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Spain claimed first FIFA Women’s World Cup beating England 1-0

Spain won the Women’s World Cup for the first time in their history with skipper Olga Carmona sweeping in the only goal for a deserved 1-0 victory over England in Sunday’s final.

In front of a crowd of nearly 76,000 at Stadium Australia in Sydney, Spain were the more accomplished side and had more chances, including missing a second-half penalty.

Spain won FIFA Women's World Cup 2023
Photo: Spain won FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023

Spain’s triumph is vindication for Jorge Vilda and the Spanish football federation, who stuck with the coach even after 15 players last year said they no longer wanted to represent their country under him.

England coach Sarina Wiegman, who has now suffered back-to-back defeats in the final, and her European champions can have few complaints.

Spain are the fifth team to lift the World Cup since the tournament began in 1991, joining outgoing champions the United States, Germany, Norway and Japan.

In front of Spain’s Queen Letizia, defender Carmona rampaged from left-back to thrash home the winner low and hard on 29 minutes.

“It was a really tough game, we knew it would be tricky, England have a great team, but I think it was our game,” Carmona told Spanish national broadcasters La 1.

“We had the feeling we were going to do it.”

An emotional Millie Bright, skipper of the Lionesses, said her side had not been at their best as their dreams of a first World Cup melted away.

“Really proud of the team to come this far and to play in a World Cup final, not many players do that,” she said.

“This is not it from us, we will bounce back I’m sure, but for now, it’s hard to take.”

Carmona sweeps in

Wiegman resisted the temptation to recall Chelsea attacker Lauren James after her two-match ban and kept faith with the team that beat co-hosts Australia 3-1 in the semi-finals.

England had the first sniff of a chance but Lauren Hemp shot weakly at goalkeeper Cata Coll.

There was little to choose between them in the opening exchanges before both teams had golden opportunities on the quarter-hour mark.

Spain beat England women's team to win FIFA world cup 2023
Photo: Spain beat England women’s team to win FIFA world cup 2023

Manchester City forward Hemp struck the bar with a curler that had Coll well beaten.

Spain went up the other end and should have scored but Salma Paralluelo — in for Alexia Putellas — missed the ball in the six-yard box.

Alba Redondo then hit a first-time strike straight at goalkeeper Mary Earps with the England goal gaping.

Spain, who had never won a knockout game at the Women’s World Cup until this tournament and had lost 4-0 to Japan in the group phase, went ahead just before the half-hour mark.

Mariona Caldentey threaded an inch-perfect pass for Carmona, who came flying unmarked down the left before lashing into the bottom corner.

Vilda, who recalled three of the 15 mutineers for the World Cup, did not even raise a smile on the sidelines.

England looked uncharacteristically rattled and the 19-year-old Barcelona attacker Paralluelo, who was a constant threat, shaved the post with the last kick of the half.

Hermoso’s spot miss

Wiegman, who suffered agony in the final four years ago when her Netherlands team lost 2-0 to the United States, made a double change at the break.

James and Chloe Kelly replaced Rachel Daly and Alessia Russo as Wiegman switched from a back-five to a flat back-four.

But it was Spain who nearly doubled their lead soon after half-time, Caldentey dinking inside and forcing Earps to turn the ball around the post.

Hemp was booked for clipping Laia Codina as England’s frustration mounted.

Midfield schemer Aitana Bonmati, one of the players of the tournament and one of the three refuseniks recalled by Vilda, along with Caldentey, fired narrowly over Earps’s bar.

With 20 minutes left, Spain were awarded a penalty after a long VAR review decided Keira Walsh had handled in the box.

But Jennifer Hermoso’s penalty was weak and Earps saved comfortably to keep England hopes alive.

But despite 13 minutes of injury time, England rarely threatened and it was an assured Spain who held on comfortably, looking the more likely to score.

Press Release, Source: AFP

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