2003 Women's World Cup

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FIFA Women's World Cup 2003
FIFA Women's World Cup USA 2003
FIFA Women's World Cup 2003.svg
Number of nations 16  (of 99 applicants)
World Champion GermanyGermany Germany (1st title)
venue United StatesUnited States United States
Opening game September 20, 2003
Endgame October 12, 2003
Games 32
Gates 107  (⌀: 3.34 per game)
spectator 679,664  (⌀: 21,240 per game)
Top scorer GermanyGermany Birgit Prinz (7 goals)
Best player GermanyGermany Birgit Prinz
Best goalkeeper GermanyGermany Silke Rottenberg
Yellow card yellow cards 65  (⌀: 2.03 per game)
Yellow-red card Yellow-red cards 0
Red card Red cards (⌀: 0.03 per game)

The final round of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2003 was the fourth playout of the most important tournament for women's football - teams and was again on 20 September to 12 October 2003 in the United States held. Originally the World Cup was supposed to take place in the People's Republic of China . After the outbreak of SARS , the world governing body FIFA decided at short notice to move to the USA.

The German team won their first world championship title. They impressively won against Russia in the quarter-finals and beat the defending champion and two-time world champion USA 3-0 in front of their own audience. Birgit Prinz was voted the best player of the tournament. With her seven goals she played a major role in the success of the German team and was also the sole top scorer in the 2003 World Cup. The Fair Play Award went to China .


The 2003 World Cup was played in six stadiums in six different cities in the United States.

( PGE Park )
Capacity: 19,600
( Gillette Stadium )
Capacity: 69,000
PGEParkpano.jpg Gillette Stadium.jpg
( Lincoln Financial Field )
Capacity: 68,500
( Columbus Crew Stadium )
Capacity: 22,600
Washington, DC
( Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium )
Capacity: 55,700
( Home Depot Center )
Capacity: 27,000
Philly (45) .JPG Columbus crew stadium mls allstars 2005.jpg RFK Stadium aerial photo, 1988.JPEG Home Depot Center, Carson, CA.jpg


As four years earlier, the field of participants comprised 16 teams. There were four groups of four teams each. The first two in each group qualified for the quarter-finals. From the quarterfinals, the world champion was played in the knockout system . If no winner was determined after the regular playing time, two 15-minute extra time was played. In extra time, the golden goal rule applied , so whoever scored the first goal in extra time had won the game. If no goal was scored during extra time, there was a penalty shoot-out .


Qualification for the Women's World Cup in 2003 lasted from August 18, 2001 to July 5, 2003. 96 associations had started qualifying for the World Cup, with only 14 teams remaining. The US was automatically qualified to host. China, which was originally designated as the host, also got a direct starting place. The 14 remaining participants in six zones were determined as follows:

Europe had five starting positions at the World Cup. The teams in category A (groups 1–4) played against each other in four groups of 4 teams for the qualification. The four group winners were qualified directly. The four runners-up played between September and November 2002 in return games ("play-off games") for fifth place on the grid. At the end of the qualification, Norway, Sweden, Russia and Germany (group winners) and France (winners of the play-off games) had qualified. The teams in the second category (groups 5-8) only played for promotion to the first category.

South America had two direct starting places. The 2003 South American Women's Soccer Championship was the qualifying tournament . The two best teams (Brazil and Argentina) were able to secure the qualification.

The football association of North and Central America and the Caribbean , CONCACAF , had a direct starting point. Then there was the host USA, who automatically qualified for the finals. The 2002 CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup in the USA and Canada was also the qualifying round. The USA won the tournament against Canada, which qualified with it. The third-placed Mexicans played in two play-off games against the Asian third for another starting place.

In the Africa zone, the women's African Cup of Nations in Nigeria in 2002 was the qualifying tournament. The two finalists reach the finals.

