England’s Sarina Wiegman is the lone female head coach remaining at the Women’s World Cup after the elimination of South Africa on Sunday, which could bode well for the Lionesses Down Under if history has a hand in it.
Twelve of the World Cup’s 32 head coaches were women, including Desiree Ellis, whose Banyana Banyana were ousted in a 2-0 loss to the Netherlands in the round of 16.
While the number is low, women have been wildly successful on the global soccer stage. Since 2000, all but one of the major women’s football tournaments – the Women’s World Cup, Women’s Euros and the Olympics – have been won by female-coached teams, according to the Female Coaching Network.
Norio Sasaki, the man who coached Japan to World Cup gold in 2011, is the sole exception.
Wiegman, whose European champions play Nigeria in the round of 16 on Monday, took over as Lionesses head coach in September 2021, and her squad went on a 30-game unbeaten streak that included just five draws. It ended in a 2-0 loss to Australia in a friendly on April 11. England are unbeaten in their five games since.
Two women coaches were ousted in the round of 16 on Saturday with Switzerland’s 5-1 loss to Spain (Inka Grings) and Norway’s 3-1 defeat by Japan (Hege Riise).