By 90Min
June 06, 2019

France are preparing to stage the eighth Women's World Cup this summer, and they kick things off on Friday night against South Korea in the tournament's opener.

French club Olympique Lyonnais have dominated the women's game domestically with a side featuring many of the national team's players, so their are high hopes going into the competition.

For some, home advantage can push their team to go that little bit further and overachieve, but others can crumble under the enormous pressure heaped on them by an adoring crowd.

Here, we take a look at how each of the host countries have performed in the previous seven Women's World Cups.


China (1991)

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China kicked off the inaugural tournament in emphatic style, beating eventual runners-up Norway 4-0 to make a real statement to the other teams involved. One more victory and a draw in the group stages saw the hosts top their group and progress to the quarter-finals.

Sadly for China, that was as good as it got. Despite 55,000 fans coming out to cheer them on, they lost their last-eight tie against Sweden courtesy of a third minute goal from Pia Sundhage. 

The eventual winners were, unsurprisingly, were the United States, who beat Norway 2-1 in the final thanks to a brace from Michelle Akers.


Sweden (1995)

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Sweden's reward for knocking the hosts out four years beforehand was to become hosts themselves in 1995. However, the pressure of a bumper crowd for their opening game was clearly too much for them as they slipped to a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Brazil.

Thankfully, they turned things around and finished second in their group, beating eventual finalists Germany along the way. This earned them a quarter-final tie with China, who they knocked out at the same stage last time out.

It was seen as something of a grudge match by their opposition, and this told when China broke Swedish hearts and knocked the hosts out on penalties.

The tournament was eventually won by Norway, who defeated Germany 2-0 in the final with goals from Hege Riise and Marianne Pettersen.


United States (1999)

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The winners of the first ever Women's World Cup had the opportunity to be victorious in their home nation in 1999, as the tournament expanded to 16 teams.

This saw the inclusion of some weaker teams, who the hosts put paid to in the groups as they won all three games with ease. The story was much the same for the United States throughout the knockout stages, until they met China in the final.

It was a tense affair in front of more than 90,000 fans, which saw the game go to penalties after a 0-0 draw. In front of an expectant crowd, the hosts were clinical from the spot and converted all five, meaning Liu Ying's miss was enough to see the hosts crowned champions.


United States (2003)

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The fourth edition of this tournament was due to be played in China, but a virus outbreak a few months prior saw FIFA rearrange the competition to be played in the States once again.

After three comfortable victories in the group stages, it looked as though the Americans were on their way to a third World Cup in four attempts. Victory over Norway in the quarter-finals saw them meet a dangerous-looking Germany side in the final four. 

The Germans stunned home supporters with a convincing 3-0 win over the Americans and subsequently went on to win the competition, beating Sweden 2-1 after extra-time in the final.

The States ended their tournament on a high by beating neighbours Canada 3-1 in the third place play-off.


China (2007)

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After a last minute rescheduling four years before, China finally got the chance to host again in 2007 - 16 years on from hosting the first tournament of its kind.

The hosts kicked their campaign off in entertaining style with an end-to-end bout against Denmark. The Danes thought they'd snatched a point late, only for Song Xiaoli to immediately reply with a winner to make it 3-2.

This win proved crucial as it saw China finish one place above Denmark and progress to the quarter final, where they would face another Scandinavian outfit in Norway. The Norwegians were such a solid defensive side, that one goal was enough to see them knock the hosts out.

They lost in the semis to another dominant Germany side, however, and they went on to win their second World Cup in a row, beating Brazil 2-0 in the final.


Germany (2011)

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After two consecutive world titles, the Germans had the chance to make it a hat-trick in front of a home crowd when they hosted the contest in 2011. The hosts didn't look quite as dominant as before, but still qualified from their group with a 100% record, following three narrow victories.

When they came up against a Japan side, who finished second in their group behind England, many fans were already looking ahead to the semi-finals. However, after neither side could break the deadlock in 90 minutes, Karina Maruyama shocked the hosts when she scored in the 108th minute to send Japan through.

The Japanese still had one more shock up their sleeves, as they defeated the heavily favoured United States in the final on penalties to win their first ever World Cup.


Canada (2015)

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2015 saw the World Cup return to North America, this time in Canada, as the great white north prepared to host the first 24-team edition of the tournament.

A nervy first game was given a positive ending when Christine Sinclair scored a 92nd minute penalty to give the hosts a 1-0 win. After some nervy group stage performances, they then came up against England in the quarter-finals.

This time it was the turn of the Lionesses to play party poopers, as Sinclair's goal was not enough to cancel out the early efforts from Jodie Taylor and Lucy Bronze. The final of this tournament saw a repeat of the 2011 final, but unlike four years before, it was United States who got the better of Japan as they ran out dominant 5-2 victors.

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