Placements of the participants

In Asia , too , the continental championship was also the qualifying tournament for the FIFA World Cup. The Asian federation had two direct places. China was also given a direct place as "compensation", with which the fourth in the Asian Cup qualified for the play-off games against the CONCACAF fourth. At the Asian women's soccer championship in Thailand in 2003 , the Chinese women won the Asian championship, with North Korea (finalist) and South Korea (third) also qualifying directly. The Japanese won the play-off games against Mexico and also secured their participation.

Oceania had a direct starting place, the qualifying round was held in April 2003 in Australia.


The following women's teams took part in the fourth women's soccer World Cup:

5 from Europe GermanyGermany Germany FranceFrance France NorwayNorway Norway RussiaRussia Russia SwedenSweden Sweden
2 from South America ArgentinaArgentina Argentina BrazilBrazil Brazil
2 from North, Central America and the Caribbean CanadaCanada Canada United StatesUnited States USA (GG)
2 from Africa GhanaGhana Ghana NigeriaNigeria Nigeria
4 from Asia China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China China JapanJapan Japan Korea NorthNorth Korea North Korea Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea
1 from Oceania AustraliaAustralia Australia

It was the first World Cup participation for Argentina, France and South Korea .


Main article 2003 Women's World Cup / squad .

Preliminary round

Group A

Pl. country Sp. S. U N Gates Diff. Points
 1. United StatesUnited States United States  3  3  0  0 011: 100 +10 09
 2. SwedenSweden Sweden  3  2  0  1 005: 300  +2 06th
 3. Korea NorthNorth Korea North Korea  3  1  0  2 003: 400  −1 03
 4th NigeriaNigeria Nigeria  3  0  0  3 000:110 −11 00
September 20, 2003 in Philadelphia
Nigeria - North Korea 0: 3 (0: 1)
September 21, 2003 in Washington DC
United States - Sweden 3: 1 (2: 0)
September 25, 2003 in Philadelphia
Sweden - North Korea 1: 0 (1: 0)
United States - Nigeria 5: 0 (2: 0)
September 28, 2003 in Columbus
Sweden - Nigeria 3: 0 (0: 0)
North Korea - United States 0: 3 (0: 1)

As expected, the hosts and defending champions from the USA confidently prevailed in the preliminary round. As expected, Sweden also reached the quarter-finals alongside the USA. As in their World Cup premiere in 1999, the North Koreans were eliminated after the preliminary round. Nigeria's performance, which had made it to the quarter-finals four years earlier, was disappointing.

Group B

Pl. country Sp. S. U N Gates Diff. Points
 1. BrazilBrazil Brazil  3  2  1  0 008: 200  +6 07th
 2. NorwayNorway Norway  3  2  0  1 010: 500  +5 06th
 3. FranceFrance France  3  1  1  1 002: 300  −1 04th
 4th Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea  3  0  0  3 001:110 −10 00
September 20, 2003 in Philadelphia
Norway - France 2: 0 (0: 0)
September 21, 2003 in Washington DC
Brazil - South Korea 3: 0 (1: 0)
September 24, 2003 in Washington DC
Norway - Brazil 1: 4 (1: 2)
France - South Korea 1: 0 (0: 0)
Foxborough September 27, 2003
South Korea - Norway 1: 7 (0: 4)
September 27, 2003 in Washington DC
France - Brazil 1: 1 (0: 0)

The two newcomers France and South Korea did not manage to cause a surprise in the preliminary round. With Brazil and Norway the more experienced and experienced teams prevailed.

Group C

Pl. country Sp. S. U N Gates Diff. Points
 1. GermanyGermany Germany  3  3  0  0 013: 200 +11 09
 2. CanadaCanada Canada  3  2  0  1 007: 500  +2 06th
 3. JapanJapan Japan  3  1  0  2 007: 600  +1 03
 4th ArgentinaArgentina Argentina  3  0  0  3 001:150 −14 00
September 20, 2003 in Columbus
Germany - Canada 4: 1 (1: 1)
Japan - Argentina 6: 0 (2: 0)
September 24, 2003 in Columbus
Germany - Japan 3: 0 (2: 0)
Canada - Argentina 3: 0 (1: 0)
Foxborough September 27, 2003
Canada - Japan 3: 1 (1: 1)
September 27, 2003 in Washington DC
Argentina - Germany 1: 6 (0: 4)

