After marching through the tournament, Germany won their first Women’s FIFA World Cup title by defeating Sweden 2-1 on a golden goal on this day in soccer history in 2003. Second half substitution Nia Kuenzer knocked in the winner in the 98th minute.
"I was confused," a jubilant Kuenzer said after the match. "I wasn't sure what happened, and then my teammates are jumping on top of me and we are all on the ground."
The German side made easy work making it to the final. The European Champions scored 25 goals on the way to hoisting the trophy. Birgit Prinz paced the team with 7 goals on the way to winning the golden boot. She also won the golden ball. Teammates Maren Meinert and Kerstin Garefrekes were not far behind with 5 and 4 goals, respectively.
They had also easily defeated the United States WNT 3-0 in the semifinal match.
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"These are two very equal teams," Germany head coach Tina Theune-Meyer said. "There will be many parties today in Germany."
It was Sweden, however, that jumped out to the early lead when Hanna Ljungberg scored in the 41st minute. The striker received the ball on the left flank and sliced through the German defense before sending her shot past Silke Rottenberg.
Surprisingly, Sweden created better chances in the first period and at times looked to have the German defense question if they could hold on.
The tables turned in the second half when Meinert broke through for Germany in the 46th minute. Prinz picked out an unmarked Meinert who calmly beat Caroline Joensson.
With the match leveled, Germany put together attack after attack but Joensson played beautifully to keep the match level and give Sweden a chance. They almost took advantage with two late chances in the final ten minutes with Victoria Svensson clanking a ball off the right post in the 88th minute.
Germany finally ended the match with Kuenzer header. The 23-year-old defender, who came on in the 88th minute and only saw 64 minutes of action in the first five matches, got on the end of a Renate Lingor off a controversially awarded freekick.
It was Germany’s first Women’s FIFA World Cup title.
1963 – Alan McDonald, Northern Irish footballer
1966 – Wim Jonk, Dutch football player
1972 – Tom Van Mol, Belgian football player
1977 – Javier Toyo, Venezuelan footballer
1980 – Ledley King, English footballer
1981 – Shola Ameobi, English footballer
1981 – Brian Kerr, Scottish footballer
1983 – Alex Brosque, Australian footballer
1986 – Sergio Peter, German footballer
1986 – Emmanuel Nwachi, Nigerian footballer
1990 – Henri Lansbury, English footballer