1999 FIFA Women's World Cup Final

The final of the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup was an association football match that took place in over 100 degree heat on 10 July 1999, to determine the winner of the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup. The host United States and China played to a scoreless draw. After two scoreless overtimes, the United States won the match 5-4 with a penalties victory.[1]

The match represented one of the most important events in the history of American athletics.[2] It was played before over 90,000 fans in what remains the largest crowd ever to watch a women's sporting event.[3] The well-known image of Brandi Chastain celebrating the winning spot kick that was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated became one of the defining images of women's athletics in the United States.[4][5]

1999 FIFA Women's World Cup Final
Event1999 FIFA Women's World Cup
United States China PR
United States China
0 0
After extra time
United States won 5–4 on penalties
Date10 July 1999
VenueRose Bowl, Pasadena, California, U.S.
Player of the MatchBriana Scurry (United States)
RefereeNicole Petignat (Switzerland)


The match featured two powerhouses of women's association football. The United States had won the first FIFA World Cup championship and the gold medal at the 1996 Olympics. China had won the silver at the 1996 Olympics and had defeated the United States in the final of the 1999 Algarve Cup. The teams featured two of the superstars of women's soccer, strikers Mia Hamm of the United States and Sun Wen of China.

The United States was bidding to become the first team to win a world championship on home soil, something China had failed to do in 1991, as well as the first team to win multiple championships. China, meanwhile, was attempting to join the United States and Norway as World Cup Champions.

China were the first Asian national team to reach the FIFA Women's World Cup Final. This was also the first final not involving a European team.[6]

Route to the final

The United States had qualified automatically as host nation. Accordingly, they elected to skip the 1998 CONCACAF Women's Championship, which served as the CONCACAF qualifier. They would not fail to win a CONCACAF championship again until 2010. China had qualified by winning their sixth straight AFC Women's Championship in 1997.

Once at the finals, the United States reached the knockout stage by easily winning Group A. After trailing 2-1 at halftime, they advanced through the quarterfinals by defeating Germany 3-2. The United States then defeated Brazil 2-0 to reach the final.[7]

China reached the knockout stage by winning Group D. They shut out Russia in the quarterfinals, then easily defeated defending champion Norway 5-0 to reach the final.

United States Round China PR
Opponent Result Group stage Opponent Result
 Denmark 3-0 Match 1  Sweden 2-1
 Nigeria 7-1 Match 2  Ghana 7-0
 North Korea 3-0 Match 3  Australia 3-1
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 United States 3 3 0 0 13 1 +12 9
 Nigeria 3 2 0 1 5 8 −3 6
 North Korea 3 1 0 2 4 6 −2 3
 Denmark 3 0 0 3 1 8 −7 0
Final standing
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 China PR 3 3 0 0 12 2 +10 9
 Sweden 3 2 0 1 6 3 +3 6
 Australia 3 0 1 2 3 7 −4 1
 Ghana 3 0 1 2 1 10 −9 1
Opponent Result Knockout stage Opponent Result
 Germany 3-2 Quarterfinals  Russia 2–0
 Brazil 2-0 Semifinals  Norway 5-0



The match was played on 10 July 1999, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The United States and China played to a scoreless draw during regular and extra time. The United States won the match 5-4 on a penalty shootout. The win gave the United States its second world cup title.[1]

The game was a tepid affair with neither side getting many chances. Perhaps the best chance for either team to score came in extra time, when China's Fan Yunjie hit a header toward the post that was defended by Kristine Lilly.[8]

After both teams failed to score, the teams squared off for a shootout to decide the winners of the cup. China shot first, and Xie Huilin scored, only to be matched by the United States' Carla Overbeck. In the second round, Qiu Haiyan's goal was matched by Joy Fawcett.

Liu Ying was China's third-round shooter, but her shot was saved by United States goalkeeper Briana Scurry. Kristine Lilly then got a shot past Chinese goalkeeper Gao Hong to give the United States the advantage.

