La Roja ran out 1-0 winners over the European champions in Sydney as they defied the odds of being without 12 key players to seal the trophy
Spain won the Women’s World Cup for the first time on Sunday, defeating England 1-0 in the final in Sydney thanks to Olga Carmona’s first-half strike. It was an eventful game, with Lauren Hemp hitting the bar and Jennifer Hermoso seeing Mary Earps save her second-half penalty, but one that ultimately saw just the one goal settle it as La Roja broke the Lionesses’ hearts and prevailed at Stadium Australia.
Hemp’s strike against the woodwork was the first big moment of a tight game, some great work by England around the box ending with Ella Toone teeing up the forward whose effort was extremely close to breaking the deadlock. Spain should’ve scored a few minutes later, but Salma Paralluelo mistimed her effort from Mariona Caldentey’s cross and then Alba Redondo’s attempt at the back post was well-saved by Earps.
It was shortly after that Carmona did break the deadlock, with Lucy Bronze losing the ball in a central area and then seeing her vacant right-hand side immediately exploited as Ona Batlle switched play to Mariona and she slipped in Carmona to arrow home a shot across Earps and into the bottom corner. Paralluelo hit the post right on half-time, too, and it was no surprise to see England make changes at the break, with Lauren James and Chloe Kelly coming on as head coach Sarina Wiegman switched to a back four.
It had a positive impact, for sure, but James’ well-saved shot was the Lionesses’ only real chance in the second period, despite the lift the crowd gave the team once Earps had denied Hermoso from the spot. England threw everything at Spain, but it was not to be, with Jorge Vilda’s side emerging victorious for the first time in this competition’s history.
GOAL breaks down the winners & losers from Stadium Australia…