The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup is finally here. The United States will defend its title as Megan Rapinoe attempts to ride into the sunset after announcing her intention to retire following this year’s competition. This round of World Cup action will be taking place in Australia and New Zealand, which is notable for a couple of reasons. It’s the first time the women’s edition of the tournament has been held in the Southern Hemisphere and the first to be hosted by two different countries. In addition it’s the first senior World Cup to be held across two confederations, with Australia belonging to the Asian Football Confederation and New Zealand belonging to Oceania Confederation.
It should be a tremendous affair. But the question you are seeking to answer is not entirely relevant to this year’s proceedings. It is still crucial and pertinent, though. So — has the USWNT ever beaten England in the Women’s World Cup?
The short answer is yes, but they have not had the opportunity nearly as often as one might think.
While the USWNT and England have met many times for international friendlies, they’ve only met twice in the 32-year history of the Women’s World Cup. In nine World Cups (which includes this year), Team USA and England have never been paired in the group stage. They’ve only ever met in the knockout stage, and have done so twice — in 2007 and 2019.
The 2007 World Cup saw the USWNT and England match up in the first round of the knockout stage in China. Team USA beat the British by the score of 3-0. Abby Wambach, Shannon Boxx, and Kristine Lilly all recorded goals. They would go on to lose to Brazil, 4-0, in the semifinals but captured third place with a win over Norway.
The 2019 World Cup is, of course, the most recent edition of the international competition and is arguably part of the most dominant stretch in the rich history of the USWNT. It should therefore come as no surprise that they once again beat England in the knockout stages. This time they met in the semifinals with a shot at a world title on the line. The US won 2-1, with goals from Alex Morgan and Christen Press propelling them to victory. The team would go on to beat the Netherlands 2-0 in the final to win the USWNT’s fourth World Cup.
While the two sides were once again put in separate groups for the first stretch of the 2023 World Cup, a rematch is absolutely a possibility if both survive until the knockout stage. England will be looking for revenge. The USWNT will be trying to keep its record against the British unblemished.
One of the many subplots to keep an eye on as competition kicks off.