Germany delivered a convincing performance in the preliminary round. All three games could be won with at least three goals difference. The German women were particularly strong on the offensive, they scored 13 goals in three games, only the USA scored more goals in the entire tournament (15 in 6 games), but could not match the German team's total of 25 goals in six games to reach. In addition to Germany, Canada qualified for the quarter-finals. For the debutantes from Argentina there was only an extra role in the tournament. Japan lost the decisive game against Canada on the last day of the match and had to travel home.

Group D

Pl. country Sp. S. U N Gates Diff. Points
 1. China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China China  3  2  1  0 003: 100  +2 07th
 2. RussiaRussia Russia  3  2  0  1 005: 200  +3 06th
 3. GhanaGhana Ghana  3  1  0  2 002: 500  −3 03
 4th AustraliaAustralia Australia  3  0  1  2 003: 500  −2 01
September 21, 2003 in Carson
Australia - Russia 1: 2 (1: 1)
China - Ghana 1: 0 (1: 0)
September 25, 2003 in Carson
Ghana - Russia 0: 3 (0: 1)
China - Australia 1: 1 (0: 1)
September 28, 2003 in Portland
Ghana - Australia 2: 1 (2: 0)
China - Russia 1: 0 (1: 0)

As expected, China and Russia prevailed in Group D. Ghana and Australia left together like four years earlier.

Final round

Quarter finals Semifinals final
Oct. 1, 2003 - Foxborough        
  United StatesUnited States United States   1
October 5, 2003 - Portland
  NorwayNorway Norway   0  
  United StatesUnited States United States   0
October 2, 2003 - Portland
    GermanyGermany Germany   3  
  GermanyGermany Germany   7th
Oct. 12, 2003 - Carson
  RussiaRussia Russia   1  
  GermanyGermany Germany   12 1
Oct. 1, 2003 - Foxborough
    SwedenSweden Sweden   1
  BrazilBrazil Brazil   1
October 5, 2003 - Portland
  SwedenSweden Sweden   2  
  SwedenSweden Sweden   2 Game for third place
October 2, 2003 - Portland
    CanadaCanada Canada   1  
  China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China China   0   United StatesUnited States United States   3
  CanadaCanada Canada   1     CanadaCanada Canada   1
Oct. 11, 2003 - Carson

1 win after golden goal

Quarter finals

October 1, 2003 in Foxborough
United StatesUnited States United States - NorwayNorway Norway 1: 0 (1: 0)
BrazilBrazil Brazil - SwedenSweden Sweden 1: 2 (1: 1)
October 2, 2003 in Portland
GermanyGermany Germany - RussiaRussia Russia 7: 1 (1: 0)
China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China China - CanadaCanada Canada 0: 1 (0: 1)

In a weak game, the USA beat Norway 1-0. Abby Wambach scored the decisive goal in the 24th minute. Sweden managed to beat Brazil, third in the last World Cup, 2-1 in an even game. The German team underscored their role as the title candidate in the quarter-finals. Russia was outclassed 7-1. Martina Müller opened the shooting festival in the first half . After the break, Sandra Minnert (57th), Pia Wunderlich (60th), Kerstin Garefrekes (62nd, 85th) and Birgit Prinz (80th, 89th) met. Canada surprisingly beat the favored Chinese 1-0. Although China dominated the game for almost the entire 90 minutes, the Canadians managed to save their 1-0 lead from the seventh minute over time.


