Team LGBTQ has set up a home at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. And today, it was at the back of the net. Of the 10 goals during today’s matches, four were scored by out gay, lesbian, bi or queer athletes.
In fact, during Spain’s 5-0 shutout of Zambia, more than half of their goals came courtesy of LGBTQ players.
With her team on the attack early, Spain midfielder Teresa Abeillera got the scoring underway at the nine-minute mark when she unloaded a laser beam from outside the box that landed in the top left corner of the goal for a 1-0 lead.
After another goal, Spain turned the match into a rout when a pass gave Alba Redondo a breakaway opportunity in the middle of the second half. Despite being shoved in the back, Redondo dribbled her way around Zambian goalkeeper Eunice Sakala and fired a shot into the open net for a 3-0 cushion.
In admiration for Redondo’s efforts, all the commentators had to say was: “Clinical. Absolutely clinical.”
Redondo also delivered the coup de grace when she accepted a pass in the middle of the box and scored Spain’s final goal in the 85th minute. Like three of her teammates, she is an out athlete and is currently dating physical trainer Cristina Monleón, with the two sharing their relationship on Instagram and Tiktok.
Team LGBTQ also made their presence felt early in the match between Ireland and Canada — and it was a history maker.
With less than four minutes elapsed, Ireland captain Katie McCabe was awarded a corner kick and delivered one of the most beautiful goals of the tournament.
Putting all of her power into the corner, McCabe uncorked a shot that curved like a CGI effect as it eluded the leap of Canadian goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan for a shocking 1-0 lead.
It was a goal that would’ve made even David Beckham ask, “How the hell did you do that?!” McCabe’s teammates swarmed her in a mix of jubilation and disbelief, as it also marked the first ever Olimpico goal in Women’s World Cup competition.
McCabe has been out for several years and has spoken publicly about her pride in Ireland voting to legalize same-sex marriage in 2015.
Unfortunately for McCabe, her miracle shot was Ireland’s only score of the match and the Irish eventually lost 2-1, as Canada eliminated them from the tournament.
“It’s bittersweet, isn’t it?” she said after, “Of course it is nice to score and get us off to a good start but it is the results that matter in this game, at this level, and in these types of tournaments. I’m just heartbroken for the girls. I felt like we deserved so much more from the game.”
Nonetheless, McCabe entered her name in the World Cup history books. Along with Redondo and Abeillera, she also helped make it a banner day for LGBTQ players.