Zhang Ouying, Mia Hamm, and Sun Wen each converted their penalty opportunities, leaving the United States' Brandi Chastain with a shot to win the tournament. She put the ball past Gao, leading to an ecstatic celebration by the Americans, who had clinched the title on home soil.[9][10][11]


United States 0–0 (a.e.t.) China PR
Overbeck Penalty scored
Fawcett Penalty scored
Lilly Penalty scored
Hamm Penalty scored
Chastain Penalty scored
5–4 Penalty scored Xie Huilin
Penalty scored Qiu Haiyan
Penalty missed Liu Ying
Penalty scored Zhang Ouying
Penalty scored Sun Wen
United States[13]
China PR[13]
GK 1 Briana Scurry
RB 14 Joy Fawcett
CB 4 Carla Overbeck
CB 20 Kate Sobrero
LB 6 Brandi Chastain
DM 10 Michelle Akers Yellow card 74' Substituted off 91'
CM 11 Julie Foudy
CM 13 Kristine Lilly
RW 9 Mia Hamm
CF 12 Cindy Parlow Substituted off 57'
LW 16 Tiffeny Milbrett Substituted off 115'
MF 8 Shannon MacMillan Substituted in 57'
MF 7 Sara Whalen Substituted in 91'
MF 15 Tisha Venturini Substituted in 115'
Tony DiCicco
USA-CHN (women) 1999-07-10
GK 18 Gao Hong
RB 11 Pu Wei Substituted off 59'
CB 12 Wen Lirong
CB 3 Fan Yunjie
LB 14 Bai Jie
RM 2 Wang Liping
CM 10 Liu Ailing Yellow card 80'
CM 13 Liu Ying
LM 6 Zhao Lihong Substituted off 114'
CF 9 Sun Wen
CF 8 Jin Yan Substituted off 119'
FW 7 Zhang Ouying Yellow card 70' Substituted in 59'
MF 15 Qiu Haiyan Substituted in 114'
DF 5 Xie Huilin Substituted in 119'
Ma Yuanan

Assistant referees:
Ghislaine Labbe (France)
Ana Pérez (Peru)
Fourth official:
Katriina Elovirta (Finland)


  1. ^ a b "Previous Tournaments". FIFA.com. Archived from the original on 8 August 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  2. ^ "1999 U.s. Women's Soccer Team - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. 13 July 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  3. ^ "Women's World Cup". Expressmilwaukee.com. 11 July 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  4. ^ "Brandi Chastain Cover - Sports Illustrated 07.19.99 Issue Contents - SI Vault". Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. Archived from the original on 28 June 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  5. ^ JERE LONGMANPublished: 5 July 2003 (5 July 2003). "SOCCER; The Sports Bra Seen Round the World - New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  6. ^ "WOMEN'S WORLD CUP; Politics Aside, for Chinese It's Only 'a Sporting Thing'". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Previous Tournaments". FIFA.com. Archived from the original on 15 October 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  8. ^ "CNN/SI - Women's World Cup - Closer Look: Wily Lilly uses her head - Sunday July 11, 1999 10:18 AM". Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. 11 July 1999. Archived from the original on 1 October 2004. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  9. ^ SETH FAISONPublished: 12 July 1999 (12 July 1999). "WOMEN'S WORLD CUP; The View From China: 'So Close, So Close' - New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  10. ^ Reynolds, Charles (10 July 1999). "Football: America in love and having a ball - Sport". The Independent. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  11. ^ "BBC News - Why Women's World Cup champion Brandi Chastain bared her bra". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  12. ^ Reynolds, Charles (11 July 1999). "Football: Brandi the toast of the hosts - Sport". The Independent. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  13. ^ a b DiCicco, Tony (May 2000). "How they won the cup" (PDF). unitedsoccercoaches.org. United Soccer Coaches. p. 2. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
    1999 FIFA Women's World Cup – Final. ABC Sports (Television production). Pasadena, California: American Broadcasting Company. 10 July 1999.
Allison Stokke

Allison Rebecca Stokke (born March 22, 1989) is an American track and field athlete and fitness model. She broke a number of American records for high school pole vaulting. At the age of seventeen, images of her were widely shared on the internet resulting in her becoming an internet phenomenon. Her unsought sex symbol status was covered nationally and internationally and informed debate on the sexualization of sportswomen and of young women in general via the internet.

