1971 Women's World Cup

Last updated
Campeonato de Fútbol Femenil
Tournament information
Sport Association football
Host(s) Flag of Mexico.svg Mexico
Final positions
Champions Flag of Denmark.svg Denmark
Runner-up Flag of Mexico.svg Mexico
Tournament statistics
Matches played11
Goals scored39 (3.55 per match)
Top scorer(s) Flag of Denmark.svg Susanne Augustesen
Flag of Denmark.svg Lis Lene Nielsen (4 goals)

The 1971 Women's World Cup (Spanish: 1971 Campeonato de Fútbol Femenil) was a non-FIFA-sanctioned association football tournament for women which took place in Mexico in August and September 1971. Denmark won the tournament.



The first unofficial Women's World Cup took place in Italy in 1970, also won by Denmark. [1]


The six-team tournament featured three different qualifying groups, two in Europe played in April and June 1971, and one in the Americas. [2] Six teams made the final tournament – Mexico, Argentina, England, Denmark, France, and Italy. [2] Four teams were knocked out in qualifying – Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden and Costa Rica.

One of the qualifiers was the first officially recognised women's international match. France beat the Netherlands 4-0 in Hazebrouck to qualify for the tournament in front of 1,500 spectators. However, the match was only recognised after it was completed, and the French players did not know they had qualified for the tournament until their coach told them after the game. [3]


Tournament sponsors Martini & Rossi paid for each team's travel, accommodation, and kits. [4] Goalposts were painted in pink hoops and stadium staff wore pink clothes, in order to try to appeal to women and families. [4] Ticket prices ranged from 30 pesos (£1.15) to 80 pesos (£3). [4] The tournament mascot was Xochitl, "a young girl in [a] football kit". [4]

An estimated 80,000 people attended the Mexico group games against England and Argentina, and an estimated 110,000 attended the final, between Mexico and Denmark. [4] [5]

The hosts Mexico qualified for the final after defeating Italy in the semifinals. Two days before the final, the Mexican press noted the players for Mexico were unhappy they had not been receiving economic support for participating in the tournament. The Mexican team threatened to skip the final but gave up their two million peso demand and the game went forward as scheduled. [5]

Denmark won the tournament after beating Mexico 3–0 in the final, featuring a hat trick by 15-year-old Susanne Augustesen. [2] The victorious Danish team were treated to a celebratory reception at Copenhagen Town Hall upon their return from the tournament. [6] However, due to the unofficial nature of the tournament, it is not recognised by the Danish Football Association. [6]


England's team included 13-year-old Leah Caleb, 14-year-old Gill Sayell, and 15-year-old Chris Lockwood, [4] [7] while 15-year-old Susanne Augustesen scored a hat-trick for Denmark as they beat Mexico 3–0 in the final. [2] Augustesen was honoured by the mayor of her hometown, Holbæk. [6]

12 member of England's 14-woman squad reunited in June 2019 for the first time since the tournament. [8]

Group stage

Group 1

1Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 2200714
2Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 2101542
3Flag of England.svg  England 2002180
Mexico  Flag of Mexico.svg3–1Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina
Rubio Soccerball shade.svg 21', 54'
Hernandez Soccerball shade.svg 30'
Cardoso Soccerball shade.svg 34'
Argentina  Flag of Argentina.svg4–1Flag of England.svg  England
Elva Selva Soccerball shade.svg 7', 31', 34' (pen.), 71'Burton Soccerball shade.svg 13'
Mexico  Flag of Mexico.svg4–0Flag of England.svg  England
Aguilar (2)

Group 2

1Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 2110413
2Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 2110213
3Flag of France.svg  France 2002040
Denmark  Flag of Denmark.svg3–0Flag of France.svg  France
Augustesen Soccerball shade.svg 7'
Nielsen Soccerball shade.svg 32', 67'
France  Flag of France.svg0–1Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
Schiavo Soccerball shade.svg 23'
Denmark  Flag of Denmark.svg1–1Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
H. Hansen Soccerball shade.svg 10'Avon Soccerball shade.svg 43'

Knockout stage


28 August — Mexico City
Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 5
5 September — Mexico City
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 0
Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 3
29 August — Mexico City
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 0
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 2
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 1
Third place
4 September — Guadalajara
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 4
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 0


Denmark  Flag of Denmark.svg5–0Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina
L. Nielsen Soccerball shade.svg 34', 50', 68'
H. Hansen Soccerball shade.svg 53'
Frederiksen Soccerball shade.svg 64'

Mexico  Flag of Mexico.svg2–1Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
Hernandez Soccerball shade.svg 10', 24'Varone Soccerball shade.svg 6'

Fifth place play-off

A match for fifth place was played between the two teams which did not advance to the semifinals.

England  Flag of England.svg2–3Flag of France.svg  France
Janice Barton Soccerball shade.svg 10', 16'Armelle Binard Soccerball shade.svg 12'
Jocelyne Henry Soccerball shade.svg 22'
Ghislaine Royer Soccerball shade.svg 32'

Third place play-off

Italy  Flag of Italy.svg4–0Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina
Betty Vignotto Soccerball shade.svg 4', 32', 67'
Elena Schiavo Soccerball shade.svg 63'


Denmark  Flag of Denmark.svg3–0Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico
Susanne Augustesen Soccerball shade.svg 26', 52', 62'
Azteca Stadium, Mexico City
Attendance: 115,000
Referee: Minarich (Italy)

Later tournaments

The tournament was later followed by "the series of Mundialito tournaments throughout the 1980s in Italy, and FIFA's Women's Invitation Tournament in China in 1988" before the first FIFA Women's World Cup in China in 1991. [1]

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  2. 1 2 3 4 "Mundial (Women) 1971". RSSSF. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  3. "First ladies pave the way". FIFA.com. 8 April 2011.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Bill Wilson (7 December 2018). "Mexico 1971: When women's football hit the big time". BBC News. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  5. 1 2 "El mundial femenil que México olvidó". El Universal. 8 March 2017.
  6. 1 2 3 Nikoline Vestergaard (10 September 2007). "Verdensmester som 15-årig" (in Danish). BT. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  7. "The lost lionesses". BBC Sport.
  8. "Women's World Cup: 1971 'lost lionesses' squad tracked down after 48 years". 26 June 2019 via www.bbc.co.uk.