FIFA World Cup

Mexico’s journey with the FIFA World Cup

Monica Ocampo (Credit: FIFA)

The 2023 FIFA World Cup that will be held in Australia and New Zealand is closer than it seems. This tournament will feature an expansion from the previous iterations with the inclusion of 32 teams, following the success the 2019 edition in France represented with eight less squads.

FIFA officially began Women’s World Cups in 1991. The tournament is played every four years. In the eight events we’ve had, the United States is the most winning nation with four trophies, winning their latest at the two most recent World Cups, followed by Germany with two (2003 and 2007) and Norway and Japan with one title each.

Taking into consideration the expansion of teams, CONCACAF now will have four direct entries to qualify to the World Cup. In addition, FIFA created a new tournament with 10 teams consisting of all the confederations that will grant the last three spots for the most important championship for national teams. This is great news for Mexico, since there are more ways to go back to this event.

It’s important to consider México´s participation in previous World Cups. In 1971, El Tri achieved the second place in the second Women’s World Cup that was organized, which was played in Mexico City and Guadalajara. They lost in the final 3-0 against Denmark at Azteca Stadium. Unfortunately, as mentioned in the first paragraph, these tournaments were unofficial until 1991 when FIFA finally clued into the importance of women’s soccer.

Since that year, Mexico has participated in three World Cup tournaments. The first was the United States in 1999, in which they lost their three group matches: 7-1 against Brazil, 6-0 against Germany and 2-0 against Italy. The only goal by that Mexican side was scored by Maribel Dominguez, now Head Coach of the U-20 Female National Team.

In Germany 2011, Mexico had their best appearance to date, drawing with England 1-1 and New Zealand 2-2, but lost 4-0 against Japan without an opportunity to qualify for the next round. Despite finishing in third place and not attaining the desired result, Monica Ocampo was voted by the fans in 2019 as the scorer of the best goal in the history of Women’s World Cups.

The last time Mexico appeared in the competition was the 2015 edition held in Canada. Mexico was held to a 1-1 draw with Colombia but lost 2-1 with England and 5-0 against France. Once more, El Tri finished last place in their group.

There have been 36 teams in the history of Women’s World Cups, and México is 26th in the Statistics Table without a win: three ties, six defeats, only six goals scored and thirty conceded. The Mexican national team’s participation has been a mess, but the future with Monica Vergara looks bright for both the players and fans. In perspective, the men’s side had their first victory in World Cups (Chile 1962) 13 games after the first one they played in Uruguay 1930. We will see if the women’s squad can pull off the win earlier than that.

The goal is clear and set for 2023. Hopefully we will see Mexico move forward in the next set of qualifying games for the World Cup with a generation that has created an environment of hope for female soccer fans in Mexico.

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