Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium, Athina; Kaftanzoglou National Stadium of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki; Pan-Cretan Stadium, Iraklion; Pan-Pelopennese Stadium, Patras; Pan-Thessaliko Stadium, Volos
Date Started: August 11, 2004
Date Finished: August 26, 2004
Format: Round-robin pools advance teams to single-elimination tournament of eight teams.
The women's field was expanded from eight to ten teams, which gave the tournament an odd format as only two teams were eliminated in the group stage. Among them was 1996 silver medalist China, which was slaughtered by World Champion Germany 8-0. The first knockout round saw all favoured teams progress into the semis. The Germans, captained by star player Birgit Prinz, played 1996 champion United States, but trailed for most of the match. Only in stoppage time, the Germans levelled through Isabell Bachor. Heather O'Reilly scored the winner for the Americans nine minutes into sudden death overtime. The other 2003 World Cup finalist, Sweden, was also eliminated as Brazil moved to the final for the first time. As in Sydney, the decider went into overtime. Forward Abby Wambach headed in the winning goal three minutes away from penalty kicks.