Stokke continued to pole vault, attending University of California, Berkeley and competing for their California Golden Bears collegiate track team. She competed at two NCAA Division I Championships, achieving All-American honours at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships, and earned regional level all-academic honours through her combined athletic and academic performances. She attempted to make the American Olympic team at the 2012 United States Olympic Trials but failed to record a height. She continued vaulting at national level meetings up to 2017.

After college, she became a professional vaulter and sports model for Nike and Athleta, among others.

Brandi Chastain

Brandi Denise Chastain (born July 21, 1968) is an American retired soccer player, two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champion, two-time Olympic gold-medalist, coach, and sports broadcaster. She played for the United States women's national soccer team from 1988–2004. In her 192 caps on the team, she scored 30 goals playing primarily in the defender and midfielder positions. She scored a World Cup-winning penalty shootout goal against China in the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup final.

Chastain played professionally for Shiroki FC in the Japan Women's Football League, the San Jose CyberRays of the Women's United Soccer Association, FC Gold Pride of Women's Professional Soccer, and California Storm of Women's Premier Soccer League.

Chastain was named to the USWNT All-Time Best XI in 2013. In March 2017, she was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. In 2018 she was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.

Chinese Football Association

The Chinese Football Association (CFA) is the governing body of football in the People's Republic of China. Original formed in Beijing during 1924, the association would affiliate itself with FIFA in 1931 before relocating to Taiwan following the end of Chinese Civil War (see Chinese Taipei Football Association). During 1955 in Beijing, the CFA refused to affiliate itself with any other major association until it joined the Asian Football Confederation in 1974, followed up with FIFA once more in 1979. Since rejoining FIFA, the CFA claims to be a non-governmental and a nonprofit organization, but in fact the CFA is the same bureau with Management Center of Football, which is a department of the Chinese State General Administration of Sports.

Katriina Elovirta

Katriina Elovirta (15 February 1961 – 19 June 2018) was a Finnish female footballer and was a well known international match referee who served from 1991-2003. She served as a referee affliating with FIFA between 1995 to 2003 She also worked as a development manager for the Finnish Football Association until her death. Elovirta died at age 57 after a long illness.

Mia Hamm

Mariel Margaret Hamm-Garciaparra (born March 17, 1972) is an American retired professional soccer player, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champion. Hailed as a soccer icon, she played as a forward for the United States women's national soccer team from 1987–2004. Hamm was the face of the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA), the first professional women's soccer league in the United States, where she played for the Washington Freedom from 2001–2003. She played college soccer for the North Carolina Tar Heels women's soccer team and helped the team win four consecutive NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship titles.

During her tenure with the national team, Hamm competed in four FIFA Women's World Cup tournaments: the inaugural 1991 in China, 1995 in Sweden, 1999 and 2003 in the United States. She led the team at three Olympic Games, including: 1996 in Atlanta (the first time women's soccer was played), 2000 in Sydney, and 2004 in Athens. She completed her international career having played in 42 matches and scored 14 goals at these 7 international tournaments.

