1995 FIFA Women's World Cup (partially found footage of international football matches; 1995)

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Programme for the tournament.

Status: Partially Found

The 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup was the second FIFA-sanctioned global women's tournament. Occurring from 5th-18th June in Sweden, the all-European Final saw Norway defeat Germany 2-0 to claim its first World Cup.


The 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup was the first to be immediately labelled as such by FIFA, the organisation now confident the competition would not taint the World Cup branding after initially calling the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup the "1st FIFA World Championship for Women's Football for the M&M's Cup".[1][2] Heading into the World Cup, it was expected that Bulgaria was to host the tournament.[3][1] However, practical issues forced Bulgaria to step down from hosting duties.[1][3] Therefore, with the country having hosted Euro 1992 successfully, Sweden was requested at short notice to organise the tournament.[1][3]

The Scandinavian side therefore automatically qualified at Bulgaria's expense.[4][5][6] Eleven teams would follow Sweden to the World Cup; Nigeria became the sole African representative after defeating South Africa for the 1995 CAF Women's Championship by 11-2 on aggregate.[7] The two Asian nation spots were decided at the 1994 Asian Games.[8] After China and Japan both beat Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) and South Korea, they initially drew with each other to automatically qualify.[8] The 1991 hosts China then beat Japan 2-0 to claim gold.[8] UEFA qualifying also determined who competed at Euro 1995, with Bulgaria being outmatched against Denmark in its qualifying group.[5] Germany defeated Russia 5-0 on aggregate, Norway beat Italy 7-3, England outmatched Iceland 4-2, while already-qualified Sweden beat Denmark 3-2 to qualify for the Euros.[5][6] Despite this, Denmark also qualified for the World Cup as the best performing loser.[5][6] Germany solidified its title chances by beating Sweden 3-2 to win its third European Championship.[6][5]

Meanwhile, the United States proved too much for the other CONCACAF nations, the defending champions conceding just one goal while scoring 36 to win the 1994 CONCACAF's Women's Championship.[9] Canada also qualified by beating Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica.[9] At the 1994 OFC Women's Championship, near-déjà vu occurred; both Australia and New Zealand outmatched Papua New Guinea, with New Zealand beating the Aussies 2-1 at home, and Australia beating their Oceanic rivals 1-0.[10] Australia avenged its 1991 qualifying failure, ironically winning the title and gaining qualification by the same outcome: superior results against Papua New Guinea.[10] Finally, Brazil defeated Argentina 2-0 in the 1995 Sudamericano Femenino to reach the World Cup Finals for the second consecutive time.[11]

Matches were now extended to 90 minutes, but FIFA also decided to experiment with two-minute timeouts for each half.[12][13] This would theoretically allow coaches to give further instructions and pep talks during matches, but it also would notably allow for increased time for advertisements.[12][13] This experiment also would help decide whether time-outs could be utilised for Euro 1996.[12] While the 1995 edition was no failure, some sources noted that media coverage and attendance somewhat suffered compared to 1991 and in future World Cups.[14][1] Particularly, the smaller stadiums meant around 113,000 tickets were sold throughout the tournament, for an average attendance of 4,315 per game.[15][1][14] In comparison, 1991 had attendances of around 19,615 per match.[1][14] FIFA were seemingly happy with the tournament though, then-secretary general of FIFA Sepp Blatter stating he and others were "satisfied" with the overall competition.[16]

In America, ESPN opted to televise matches, albeit only those featuring the United States.[1][14] ABC also decided not to televise the Final, since the United States had failed to reach that stage.[14][1] Canadian channel TSN televised the matches featuring Canada, while analysis of Swedish channel SVT indicates that it broadcast at least two matches, including the Final. Eurosport broadcast highlights in European countries including the United Kingdom; its live coverage of the Final received commentary from Angus Loughran and Amy Lawrence, the latter's appointment as colour commentator attracted media attention as Lawrence was one of the first women to provide commentary for a major football match.[3]

The Tournament

Beginning on 5th June, Group A saw Germany and Japan open the tournament, the European champions prevailing thanks to a 23rd-minute strike from Silvia Neid.[4][1] Meanwhile, the hosts' campaign started rough, as Brazil's Roseli de Belo scored after 37 minutes, the South Americans hanging on to win 1-0.[4][1] Sweden now had to face Germany, who were gaining a reputation of beating the Swedes in big games.[4][1] It appeared normal proceeds were occurring when the Germans led 2-0 at half-time.[4][1] However, two goals from Malin Andersson and another from Sundhage helped perform a remarkable recovery for Sweden to win 3-2.[4][1] Brazil meanwhile initially led against Japan thanks to an early Pretinha goal, but two strikes from Akemi Noda were enough for the latter to achieve a 2-1 comeback.[4][1] Thus, with all teams having three points apiece, the final group games were critical in deciding qualification.[1][4] Sweden defeated Japan after two goals in the second-half.[4][1] Meanwhile, despite Roseli providing an equaliser for Brazil, Germany would ultimately dominate proceedings to win 6-1.[4][1] Germany topped the group ahead of Sweden on goal difference, while Brazil were eliminated as that heavy Germany loss also put Japan ahead on goal difference.[4][1]

