Colombia's Linda Caicedo scores a remarkable goal against Germany. Colombia’s Linda Caicedo scores a remarkable goal against Germany. (Fox Soccer on Twitter.)

The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand has produced some remarkable goals to date, but one of the best yet came from a remarkably young player. Colombian striker Linda Caicedo, who is just 18, scored a spectacular goal in her 25th-ranked country’s shocking 2-1 win over second-ranked Germany Sunday morning:

That goal saw Caicedo race to a loose ball after a blocked shot, dribble between two defenders, and then drill a cross-net shot into the top right corner. That put Colombia up 1-0; Germany’s Alexandra Popp would equalize on a 89th-minute penalty, but Las Chicas Superpoderosas (The Powerpuff Girls) took the lead for good on a tremendous header by Manuela Vanegas off a corner kick in the seventh minute of stoppage time:

That marked Germany’s first group stage loss in a Women’s World Cup since 1995. And it was remarkable to see this particular loss have so much to do with the superb strike from Caicedo, who has a wealth of experience that belies her age. She turned pro at 14 with her hometown team, América de Cali, and also appeared for Colombia’s senior national team in a friendly later that year.

Colombia didn’t qualify for the 2019 Women’s World Cup, but had taken part in the previous two in 2011 and 2015. Now, Caicedo has played a large role in getting them back there, and she’s done so despite incredible personal challenges. In 2020, at just 15, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and had to undergo surgery and six months of chemotherapy.

But Caicedo has bounced back well from that. She returned to action for club side Deportivo Cali in 2021, playing for them through 2022, competing in four separate international competitions for Colombia that year as well (including the Copa America Femenina, where she was named player of the tournament), then moving to Spain’s Real Madrid earlier this year.

At this Women’s World Cup, Caceido scored in Colombia’s opening match against South Korea (a 2-0 win) at 18 years and 153 days old. That made her the second-youngest South American player to ever score at a Women’s World Cup, behind only Brazilian legend Marta. And she may have more ahead; Colombia’s win over Germany put them in sole possession of first place in Group H, and ensured they’ll go through to the next round, but they still have a final group stage match against Morocco Thursday. Even before that, though, this goal from Caicedo is already getting talk as one of the goals of the tournament.

And Caicedo’s story is remarkable, from her poor upbringing to her soccer success at such a young age to her battle with cancer at just 15. She told the BBC’s Emma Smith she wants to inspire others:

“For people in difficult times like I was, I am an example you can overcome this.”

And she’s certainly doing that so far at this tournament.

[Fox Soccer on Twitter, BBC]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.