Hamm held the record for most international goals scored—by a woman or man—until 2013 and remains in third place behind former teammate Abby Wambach and Canadian striker Christine Sinclair as of 2017. She currently ranks third in the history of the U.S. national team for international caps (276) and first for career assists (144). Twice named FIFA World Player of the Year in 2001 and 2002, Hamm and her teammate Michelle Akers were hailed by Pelé as two of FIFA's 125 greatest living players when he included them in the FIFA 100 to celebrate the organization's 100th anniversary. Hamm was named U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year five years in a row and won three ESPY awards including Soccer Player of the Year and Female Athlete of the Year. The Women's Sports Foundation named her Sportswoman of the Year in 1997 and 1999. She was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame, Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, Texas Sports Hall of Fame and was the first woman inducted into the World Football Hall of Fame.A co-owner of Los Angeles FC, Hamm is also a global ambassador for FC Barcelona and is on the board of directors of Serie A club A.S. Roma. Author of Go For the Goal: A Champion's Guide to Winning in Soccer and Life, Hamm has been featured in several films and television shows, including the HBO documentary, Dare to Dream: The Story of the U.S. Women's Soccer Team.

Penalty shoot-out (association football)

A penalty shoot-out (officially kicks from the penalty mark) is a method of determining which team is awarded victory in an association football match that cannot end in a draw, when the score is tied after the regulation playing time as well as extra time (if used) have expired. In a penalty shoot-out, each team takes turns shooting at goal from the penalty mark, with the goal only defended by the opposing team's goalkeeper. Each team has five shots which must be taken by different kickers; the team that makes more successful kicks is declared the victor. Shoot-outs finish as soon as one team has an insurmountable lead. If scores are level after five pairs of shots, the shootout progresses into additional "sudden-death" rounds. Balls successfully kicked into the goal during a shoot-out do not count as goals for the individual kickers or the team, and are tallied separately from the goals scored during normal play (including extra time, if any). Although the procedure for each individual kick in the shoot-out resembles that of a penalty kick, there are some differences. Most notably, neither the kicker nor any player other than the goalkeeper may play the ball again once it has been kicked.

The penalty shoot-out is one of the three methods of breaking a draw that are currently approved by the Laws of the Game; the others are extra time and, for two-legged ties, the away goals rule. A shoot-out is usually used only after one or more of the other methods fail to produce a winner. The method of breaking a draw for a specific match is determined beforehand by the match organizing body. In most professional level competitions, two 15-minute extra time periods are played if the score is tied at the end of regulation time, and a shoot-out is held if the score is still tied after the extra time periods.

Although widely employed in football since the 1970s, penalty shoot-outs are disliked by many followers of the game, due primarily to their perceived reliance on luck rather than skill and their dependence on individual duels between opposing players, which is arguably not in keeping with football as a team sport. Conversely, some believe the pressure and unpredictability involved makes it one of the most thrilling finales to any sport.

Rose Bowl (stadium)

The Rose Bowl, also known as Spieker Field at the Rose Bowl, is an American outdoor athletic stadium, located in Pasadena, California, a northeast suburb of Los Angeles. Opened in October 1922, the stadium is recognized as a National Historic Landmark and a California Historic Civil Engineering landmark. At a modern capacity of an all-seated configuration at 92,542 (making it one of the rare stadiums in college football to have such a seating arrangement; many such stadiums have bench-style seating) the Rose Bowl is the 15th-largest stadium in the world, the 11th-largest stadium in the United States, and the 10th largest NCAA stadium.

One of the most famous venues in sporting history, the Rose Bowl is best known as a college football venue, specifically as the host of the annual Rose Bowl Game for which it is named. Since 1982, it has also served as the home stadium of the UCLA Bruins football team. The stadium has also hosted five Super Bowl games, second most of any venue. The Rose Bowl is also a noted soccer venue, having hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup Final, 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup Final, and the 1984 Olympic Gold Medal Match, as well as numerous CONCACAF and United States Soccer Federation matches.The stadium and adjacent Brookside Golf and Country Club are owned by the city of Pasadena and managed by the Rose Bowl Operating Company, a non-profit organization whose board is selected by council members of the city of Pasadena. UCLA and the Pasadena Tournament of Roses also have one member on the company board.

