July 10, 1999: Brandi Chastain connects on a penalty kick against China to win the 1999 World Cup for the United States.
In front of a record-setting crowd of 90,185 at the Rose Bowl -- still the greatest ever attendance mark for any female sporting event -- the U.S. began its quest for revenge afer China's 2-1 victory in the championship game of the 1999 Algarve Cup.
While the 2015 USWNT impressed the world with a dominant 5-2 championship win over Japan, things weren't as comfortable for the '99ers, who went neck-and-neck with China in a battle between the world's top two teams.
The two teams had only combined to allow five goals in their previous 1999 World Cup matches, and elite defense continued to be the theme in the final showdown, as the regulation 90 minutes ended without any score. China threatened in extra time on a header from Fan Yunkie that appeared to pass U.S. goalie Briana Scurry. But U.S. midfielder Kristine Lilly came up with a clutch header just in front of the goal line to preserve the shutout and send the game to penalty kicks.
It was 2-2 in the shootout when Scurry made a diving save of a Liu Ying shot to shift the momentum in the Americans' favor. Lilly and Mia Hamm each converted their shots to give the U.S. a 4-3 lead going into the final turn, but then Chinese forward and eventual Golden Ball winner Sun Yen connected to tie the score and put the pressure back on the Americans.
Julie Foudy was initially supposed to take the fifth shot for the U.S., but a last-minute decision at the end of extra time by coach Tony DiCicco put the ball at Chastain's feet. Chastain had missed a penalty kick in the Americans' earlier loss to China, but DiCicco coaxed her to use her left foot instead, and the 30-year-old delivered, striking a perfect ball into the top right corner past goalie Gao Xong to seal the shootout victory. Complete video footage can be seen here, with Scurry's save coming just before the nine-minute mark and Chastian's goal just before the 12-minute mark:
Chastian's shirtless celebration became instantly famous, earning a Sports Illustrated magazine cover the next week. In 2014, the publication named the picture its second most iconic cover image of all-time, only behind a 1980 display of the "Miracle on Ice" U.S. Olympic hockey team.
Thanks to Chastian's heroics, the U.S. became the first team ever to win the Women's World Cup on its own home soil. It was second title for the U.S. (1991).
Chastain, 46, works as a professional soccer commentator and an assistant coach for Bellarmine Prep in San Jose.