October 5, 2003 in Portland
United StatesUnited States United States - GermanyGermany Germany 0: 3 (0: 1)
SwedenSweden Sweden - CanadaCanada Canada 2: 1 (0: 0)

The German team continued their triumphal march in the semifinals. The reigning world champion in women's football, the USA, was dethroned with a 3-0. After the opening goal by Kerstin Garefrekes (15th) it was 1-0 for a long time. Only in stoppage time of the second half did Maren Meinert and Birgit Prinz secure the final score with a double strike. The game is considered by experts to be the best women's soccer game in history. Sweden beat the surprisingly strong Canadians in the semifinals. Canada took the lead in the 64th minute, but Sweden turned the game around in the closing stages with goals from Moström (79th) and Öqvist (86th).

3rd place match

October 11, 2003 in Carson
United StatesUnited States United States - CanadaCanada Canada 3: 1 (1: 1)

The USA celebrated a conciliatory conclusion against their northern neighbors in the small final. With 3: 1 you could at least secure third place. Canada surprised at the 2003 World Cup with a strong performance and in the end deservedly finished fourth.


Scene in the final Germany - Sweden
October 12, 2003 in Carson
GermanyGermany Germany - SwedenSweden Sweden 2: 1 n.GG. (1: 1, 0: 1)

The German women were the happier team in the 2003 World Cup final. The leadership of the Swedes by Hanna Ljungberg (41st) was equalized by Maren Meinert immediately after the break (46th). In the following period the game was completely open. Both teams had a chance of turning the game in their favor. In extra time, it was the substitute Nia Künzer who scored the 2-1 with a header in the 98th minute after a free kick from Renate Lingor from the half-field and Germany secured the world title with the golden goal . Künzer's goal was voted Goal of the Year .

The world champions

Main article: Women's World Cup 2003 / Germany

Because of this success, the team was voted Team of the Year in Germany for the first time and Birgit Prinz was named World Footballer of the Year .

Best goalscorers

rank Player Gates
1 GermanGerman Birgit Prinz 7th
2 GermanGerman Maren Meinert 4th
BrazilianBrazilian Katia 4th
GermanGerman Kerstin Garefrekes 4th
5 SwedeSwede Victoria Sandell Svensson 3
JapaneseJapanese Homare Sawa 3
JapaneseJapanese Mio Otani 3
NorwegianNorwegian Dagny Mellgren 3
CanadianCanadian Christine Latham 3
CanadianCanadian Christine Sinclair 3
SwedeSwede Hanna Ljungberg 3
BrazilianBrazilian Marta 3
AmericanAmerican Abby Wambach 3

See also: List of goalscorers from all world championships


FIFA nominated 12 referees and 22 assistant referees. The experienced Nicole Petignat , referee of the 1999 World Cup final, and assistant Elke Lüthi, both from Switzerland, were nominated from German-speaking countries . No referees were requested from the DFB. The American Football Association also sent two referees, Sandra Hunt and Jennifer Bennett, who only acted as fourth officials. Somewhat surprisingly, the Romanian Cristina Floarea Ionescu was nominated to lead the final. Ionescu had only directed one preliminary round match.