Soccer in the United States

Soccer in the United States is governed by the United States Soccer Federation. The organization governs most levels of soccer in the country, including the national teams, professional leagues, and the amateur game with the exception of colleges and high schools. As of May 2015, over 24.4 million people play soccer in the United States. In 2017, Gallup reported that soccer was the third-most played team sport in the U.S., behind only basketball and American football. The popularity of the sport in the U.S. has been growing since the 1960s and 1970s and received a significant boost when the United States hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup and 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup. It is the first most popular sport in the United States above American football, baseball, and basketball, and is the first fastest growing sport in America, surpassed only by lacrosse.The highest-level men's professional soccer league in the U.S. is Major League Soccer. MLS began to play in 1996 with 10 teams and has grown to 24 teams (21 in the United States and 3 in Canada), with further expansion planned. The MLS season runs from March to December, with the regular-season winner awarded the Supporters' Shield and the post-season winner awarded the MLS Cup. With an average attendance of over 20,000 per game, MLS has the third highest average attendance of any sports league in the U.S. after the National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB), and is the seventh highest attended professional soccer league worldwide.The first women's professional soccer league in the U.S. formed after the success of the 1999 Women's World Cup. The Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) ran from 2001–2003 and featured many of the World Cup stars, including Mia Hamm, Michelle Akers and Brandi Chastain. Its successor Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) ran from 2009–2012. Currently, the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) is the top professional league in the country and was formed in 2012. The most recently completed 2017 season was its fifth. The NWSL season runs from spring to early fall (typically April – October). In 2017, A&E Networks bought an equity stake in the league and broadcasts a game of the week on Lifetime, and formerly streamed all games online via the go90 platform. During the 2018 season, the NWSL moved some of the games originally scheduled to air on Lifetime to evening slots on ESPNews (both channels being part of the Disney family), and when go90 owner Verizon shut down that platform at the end of July, the NWSL streamed the games that were intended for go90 on its own website.U.S. soccer fans also follow the U.S. national teams in international competition. The 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Final drew a record 26.7 million viewers, greater than final games of the 2014 World Series or the 2015 NBA Finals, and the 2010 Men's World Cup final drew 26.5 million viewers. The women's national team has won three Women's World Cup titles and four gold medals at the Summer Olympics and the men's national team had played in every World Cup from 1990 to 2014.

United States men's national soccer team

The United States Men's National Soccer Team (USMNT) is controlled by the United States Soccer Federation and competes in the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football. The team has appeared in ten FIFA World Cups, including the first in 1930, where they reached the semi-finals. The U.S. participated in the 1934 and 1950 World Cups, winning 1–0 against England in the latter. After 1950, the U.S. did not qualify for the World Cup until 1990.

The U.S. hosted the 1994 World Cup, where they lost to Brazil in the round of sixteen. They qualified for five more consecutive World Cups after 1994 (for a total of seven straight appearances, a feat shared with only seven other nations), becoming one of the tournament's regular competitors and often advancing to the knockout stage. The U.S. reached the quarter-finals of the 2002 World Cup, where they lost to Germany. In the 2009 Confederations Cup, they eliminated top-ranked Spain in the semi-finals before losing to Brazil in the final, their only appearance in the final of a major intercontinental tournament. The team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, having been eliminated in continental qualifying, ending the streak of consecutive World Cups at seven. United States will co-host the 2026 FIFA World Cup along with Canada and Mexico, the automatic qualification on all three teams is likely as co-hosts.

The U.S. also competes in continental tournaments, including the CONCACAF Gold Cup and Copa América. The U.S. has hosted fourteen editions of the Gold Cup, winning six, and has achieved a fourth-place finish in two Copa Américas, including the 2016 edition that they hosted. The team's head coach is Gregg Berhalter, since November 29, 2018. Earnie Stewart is the team's General Manager since August 1, 2018.

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