It so happens that the four biggest wins in FIFA Women’s World Cup history are also the four highest scoring games in the competition. It’ll come as no surprise to most that record four-time winners the United States feature as both the team to win by the biggest margin and to be involved in the highest scoring match in tournament history.
USA 13-0 Thailand
11 June 2019
Coming into the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, the United States were the reigning world champions and opened their defence with a meeting against unfancied Thailand.
The USWNT were expected to win, but the way it was delivered sent shockwaves across the tournament. Jill Ellis’ team set a new WWC record with a 13-0 victory over Thailand in Reims.
Thailand – playing in just their second World Cup after debuting in 2015 – were only 3-0 down at half-time. Alex Morgan scored the opener in the 12th minute and would go onto score five goals that night – a joint-record in a Women’s World Cup match, alongside fellow American Michelle Akers (versus Chinese Taipai in 1999).
The USA stamped their authority in the second half, scoring 10 more times – the most in a single half of any World Cup match, men’s or women’s – and finished the match with seven different scorers; another competition record by a team in a single match.
While the USA’s attitude and celebrations to some of the later goals in the match were seen as slightly unsporting by some, this demolition remains the biggest-ever victory and simultaneously the highest number of goals in any World Cup match in history across both men’s and women’s tournaments. Of course, the USA would go onto win the tournament and become the second team to win consecutive Women’s World Cups after Germany in 2003 and 2007.
Germany 11-0 Argentina
10 September 2007
Germany’s 11-0 win over Argentina in the opening game of the 2007 Women’s World Cup was, at the time, the record win in the history of the competition.
The pre-match signs were ominous for the Argentines, having lost all three games by an aggregate score of 15-1 in their only other World Cup tournament in 2003 – including a 6-1 loss to Germany.
Germany finished this game off early, going 4-0 ahead inside 30 minutes before captain Birgit Prinz netted her second of the match just before half-time to make it 5-0 at the break. Prinz would add another goal in the 59th minute to seal her hat-trick – a feat that teammate Sandra Smisek would replicate later.
Prinz’s three goals in this match saw her reach 12 in total for the World Cup and overtake Bettina Wiegmann as the leading German scorer in the history of the tournament. She would go on to add two more goals at the 2007 tournament, including the opening goal in a 2-0 final win over Brazil, to make her the leading scorer in Women’s World Cup history on 14. Of course, that record was overtaken by Marta in 2015 (15), but Prinz remains the leading goalscorer across both men’s and women’s German national teams with 128 goals to her name.
Germany 10-0 Ivory Coast
The Ivory Coast suffered a baptism of fire in their first-ever match at the Women’s World Cup, with a group stage meeting versus two-time champions Germany. It didn’t go well.
Germany’s 10-0 win was one goal away from equalling their all-time WWC effort (11-0 versus Argentina in 2007) and included an excellent hat-trick from Célia Šašić inside the opening 31 minutes – the earliest hat-trick scored in a match in Women’s World Cup history.
Anja Mittag went on to add a hat-trick of her own for the Germans in the second half, while more goals from Simone Laudehr, Sara Däbritz, Melanie Behringer and Alexandra Popp completed the rout.
Germany scored their 10 goals from 30 shots (17 on target), with the Ivory Coast having their goalkeeper Dominique Thiamale to thank for making seven saves and preventing the scoreline from being much worse.
Switzerland 10-1 Ecuador
Ahead of the 2015 tournament, Germany’s 11-0 win over Argentina was the only occasion of a team scoring at least 10 goals in a World Cup match. Across this edition in Canada, we witnessed two such matches in the space of five day – this 10-1 win for Switzerland over Ecuador being the second after Germany’s 10-0 thrashing of Ivory Coast.
After losing 1-0 to Japan in their opening group game, Switzerland needed a positive result to progress from to the knockouts in what was their first-ever Women’s World Cup finals appearance. Their 10-1 win was certainly positive and entered them into the record books for one of the biggest wins in WWC history.
Switzerland’s Fabienne Humm scored three times between the 47th and 52nd minute, which remains the fastest ever FIFA World Cup hat-trick on record across both men’s and women’s tournaments. Swiss star Ramona Bachmann added another hat-trick later in the game, with this being the fourth occasion that a team have seen two hat-trick scorers in the same Women’s World Cup match.
Other Big Wins and High Scoring Matches
As well as the four wins listed above, only one other Women’s World Cup match has seen at least nine goals scored, with Norway’s 7-2 win over Ghana at the 2007 tournament coming in fifth for the highest scoring matches in the history of the tournament.
Two other teams have won matches by eight-goal margins – Sweden’s 8-0 victory over Japan in the inaugural Women’s World Cup of 1991 and Norway’s 8-0 thrashing of Nigeria at the 1995 tournament.
The biggest win by a host nation at a Women’s World Cup tournament came in 1999, as the United States defeated Nigeria 7-1 in Chicago, while the USWNT also hold the record for the biggest margin of victory in a WWC knockout stage match, as they defeated Chinese Taipei 7-0 in the 1991 quarter-finals. Germany came close to replicating this in the 2003 quarters, but Russia’s consolation goal in a 7-1 defeat saw a margin of just six goals.
Only one Women’s World Cup final has seen as many as seven goals scored: The USA’s 5-2 win over Japan in 2015, which is also the highest-scoring WWC final of all time.