The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup is underway in France, and ICYMI, the competition is already hot. Really hot.
We’re just one week into the month-long tournament, and records have already been broken, history has already been made, and controversy has already been stirred.
Missed any (or all) of the action? That’s OK. Here, we recap the need-to-know happenings to date, plus what’s coming up next and how you can tune in for it all.
The U.S. team dominated in their first game.
Team USA made their World Cup debut Tuesday, beating Thailand 13 to 0 and breaking a few records in the process. The 13-point shutout set a new record for the most goals scored in any World Cup game—women’s or men’s. Their especially strong performance in the second half of the game, in which the women netted a rub-your-eyes-to-believe-it 10 goals, also set a new record for the most goals scored in the second half of any Women’s World Cup (WWC) game. CNN pointed out that in just the span of that single game, the U.S. women scored more goals than the U.S. men’s team scored in the last four World Cups combined.
A record seven Americans contributed points.
Superstar forward Alex Morgan led the scoring streak for the Americans, securing five goals to tie the record set in 1991 by American Michelle Akers for the most goals scored in a single WWC game. Midfielders Samantha Mewis and Rose Lavelle, who are both playing in their first ever WWC tournament, each contributed two goals. Forward Mallory Pugh and midfielder Lindsey Horan, also new to the WWC circuit, scored one goal each. Veteran forwards Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe scored one each as well. In total, seven different Americans scored during the 90-minute game, setting a new record for the most individual scorers from one team in a Women’s World Cup game, per CBS.
To put the U.S.’s scoring streak into perspective, the average number of goals scored per game in the tournament so far is just 3.1, according to FIFA.com.
The U.S.’s performance sparked a debate on sportsmanship.
Throughout the second half of the game and after it wrapped, critics voiced displeasure over how the Americans continued to score after the game was essentially a runaway and/or how emphatically they celebrated each goal. Some headlines described their behavior during the heavily one-sided match as “ruthless,” CBS News reported. Hope Solo, starting goalkeeper for the gold-medal winning 2015 U.S. Women’s World Cup squad, penned a column for The Guardian that called some of the celebrations “a little overboard.”
Team USA head coach Jill Ellis, multiple players, and many viewers online quickly (and rightfully so) came to the team’s defense.
“I sit here, and I go, if this is 10-0 in a Men’s World Cup, are we getting the same questions, to be quite honest, you know?” Ellis said, according to CBS News.
“These are goals we have dreamt of our entire life,” said Morgan, according to ESPN. “I mean, I’m going to celebrate Mal Pugh’s goal. I’m going to celebrate Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle. This is their first World Cup and I’m so proud of them. And I couldn’t have dreamt of scoring five goals in a World Cup. So it’s incredible for us all and I’m happy just ignoring those comments.”
It’s also important to note: Goal differentials, not wins alone, affect a team’s standings in this first stage of tournament play. That means that the team that’s scored the most goals has the advantage, so it’s absurd to limit your goals based on some notion of sportsmanship.
This whole fiasco got a lot of people talking about the double standard that women and men face (in many ways) in professional sports. If you want to read some good takes on this, here are a couple from The Atlantic and The New Yorker.
Several other countries made headlines with their wins.
The Italians won their first World Cup game in two decades, upsetting Australia 2 to 1 on day three of the tournament, CBS News reports. And the Argentinian squad, after not playing at all from 2015 to 2017 due to what The Guardian described as “blatant sexism” from the Argentinian Football Association, who cut the team’s funding, drew 0 to 0 in their opener against Japan. The zero-scoring feat is much more impressive than it sounds, as Japan won the 2011 Women’s World Cup, and is currently the #7 FIFA-ranked team, compared to #37 FIFA-ranked Argentina.
Both France and Germany, two of the U.S.’s biggest competitors, have won two games so far, with the French squad beating South Korea 4 to 0 and Norway 2 to 1; and the Germans besting both China and then Spain 1 to 0. England, another strong competitor, won its first game, besting Scotland 2 to 1. The Brits play their second game on Friday, July 14 against Argentina.
In terms of standout athlete performances, 34-year-old Brazil forward Cristiane Rozeira de Souza Silva made news—and history—by scoring three goals in the team’s match against Jamaica, leading her team to a 3 to 0 victory, and in the process, becoming the oldest player in tournament history to net a hat trick, per CNN.
Here’s what’s coming up next and how you can tune in.
Games in the group phase of the tournament continue now through Thursday, June 20, with each country playing three games within its designated group. The Americans’ next match in the group phase is on Sunday, June 16, against Chile, who lost its first game against Sweden 2 to 0. The Americans will play again on Thursday, June 20, against Sweden, currently ranked #9 by FIFA.
Then, games in the knockout phase of the tournament, which features the top-performing teams from the group phase, begin on Saturday, June 22, and continue through Sunday, July 7.
If you’re in the U.S., you can watch the games live in English on Fox and FS1, or in Spanish on Telemundo and Universo, reports ESPN. You can also stream the games online through SlingTV, Hulu Live, and FuboTV, reports Time. Highlights will be recapped on the FIFATV YouTube channel and on FoxSports.com.
For a full schedule of games, check out the listings on the FIFA website.