Photo Credit: Elsa – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images
Spain have won the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first ever time, following a deserved 1-0 victory over European champions England in the Final in Sydney.
A first-half goal from Olga Carmona was enough to settle a tense final at Stadium Australia, in which Spain also had a penalty saved in the second half.
It was England who arguably had the better of the opening exchanges and came within a whisker of taking the lead when Lauren Hemp side-footed against the bar from the inside the box. Moments later and England goalkeeper Mary Earps had to make a crucial intervention to stop Spain taking the lead as the match ebbed and flowed.
What would turn out to be the winning goal came just before the half hour mark, when Olga Carmona found space inside the box on the left-hand side and expertly drilled her effort low and into the far corner past the reach of Earps.
With just over twenty minutes remaining Spain had the perfect opportunity to put the match beyond England when Keira Walsh was harshly judged to have handled in the area. Jennifer Hermoso took the spot kick but her well struck effort was saved superbly by Earps and England survived.
As time ticked down, England struggled to exert consistent pressure and it was the Spanish who looked more likely to double their lead. Some dangerous crosses into the penalty box the most that the European champions could muster as the minutes evaporated.
Before kick off we were guaranteed a new champion and as the final whistle blew, it was the red of Spain that exploded with joy. They now join Germany as the only two nations to win both women’s and men’s FIFA World Cups.
In what has been an incredible month of football across Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia, Spain lift the trophy as winners and the curtain comes down on the biggest and arguably most exciting FIFA Women’s World Cup ever.
Spain: 1 (Olga CARMONA 29′)