In Group B, Norway, considered one of the tournament's favourites, were the only team to win all three group games.[1][4] The Norwegians did not even concede a single goal, demolishing Nigeria and Canada 8-0 and 7-0 respectively, while also overcoming England 2-0.[1][4] For each win, Norway would perform their "Train" celebration.[17] The battle for second however heated up.[1][4] England scored three second-half goals, including two penalties, against Canada, but nearly threw it away after the Canadians scored two late strikes.[4][1] Ultimately, England narrowly held on to claim three points.[4][1] After 55 minutes, Canada led 3-1 against Nigeria.[4][1] However, unlike England, Canada failed to secure the win as Patience Avre and Adaku Okoroafor helped level proceedings.[4][1] Nigeria faced a similar situation against England, losing 3-1 at half-time.[4][1] But despite Rita Nwadike pulling one back in the 74th minute, the African side were unable to strike lightning twice, giving England another narrow 3-2 win.[4][1]

Defending champions the United States began their title defence against 1991 hosts China.[1][4] Boasting six members who played in 1991, the US were ahead 3-1 after 51 minutes.[1][4] However, two goals in the 74th and 79th minutes allowed China to salvage a point.[4][1] In the other game, Denmark thrashed Australia 5-0.[4][1] The United States got their campaign back on track with a 2-0 win over Denmark.[1][4] But during the game's 88th minute, Briana Scurry was found to have went outside the US box while holding the ball.[18][1] She was immediately sent off, and despite launching an appeal, was banned for the next game.[18][1] Striker Mia Hamm was put in goal for the remaining eight minutes of stoppage, but faced few challenges from the Danes.[18][1][4] Australia put in a stronger performance against China, but ultimately lost 4-2.[4][1] The Aussies also took the lead against the United States following a 54th minute Lisa Casagrande goal.[4][1] However, the United States launched a comeback, prevailing 4-1.[4][1] Denmark achieved an equaliser against China for 1-1 at half-time, but goals from Sun Wen and Wei Haiying sealed a 3-1 victory for the Asian side.[4][1] The US topped the group ahead of China by virtue of a better goal difference.[4]

Japan and Denmark also went through as the strongest third-place sides, having a win apiece compared to Canada's sole draw.[4][1] This also gave both teams entry plus all other quarter-finalists bar England a place at the upcoming 1996 Summer Olympics' Women's Football Tournament.[19][1][16] England's spot would be taken by Brazil, as England was not an IOC member and most likely because the English, Scottish, and Welsh FAs were concerned entering as Team GB may impact their status as separate World Cup and Euro teams.[20][19] In the Quarter-Finals, Japan's reprieve was short-lived though, as two goals from Kristine Lilly plus another two gave the defending champions a 4-0 win.[4][1] Denmark likewise also went out, despite pulling a late consolation goal in its 3-1 loss to Norway.[1][4] Germany overpowered England with a 3-0 victory, while a 1991 rematch between Sweden and China commenced.[1][4] It appeared the hosts were exiting as a 29th minute Sun Qingmei was not being cancelled out.[1][4] Just when it appeared to be the case, Maria Kalte scored a 90+3 minute equaliser.[1][4] Neither side broke the deadlock in extra-time, forcing a game of penalties.[1][4] Thanks to two saves from Gao Hong, China won 4-3 on penalties, avenging its 1991 loss to the Swedes.[1][4]

In the Semi-Finals, Norway sought to avenge its 1991 Final defeat to the United States.[17][1] After ten minutes, a corner-kick into the United States box reached Ann Kristin Aarønes, who headed the ball towards goal.[1] It rebounded off the bar and into the net, giving the Norwegians a 1-0 advantage.[4][1] Norway came close to doubling their lead on a few occasions, including a missed free-kick and a penalty appeal that the referee was unsympathetic towards. However, motivated to avoid losing their crown, the United States launched a comeback in the second half.[1] During the late stages, available footage of the match shows two American long-shots rebounding off the bar. Alas, Norway held on to hand the US their first-ever World Cup defeat.[17][1][4] This, plus the 1991 encounter and rematch at the 1996 Olympics, caused an intense rivalry to be developed between the two sides.[17][1][19] Tiffany Milbrett described Norway as the team's "archenemies" and claimed some of her team cried post-match.[17] Norway's Linda Medalen post-match stated that beating the US was fun simply because of the upset the Americans would experience, Medalen believing this was a sign of weakness.[17][1] However, Norway suffered a key setback, as their captain Heidi Store was suspended for the Final for accumulating multiple yellow cards.[16][1]

