The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup ended last weekend, but the tournament set some new records, with Nigeria at the forefront.
Spain won for the first time, and England was a first-time finalist, while Sweden became the first nation to win the bronze match four times.
Seven records were set at the World Cup.
1. Nigeria went unbeaten in open play for the first time
It was a sweet moment for the Super Falcons, who went unbeaten and scored more than they conceded for the first time at a World Cup final. Despite the two goals conceded being the lowest in their history, their record of having the highest goal concession remains. The Falcons have conceded 65 goals since their first participation in 1991.
The Nigerian ladies played two draws and a win to progress to the second round of the competition for the second consecutive time, only to be defeated by England via a penalty shootout. The Falcons were undefeated in open play.
This led to the new ranking of the 10th-best team in the world.
2. Sinclair breaks Nigerian players Omagbemi and Ebi’s record
Canada’s Christian Sinclair became the captain with the most appearances, 18 after the just concluded Women’s World Cup in New Zealand and Australia. The Canadian played in all of Canada’s three group-stage games to move from 15 to 18 appearances as captain.
After former captain Charmaine Hooper and national team coach Even Pellerud had a falling out, she became captain in 2006. Since then, she has been a regular, amassing the most appearances (326) and goals (190).
Sinclair will also go down as the player with the highest number of defeats after Canada lost 4-0 to Australia in their last group-stage game. This increased her lost games to 11, one above Nigeria’s former captain Florence Omagbemi, and the current one, Onome Ebi.
3. Spain’s Salma Paralluelo completed the FIFA World Cup set
Spanish youngster Salma Paralluelo, 20, made history as the first player, whether male or female, to win all FIFA-designated competitions. Paralluelo has won the U17, U20, and senior women’s world cups, all before clocking 20. The Barcelona Femeni player will be 20 on 13 November. The highest any player has gone at the FIFA level is two trophies with the likes of Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba, Xavi Hernandez, and Iker Casillas, to mention a few.
She featured in all seven of Spain’s games, scoring two goals, one of which was a winner against the Netherlands in the quarterfinal. She has also won all the titles in Spain’s Primera Division, the Supacopa Espana, and the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
4. Casey Phair breaks Ifeanyi Chiejine’s record
South Korean Casey Phair broke another Nigerian player’s record. At 16 years and 26 days old, Phair became the youngest player to feature at the Women’s World Cup when she came on against Colombia on 25 July. The game ended 2-0 in favour of the South American nation. Her 12-minute participation broke Ifeanyi Chiejine’s record, who, at 16 years and 35 days, ran out for Nigeria against South Korea in 1999.
5. All African countries recorded a win at the 2023 World Cup
The 2023 Women’s World Cup will go down as one of the best for African countries, as all their representatives recorded wins in their respective groups. Nigeria, South Africa, Morocco, and Zambia, all represented Africa at the World Cup, and all the nations had at least three points.
Debutants Morocco recorded the highest points tally of six; Nigeria made five points while South Africa had four points; and Zambia finished third in Group C with three points. Also, Nigeria, Morocco, and South Africa qualified for the second round-a first for African teams.
6. Abiodun made the most tackles in one match
Deborah Abiodun made seven tackles in the first group match against Canada, in which she got a straight red card in added time. Despite only appearing in one match, she finished as the third most aggressive player with the most tackles (7), the most of any player in the tournament. As per BestBettingSites.com, she also tallied one of the highest tackle success rates of 71.34%, which contributed to her place as the third most aggressive player in the World Cup. Her final aggression score was 7.11/10.
7. Australia/New Zealand became the most attended women’s tournament
The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup became the most attended women’s sporting event ever with an attendance of 1.978 million (surpassing the record previously held by the Women’s World Cup 2019, France, attended by 1.131 million people).
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