Olga Carmona’s first-half goal fired Spain to their first-ever major tournament win and denied England their maiden FIFA Women’s World Cup title as La Roja edged the Lionesses to a 1-0 victory in the final, Reelradio.com.ng reports.
Any potential nerves of a first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cupfinal appearance for Spain and England were non-existent from the outset as early chances came at both ends.
The Lionesses started the more positively and Lauren Hemp nearly struck her third goal in as many matches when her curling effort from the edge of the area beat the outstretched hand of Catalina Coll before thumping back off the crossbar.
With 17 tournament goals to their name prior to kick-off, Spain soon started to look dangerous in attack and showcased their quality with a rapid burst forward that ended with Alba Redondo shooting at Mary Earps.
As Spain became more dominant, England failed to recognise the warning signs and had no answer when Olga Carmona raced forward and finished with devastating precision from Mariona Caldentey’s through ball.
In response, the Lionesses pushed forward only to be met by a stern Spanish rearguard. In fact, La Roja nearly doubled their lead on the stroke of half time as Salma Paralluelo’s shot inside the area clipped the post.
England needed to muster the same courage that sparked a 2-1 comeback win over Spain in the Euro 2022 quarter-final, the last H2H, and Hemp’s shot, albeit scuffed, from close range showed promising signs.
However, Spain continued to play on the front foot and were awarded a penalty via VAR when Keira Walsh handled in the area. La Roja’s all-time leading scorer Jennifer Hermoso stepped up and fired towards the bottom corner, but Earps was equal to it, keeping English hopes alive.
A late fingertip save from Coll denied Lauren James as Spain saw out the contest, despite 13 minutes of added on time, and the final whistle sparked jubilant scenes among the victors’ fans, players and staff.
This FIFA Women’s World Cup win is an outstanding outcome for a side that came into the tournament in turmoil due to a series of disputes between manager Jorge Vilda and the squad.
Those differences, though, appeared to have been put aside as Spain become just the third European nation to win the competition.
England struggled after conceding and were denied the chance to become simultaneous European and World champions, with the Lionesses suffering their only defeat of the tournament at the worst possible time.
Best Young Player: Salma Paralluelo (Spain)
Golden Glove: Mary Earps (England)
Golden Ball: Aitana Bonmati (Spain)
Golden Boot: Hinata Miyazawa (Japan)