Spain clinched their inaugural Women’s World Cup triumph as Olga Carmona’s first-half goal secured victory. Mary Earps denied Jennifer Hermoso’s penalty, while Lauren Hemp struck the crossbar for the runners-up.
Spain secured their first Women’s World Cup title with a 1-0 victory over England in the final, thanks to Olga Carmona’s excellent goal, leaving England as runners-up.
Failing to replicate their past Euros glory, the Lionesses’ downfall was self-inflicted, following a lackluster first half performance, resulting in their inability to succeed.
Spain’s complete control encompassed possession and gameplay. England’s mistakes marred their performance, notably Lucy Bronze’s midfield blunder, exploited by Carmona for a brilliant 29th-minute goal.
Sarina Wiegman, marking her fourth consecutive major tournament final appearance, asserted her strategy during halftime by introducing Lauren James and Chloe Kelly for Alessia Russo and Rachel Daly, reverting to a 4-3-3 setup. The Lionesses displayed evident improvement, yet, consistent with their World Cup journey, Mary Earps’ exceptional performance maintained England’s contention. Notably, she skillfully thwarted a Jennifer Hermoso penalty, the outcome of a six-minute VAR review for a potential Keira Walsh handball.
Both sides pushed for a goal, yet Spain capitalized on their crucial opportunity, while England found it a stretch too far in the end.
England fell short in the World Cup final, succumbing to defeat.
The match commenced with intense energy at Stadium Australia, triggering opportunities at both ends. In the 16th minute, Lauren Hemp’s strike met the crossbar’s top, countered by Earps’ impressive save against Alba Redondo. However, Bronze, having experienced defeat in two prior World Cup semis, made a costly mistake, granting Spain the lead. Yielding possession in midfield, Teresa Abelleira connected with Mariona Caldentey, who then set up captain Carmona. A remarkable shot from Carmona sailed past Earps, marking her second consecutive World Cup goal. The game unfolded, influenced by Hemp’s close miss and Bronze’s pivotal error.
England took time to counter as Spain retained control, with their initial post-deficit attack showing promise. Hemp and Russo collaborated on the right, but Russo’s cross for Toone narrowly evaded the midfielder. The offside flag rightly went up. Spain nearly extended their lead at half’s end, heightening England’s daunting challenge. A low shot by 19-year-old Paralluelo struck the post before going out. Despite England’s slow reaction and Spain’s dominance, the game saw glimpses of potential shifts, highlighted by the Hemp-Russo connection and the close miss by Paralluelo.
Wiegman’s halftime tactical shift nearly yielded results. Kelly’s impactful entrance was justified with a superb area-cross, evading Irene Parades yet eluding Hemp’s finishing. Caldentey’s attempt also forced a notable save from Earps, and Bonmati lofted one over the bar. The road to a Spain penalty unfolded in the 62nd minute, ignited by a fervent handball appeal. Walsh’s hand contact, as Caldentey maneuvered, led to VAR scrutiny along with the referee’s on-field monitor assessment. The dynamic second half showcased Kelly’s influence, near-misses from Caldentey and Bonmati, and the intricate process that initiated Spain’s penalty opportunity.
The penalty decision came in the 68th minute, delayed by 90 seconds due to England’s complaint about the ball’s placement. Hermoso’s eventual strike was thwarted by Earps, who leaped left, preserving the Lionesses once more.
The match concluded in a back-and-forth manner, with Paralluelo’s potential second booking for kicking the ball escaping notice, despite her prior yellow card for a foul on Alex Greenwood. Despite a better second half, England couldn’t extend the game, allowing Spain to revel in their inaugural World Cup victory.