Elsewhere, Germany generally provided the most opportunities against a fatigued China, but it seemed that extra time was approaching.[1] However, Bettina Wiegmann gave the Germans victory after capitalising on a poor Chinese clearance during another attack.[1][4] Therefore, an all-European Final occurred at the Råsunda Stadium, with around 17,158 in attendance.[16][1][4] In the midst of downpour, Norway fended off the younger German side, taking the lead thanks to a 36th-minute strike from Hege Riise, who scored after avoiding a slide tackle and striking from long-distance.[16][1][4] A few minutes later, Norway launched a counter-attack near the German box.[16][1] Manuela Goller saved the first shot, but it rebounded towards the path of Marianne Pettersen, putting Norway 2-0 in front.[16][1][4] From there, the Norwegians controlled proceedings throughout the second half of the game against the European champions to become the world champions.[16][1][4] Post-match, Riise exclaimed "I can't believe it's true. This is the answer to my dreams."[16] Norway manager Even Pellerud stated "After the first 15 minutes, I was never afraid. This is a great feeling because we have struggled so hard since 1991 to improve our play. My players were not afraid of the ambition of being world champions."[16] Around 25% of Norway's population watched the encounter live.[17]


While this World Cup received generally less media coverage, some full-match broadcasts have resurfaced over the years.[1] The Final has been uploaded by various sources, including SVT and Women's Soccer History. Meanwhile, WoSoNostalgia uploaded the United States' match broadcasts against China and Denmark, and TSN's broadcasts of Canada's matches against England and Norway. A recording of the Canada-Nigeria game has also emerged. However, the US match with Australia and its knockout games remain missing outside of highlight packages. SVT meanwhile also uploaded its coverage of the Sweden-China game; to view outside of the country, one needs to connect their VPN to Sweden. Other full-match broadcasts remain hard to come by, though footage from a FIFA documentary indicates that they still exist buried within FIFA archives.



SVT broadcast of the World Cup Final.

FIFA's 1995 World Cup documentary.

United States vs China.

United States vs Denmark.

Highlights from the United States' matches.

Canada vs England.

Canada vs Nigeria.

Canada vs Norway.

See Also


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41 1.42 1.43 1.44 1.45 1.46 1.47 1.48 1.49 1.50 1.51 1.52 1.53 1.54 1.55 1.56 1.57 1.58 1.59 1.60 1.61 1.62 1.63 1.64 Soccer Politics providing a substantial report regarding the tournament's hosting, media coverage, and matches. Retrieved 25th Feb '23
  2. The 18 noting the 1995 edition was the first to be given the World Cup branding immediately after FIFA refused to do so for the 1991 Cup. Retrieved 25th Feb '23
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 The Guardian where Lawrence discussed commentating on the Final for Eurosport and the media attention it received. Retrieved 25th Feb '23
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 4.24 4.25 4.26 4.27 4.28 4.29 4.30 4.31 4.32 4.33 4.34 4.35 4.36 4.37 4.38 4.39 4.40 4.41 4.42 4.43 4.44 4.45 RSSSF detailing the results of the tournament. Retrieved 25th Feb '23
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 RSSSF detailing the results of Euro 1995. Retrieved 25th Feb '23
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 UEFA detailing Germany winning Euro 1995. Retrieved 25th Feb '23
  7. RSSSF detailing the results of the 1995 CAF Women's Championship. Retrieved 25th Feb '23
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 RSSSF detailing the results of the Women's Football Tournament at the 1994 Asian Games. Retrieved 25th Feb '23
  9. 9.0 9.1 RSSSF detailing the results of the 1994 CONCACAF Women's Championship. Retrieved 25th Feb '23
  10. 10.0 10.1 RSSSF detailing the results of the 1994 OFC Championship. Retrieved 25th Feb '23
  11. RSSSF detailing the results of the 1995 Sudamericano Femenino. Retrieved 25th Feb '23
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 The New York Times reporting on timeouts be trialled at the tournament, to see whether it could be incorporated for Euro 1996. Retrieved 25th Feb '23
  13. 13.0 13.1 The Washington Post reporting on timeouts being used at the tournament, and the criticism over potentially being used for more advertisement time. Retrieved 25th Feb '23
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Soccer in American Culture noting the differences in attendance and media coverage compared to 1991. Retrieved 25th Feb '23
  15. The US Women's Soccer Team noting the tournament sold around 113,000 tickets overall. Retrieved 25th Feb '23
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 16.6 16.7 16.8 16.9 The Chicago Tribune reporting on Norway winning the Final. Retrieved 25th Feb '23
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 17.6 The New York Times detailing the developing rivalry between Norway and the United States. Retrieved 25th Feb '23
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 The 18 detailing Hamm being the temporary goalkeeper for the US during the late stages of the team's Denmark match. Retrieved 25th Feb '23
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 FIFA detailing the 1996 Summer Olympics Women's Football Tournament and noting England was replaced by Brazil. Retrieved 25th Feb '23
  20. ESPN detailing the reluctance for a Team GB football team at the Olympic Games. Retrieved 25th Feb '23