Marta Vieira da Silva became the World Cup’s all-time leading scorer, man or woman, on June 18. 

Marta had been tied with Germany’s Miroslav Klose at 16 goals before scoring her 17th against Italy

With 17 goals in 19 matches, Marta has scored five more goals than Brazilian icon, Pele.

“It’s one more detail written in the history of women’s football,” Marta said after reaching the milestone. “I am honoured, but there’s more to do in this tournament.”

Jamaica scores first World Cup goal

Jamaica, a newcomer to the World Cup, scored its first goal at the tournament. 

The team, known as the Reggae Girlz, was trailing Australia 2-0 when Havana Solaun’s boot connected a goal on June 18. 

Sam Kerr shines for Matildas

In the same game in which Jamaica made history, Sam Kerr managed to score all four goals for Australia. She scored two goals in each half of the game.

Kerr became the first Australian player to score a hat-trick at the World Cup. The Matildas’ captain is now Australia’s highest goal scorer in a World Cup game. 

US win with record 13-0

On June 12, the United States managed to score 13-0 against Thailand, breaking the all-time goal record of Germany vs Argentina (11-0).

Each goal came with a celebration and a growing debate on social media about whether the team went too far.

Many began to question whether the Americans should have toned it down and stopped the celebrations after it became obvious it was going to be a win.

Jill Ellis, the team’s coach, addressed the criticism after the show:

“As a coach, I don’t find it my job to harness my players and rein them in, because this is what they’ve dreamed about, and this is a world championship,” Ellis said.

“When you have a deluge of goals like that, it’s important. It’s a good feeling. It’s a boost of confidence.”

Thailand’s goal against Sweden

In an emotional turn of events, Thailand’s captain Kanjana Sung-Ngoen was able to strike a goal on the 91st minute, making the stadium go wild.

The coaching staff on the sidelines was in tears, neutrals in the stands cheered and even Swedish fans applauded.

The game ended with a 5-1 victory in favour of Sweden.

FIFA and the case with Iran 

On June 18, FIFA admitted it was wrong for stewards to intervene and remove two fans at a women’s World Cup match between New Zealand and Canada because they advocated for Iranian women to be allowed into stadiums.

“FIFA believes that the message to allow women into football stadiums in Iran is a social, not political, matter and so the message on the front of the T-shirts worn by two fans is not against the FIFA rules,” the football governing body said in a statement.

“The fans should not have been asked to remove their T-shirts or to leave the stadium by local security, even if there were other messages on the back of their T-shirts,” it said.

“FIFA will do its best to ensure that any similar situations do not occur at future matches during the competition.”

VAR and Scotland’s misfortune 

On June 19, Argentina pulled off an unprecedented women’s World Cup fightback from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with Scotland, but it will be the video assistant referee’s decision (VAR) to award a stoppage-time penalty retake that will remain memorable.

The encounter descended into chaos when the VAR was first used to award a debatable penalty three minutes from full time, yet the drama and disbelief escalated when Argentina forward Florencia Bonsegundo’s spot kick was saved.

The VAR, however, judged the keeper was off her line and the kick was retaken, with Bonsegundo scoring at the second time of asking to send Scotland home and keep her side’s faint hopes of reaching the last 16 alive.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies