England women's national football team
The England women's national football team represents England in international matches. The team has not won an international tournament, but throughout the 2000s and 2010s they have established themselves as one of the world's strongest teams, with 3rd place in the WC 2015 and the final in the EC 2009 as the highlight.
See also Football for women In 1914, women started working on making ammunition for the First World War at the firm Dick, Kerr & Co. The company started, despite simultaneous warnings against it, a football team for the women. The team beat the men's team, and eventually gained a large audience when they played their charity matches in aid of injured military.
The team continued to play even after the World War, and in 1920 they faced France in several matches. Dick, Kerr's did very well there and their attention grew so much that a match between them and St. Helen's Ladies was played on Boxing Day 1920 in front of 53,000 spectators (out of 67,000, the rest were unseated) at Goodison Park. However, almost a year later, on 5 December 1921, the FA decided to ban women's football. It has been speculated whether this was because the women drew more spectators than the men, the men's record being 37,545 in 1921. Dick, Kerr's responded by playing at grounds other than those under FA control, eventually moving to a trip to Canada and the USA. They were not allowed to play in Canada, so they went to the United States, where they did very well against American teams; three wins, three draws and three losses were the result. They narrowly lost to the Paterson Silk Sox, who the following year became the US Men's National Champions.
England in Championship
50 years after they had banned women's football, and one year after the rest of Europe, the FA lifted the ban. By then, Dirk, Kerr's, which changed its name to Preston Ladies FC in the late 20s, had been defunct for five years. The first official national team played their first match on 19 November 1972 when they won 3-2 away to Scotland.
In England's first official championship, they reached the final in 1984, losing the final to Sweden on penalties. Also in the next official championship, the EC in 1987, it was Sweden who put the brakes on England by knocking them out after extra time in the semi-finals. England lost the bronze final to Italy. England then dropped out of the European Championship, which was held every two years up to and including 1997, and the World Cup. They failed to qualify again until the European Championship in 1995, when in return they reached the semi-finals. In the qualifying group, England were placed in the same group as Spain for the first time, and the two teams have fought for the same place several times.
The European Championship victory gave England a place in the World Cup that same year. England got off nicely in a group with Norway, Canada and Nigeria. England lost to Norway and beat the other two, and went to the final game. There, however, England met Germany again, and lost with a clear 0-3.
In the next EC qualification, England progressed to the round of 2 and 3 in the group, where England again faced Spain. Spain beat England this time. In the World Cup qualification for the World Cup in 1999, England were drawn in a group with Germany, Norway and the Netherlands. England beat the Netherlands at home, but lost the other five matches, finishing last. England qualified through a play-off for the European Championship in 2001, but finished last in the group stage. After an unsuccessful World Cup qualification, England hosted the European Championship in 2005, and was drawn in a group with three Nordic countries; Sweden, Denmark and Finland. England beat Finland but lost the other games, finishing last.
The World Cup in 2007 was a clear improvement for England. The team qualified brilliantly, and also progressed from the preliminary round with an impressive draw against Germany. In the quarter-finals, however, England met the USA, and lost 0-3. In subsequent European Championship qualification, England came into a group with Spain again, and the decision fell in the last match, where Spain would have progressed with a two-goal victory. The match ended in a draw, and England progressed to the European Championship. Despite an unimpressive start