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History of FIFA Women's World Cup

World Cup history and the footsteps of Nadeshiko Japan, looking back on all 8 tournaments

1991

FIFA Women's World Cup China PR 1991
Winner: USA
The inaugural tournament was held at China PR on November 1991, where Japan lost all three matches played. The team was led by Coach SUZUKI Tamotsu, team captain NODA Akemi (Current coach of Nojima Stella Kanagawa Sagamihara), and the current coach of Nadeshiko Japan, TAKAKURA Asako was one of the players at this tournament. This tournament gave Japan a major reality check, especially with the 0-3 loss at the group stage against the USA, who eventually won the tournament.
17 November 1991
New Plaza Stadium, Foshan(CHN)
Group matches JAPAN 0-1 BRAZIL
19 November 1991
New Plaza Stadium, Foshan(CHN)
Group matches JAPAN 0-8 SWEDEN
21 November 1991
New Plaza Stadium, Foshan(CHN)
Group matches JAPAN 0-3 USA

1995

FIFA Women's World Cup Sweden 1995
Winner: NORWAY
The second edition of the tournament was held at Sweden in 1995, where Japan faced Germany in the tournament opener. Despite losing the match 0-1, Japan went onto earn their first victory at the Women's World Cup, when they defeated Brazil, thanks to the two goals scored by Noda. In this tournament, Japan advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time, but lost to the USA with a score of 0-4. It was Norway who won the title, as they showcased great fire power by scoring 23 goals in six matches played. SAWA Homare made her first Women's World Cup appearance at this tournament, first of six tournaments she would play in.
5 June 1995
Tingvalla, Karlstad (SWE)
Group matches JAPAN 0-1 GERMANY
7 June 1995
Tingvalla, Karlstad (SWE)
Group matches JAPAN 2-1 BRAZIL13', 45' NODA Akemi
9 June 1995
Arosvallen, Vasteras (SWE)
Group matches JAPAN 0-2 SWEDEN
13 June 1995
Stroemvallen, Gavle (SWE)
Quarter-finals JAPAN 0-4 USA

1999

FIFA Women's World Cup USA 1999
Winner: USA
The USA hosted the third tournament in 1999, where the participating countries increased from 12 to 16. Despite the goal scored by OTAKE Nami in the first match, Japan was eliminated from the group stage without a single win. The USA earn their second title after defeating China PR in penalty kicks at the final where the match attracted 90,185 people, which is a record crowd for the Women's World Cup. This year’s tournament holds another record, as an average of 37,944 people attended the matches, showcasing the popularity of women’s football in the USA.
19 June 1999
Spartan Stadium, San Jose (USA)
Group matches
JAPAN 1-1 CANADA 64' OTAKE Nami
23 June 1999
Civic Stadium, Portland (USA)
Group matches
JAPAN 0-5 RUSSIA
26 June 1999
Soldier Field, Chicago (USA)
Group matches
JAPAN 0-4 NORWAY

2003

FIFA Women's World Cup USA 2003
Winner: GERMANY
In the year when the tournament was officially renamed as the FIFA Women's World Cup, the host nation saw a change from China PR to the USA, due to the affect of SARS. Despite their 6-0 victory over Argentina in the first match, Japan lost the following two matches to be eliminated from the group stage. The final was played between Germany and Sweden, where Germany scored the game winner in extra time to earn their first title.
20 September 2003
Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus (USA)
Group matches
JAPAN 6-0 ARGENTINA 13', 38' SAWA Homare
64' YAMAMOTO Emi
72', 75', 80' OTANI Mio
24 September 2003
Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus (USA)
Group matches
JAPAN 0-5 GERMANY
27 September 2003
Gillette Stadium, Foxborough (USA)
Group matches
JAPAN 1-3 CANADA 20' SAWA Homare

