Alex Morgan played a vital role in the USA’s Women’s World Cup championship. (Photo courtesy of FIFA)
The best Women’s World Cup?
That’s what FIFA says about the 2019 competition.
That was the conclusion of FIFA’s technical study group report about France 2019.
The report will be published Sept. 22, coinciding with the FIFA Football Conference in Milan, Italy.
“France 2019 was the most electrifying Women’s World Cup of all time. I have been involved in the Women’s World Cup since its first edition in 1991, and 2019 was by far the best,” TSG head April Heinrichs, former U.S. women’s national coach who directed the team to the 2004 Olympic gold medal.
“The most impressive aspect of this Women’s World Cup was the overall influence of attacking transitions. Teams showed the ability to penetrate quickly and effectively. Practically every team was dangerous while counterattacking.”
The TSG report revealed that only 9 percent of passes were played long in France, a decrease from the previous two editions of the tournament. That suggested that teams were progressively looking to play shorter balls and build patiently, as opposed to going direct.
Another report highlight related to goalkeeping, particularly the game-impacting saves that were made, where the save rate of 70 percent was five percentage points up from Canada 2015. The 72 percent conversion rate from penalties in France was down 10 percentage points from 2015.
“Besides the outstanding performances of all goalkeepers who made it to the quarter-finals, we saw other keepers [catch the eye] – like Chile’s Christiane Endler, who was simply fantastic,” Henrichs said. “In this edition of the Women’s World Cup, we were treated to fantastic goalkeepers who made huge contributions to their team’s success, not just in terms of shot-stopping but also in build-up play with their feet.”
The TSG report also contained performance insights, including the ranking of total distance covered, which was led by Germany with 114.7 kilometers per match, substantially above the tournament average of 109.3km.
Coaches and technical directors from over 150 member associations are expected to attend the FIFA Football Conference dedicated to the tournament. The list includes Women’s World Cup‑winning coach Jill Ellis, finalist Sarina Wiegman, Sweden’s Peter Gerhardsson, England’s Phil Neville, France’s Corinne Diacre, Italy’s Milena Bertolini, Germany’s Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, Norway’s Martin Sjögren, Scotland’s Shelley Kerr, Australia’s Ante Milicic, Canada’s Kenneth Heiner-Møller, China’s Jia Xiuquan, Japan’s Asako Takakura, Spain’s Jorge Vilda, Cameroon’s Alain Djeumfa, South Africa’s Desiree Ellis, New Zealand’s Tom Sermanni, Argentina’s Carlos Borrello, Brazil’s newly appointed manager Pia Sundhage and women’s football experts from all six confederations, among many others.