Association Referee Games Yellow card.svg Yellow-red card.svg Red card.svg 4. O. Assistant 1 Assistant 2
number Lot
AFC China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China Zhang Dongqing 3 USA-SWE
11 0 0 0 Chinese TaipeiChinese Taipei Liu Hsiu-mei JapanJapan Hisae Yoshizawa
Korea SouthSouth Korea In the Eun-Ju 3 GER-CAN 6th 0 0 2 Korea SouthSouth Korea Choi Soo-Jin Korea NorthNorth Korea Hong Kum-Nyo
GER-RUS Korea SouthSouth Korea Choi Soo-Jin RomaniaRomania Irina Mirt (UEFA)
CAF TogoTogo Xonam Agboyi 2 NOR-BRA
4th 0 0 2 Ivory CoastIvory Coast Désirée Perpétué SenegalSenegal Florence Biagui
NigeriaNigeria Bola Abidoye 2 ARG-GER 2 0 0 0 SwitzerlandSwitzerland Elke Lüthi (UEFA) Chinese TaipeiChinese Taipei Liu Hsiu-mei (AFC)
AUS-RUS Ivory CoastIvory Coast Désirée Perpétué SenegalSenegal Florence Biagui
CONCACAF CanadaCanada Sonia Denoncourt 3 SWE-NGA
1 0 0 3 CanadaCanada Denise Robinson Trinidad and TobagoTrinidad and Tobago Lynda Bramble
United StatesUnited States Kari Seitz 3 NOR-FRA
6th 0 0 2 United StatesUnited States Karalee Sutton United StatesUnited States Sharon Wheeler
United StatesUnited States Sandra Hunt 0 0 0 0 0 7th
United StatesUnited States Jennifer Bennett 0 0 0 0 0 4th
CONMEBOL ArgentinaArgentina Florencia Romano 2 USA-NGA
2 0 0 0 ArgentinaArgentina Sabrina Lois ArgentinaArgentina Alejandra Cercato
BrazilBrazil Sueli Tortura 2 PRK-USA
5 0 0 0 BrazilBrazil Cleidy Mary Ribeiro BrazilBrazil Marlei Silva
OFC AustraliaAustralia Tammy Ogston 4th SWE-PKR 7th 0 0 5 AustraliaAustralia Airlie Keen AustraliaAustralia Jacqueline Leleu
BRA-PKR RomaniaRomania Irina Mirt (UEFA) PolandPoland Katarzyna Nadolska (UEFA)
KOR-NOR AustraliaAustralia Airlie Keen AustraliaAustralia Jacqueline Leleu
UEFA SwitzerlandSwitzerland Nicole Petignat 3 NGA-PRK
12 0 0 2 SwitzerlandSwitzerland Elke Lüthi FranceFrance Nelly Viennot
FinlandFinland Katriina Elovirta 3 JPN-AUS
6th 0 1 5 FinlandFinland Emilia Parviainen Northern IrelandNorthern Ireland Andi Regan
RomaniaRomania Cristina Babadac 2 FRA-BRA
2 0 0 1 RomaniaRomania Irina Mirt PolandPoland Katarzyna Nadolska


adidas Golden Ball

The German Birgit Prinz received the Golden Ball as the best player of the tournament . The Silver Ball went to Victoria Sandell Svensson from Sweden and the Bronze Ball with Maren Meinert also went to a German.

adidas Golden Shoe

The "Golden Shoe" for the best goalscorer went to the German Birgit Prinz for her seven tournament goals . The "Silver Shoe" went to her compatriot Maren Meinert and the "Bronze Shoe" to the Brazilian Kátia . Since both had the same number of goals together with Kerstin Garefrekes , the assists and then the fewer minutes played decided the ranking.

FIFA Fair Play Award

The FIFA Fair Play Award for the fairest team in the tournament went to China .

Best goalkeeper

Silke Rottenberg was named the best goalkeeper.

All-Star Team

11 players were elected to the All-Star team, plus five additional players (in italics). Positions according to FIFA squad lists.

goal Defense midfield attack
GermanyGermany Silke Rottenberg
SwedenSweden Caroline Jonsson
United StatesUnited States Joy Fawcett
CanadaCanada Charmaine Hooper
GermanyGermany Sandra Minnert
China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China Liping Wang
GermanyGermany Bettina Wiegmann
United StatesUnited States Shannon Boxx
SwedenSweden Malin Moström
NorwayNorway Solveig Gulbrandsen
GermanyGermany Maren Meinert
GermanyGermany Birgit Prinz
SwedenSweden Victoria Svensson
United StatesUnited States Mia Hamm
BrazilBrazil Marta
NorwayNorway Dagny Mellgren

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. "Rottenberg voted best goalkeeper." (Report on dfb.de from October 13, 2003)
  2. Boston is named as the venue in the FIFA statistics .
  3. Carson / Los Angeles is named as the venue in the FIFA statistics .
  4. DFB.de: Honors for German players
  5. DFB.de: Women's World Cup: Five DFB players in the all-star team
  6. FIFA.com: 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup - Teams