2007

FIFA Women's World Cup China 2007
Winner: GERMANY
Japan was eliminated at the group stage with a record of one win, one draw, and one loss, but saw goals scored by MIYAMA Aya and NAGASATO Yuki, gaining precious experience through this tournament. China PR lost at the quarterfinals despite the high anticipation as the host nation, while Germany showed their dominance by conceding zero goals in their six matches to earn their back-to-back Women's World Cup title.
11 September 2007
Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium, Shanghai (CHN)
Group matches
JAPAN 2-2 ENGLAND 55', 90'+5 MIYAMA Aya
14 September 2007
Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium, Shanghai (CHN)
Group matches
JAPAN 1-0 ARGENTINA 90'+1 NAGASATO Yuki
17 September 2007
Hangzhou Dragon Stadium, Hangzhou (CHN)
Group matches
JAPAN 0-2 GERMANY

2011

FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011
Winner: JAPAN
It was a tournament to remember for the Japanese fans. Led by Coach SASAKI Norio, Japan defeated the two-time defending champions Germany at the quarterfinals and bested the USA in penalty kicks at the final to win their first ever tournament hosted by FIFA. Their team captain Sawa was named as the tournament MVP as well as winning the golden boot, boosting the national popularity of Nadeshiko Japan.
27 June 2011
FIFA Women's World Cup Stadium, Bochum (GER)
Group matches
JAPAN 2-1 NEW ZEALAND 6' NAGASATO Yuki
68' MIYAMA Aya
1 July 2011
FIFA Women's World Cup Stadium, Leverkusen (GER)
Group matches
JAPAN 4-0 MEXICO 13', 39', 80' SAWA Homare
15' OHNO Shinobu
5 July 2011
FIFA Women's World Cup Stadium, Augsburg (GER)
Group matches
JAPAN 0-2 ENGLAND
9 July 2011
Arena im Allerpark, Wolfsburg (GER)
Quarter-finals
JAPAN 1-0 GERMANY 108' MARUYAMA Karina
13 July 2011
FIFA Women's World Cup Stadium, Frankfurt/Main (GER)
Semi-finals
JAPAN 3-1 SWEDEN 19', 64' KAWASUMI Nahomi
60' SAWA Homare
17 July 2011
FIFA Women's World Cup Stadium, Frankfurt/Main (GER)
Final
JAPAN 2-2 (PSO 3-1) USA 81' MIYAMA Aya
117' SAWA Homare

2015

FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015
Winner: USA
In the tournament where Japan entered as the defending champions, artificial turf and Goal-line technology were officially employed by the tournament. Although Japan advanced to the final for the second tournament in a row, they lost to the USA, who won their third overall title. From this year, the participating countries of the tournament increased from 16 to 24 and the match numbers went from 32 to 52. As a result, the tournament marked the most attendance in Women's World Cup history, after attracting 1,353,506 people to the matches.
8 June 2015
BC Place Stadium, Vancouver (CAN)
Group matches
JAPAN 1-0 SWITZERLAND 29' MIYAMA Aya
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12 June 2015
BC Place Stadium, Vancouver (CAN)
Group matches
JAPAN 2-1 CAMEROON 6' SAMESHIMA Aya
17' SUGASAWA Yuika
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16 June 2015
Winnipeg Stadium, Winnipeg (CAN)
Group matches
JAPAN 1-0 ECUADOR 5' OGIMI Yuki
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23 June 2015
BC Place Stadium, Vancouver (CAN)
Round of 16
JAPAN 2-1 NETHERLAND 10' ARIYOSHI Saori
78' SAKAGUCHI Mizuho
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27 June 2015
Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton (CAN)
Quarter-finals
JAPAN 1-0 AUSTRALIA 87' IWABUCHI Mana
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1 July 2015
Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton (CAN)
Semi-finals
JAPAN 2-1 ENGLAND 33' MIYAMA Aya
90+2' OG
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5 July 2015
BC Place Stadium, Vancouver (CAN)
Final
JAPAN 2-5 USA 27' OGIMI Yuki
52' OG
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2019

FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019
Winner: USA
After a successful tournament in Canada, the 2019 edition was also participated by 24 teams with the assistance of various modern technology. Video Assistant Referees were introduced for the first time in a Women's World Cup. Japan were knocked out at the Round of 16 stge by eventual runners up, the Netherlands but there were plenty of positives to gain for the future for the young Nadeshiko players.
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