This article originally appeared on VICE US.
As the eighth ever Women's World Cup draws to a close Sunday afternoon, themes of equality continue to come to the forefront. But equality in this instance is not just a question of gender; while the low wages and lack of awareness endemic to women's soccer affect almost all players, the trickle-down effect is especially notable when you look at which teams—and which countries—tend to succeed year after year.
While more-prosperous countries generally tend to share the modest spotlight granted to women's sports, VICE wanted to showcase the smaller teams—the ones making their debut at the cup, the ones less likely to get global coverage unless they perform some kind of stunning upset. We sent photographers Samantha Cabrera Friend and Jessica Pettway to capture the historic moments made by the tournament's undersung heroes.