Spain wins Women’s World Cup for the first time, deservedly beating England in Sydney
Posted By: Sophia Andrew
Posted On: August 20, 2023
Something really special happened in history! Even though things were tough and confusing, Spain did something amazing in Sydney on Sunday. They played against England and won 1-0 to become the champions of the Women’s World Cup for the first time ever.
It’s surprising that Spain even reached the final, considering all the difficulties the team faced this year. What’s even more impressive is that they beat the team from Europe that was already the champion, and they did this even though there were arguments and disagreements within the Spanish team during the tournament. This achievement is truly outstanding!
Olga Carmona made a really great goal in the 29th minute, and that goal turned out to be the one that helped Spain win. Spain was even okay with missing a penalty in the second half. They became only the second country, after Germany, to win both the men’s and women’s World Cups.
As Spain’s players celebrated by piling up in red on the field at Stadium Australia, many of England’s players were crying because their dream of becoming the country’s first senior soccer world champion since 1966 was ended by Spain, who played amazingly.
When it comes to keeping the ball and trying to score, only Spain was doing well – they played better than England. But there’s a bit of comfort for England too. Just like Spain, England was in a Women’s World Cup final for the first time, and they did better than ever before in this competition. Even though they lost, the Lionesses made history.
Prince William praised the “spirit” of the Lionesses and posted on X (formerly known as Twitter): “Even though it’s not the result we all hoped for, Lionesses, you have done yourselves and this nation proud.”
But the ones who are celebrating are the people from Spain, and Spain’s future looks really promising, especially if they can fix their problems outside of the game. It’s amazing because now, Spain has won the Women’s World Cup at the Under-17, Under-20, and senior levels.
Some of the most well-known people from Spain were really happy about the team’s victory. Rafael Nadal, who is a famous tennis player and has won 22 grand slam titles, and many people think he’s one of the best athletes from Spain, shared a message on Instagram. He wrote, “Let’s goooooo!!!! Congratulations, WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!!”
Division and uncertainty
As colorful fireworks lit up the night sky and a shower of golden ticker-tape fell on the winning players during the trophy celebration, people started thinking about the Spanish players who couldn’t join in this joy because of problems between the players, the coaches, and the country’s soccer organization.
Last September, 15 players from Spain decided they wouldn’t play, saying they didn’t like how the head coach, Jorge Vilda, was training them. At that time, Vilda had said the situation was a big problem for the world to see.
When Vilda was asked before the final about dealing with players who didn’t believe in the coach and the staff, he told a newspaper called Marca that they had to stay focused on their work.
Out of those 15 players who had sent letters to the Spanish soccer group (RFEF) last year, talking about how the situation in the national team was affecting their feelings and health, only three of them were chosen to be part of the World Cup team.
One of those players was Aitana Bonmati, who played really well against England and received the Golden Ball award, which goes to the best player of the tournament. She’s from Barcelona and stood out in the game, showing how great Spain is and how much talent they have.
Spain became a world champion even without some of its top players, who are some of the best in the world in their positions. This shows that Spain has a lot of talented players to choose from, and they managed to succeed even in difficult situations.
However, even though this win could bring big changes for women’s soccer in the country – Spain had never gone past the round of 16 in its previous three World Cup tournaments – it might not bring everyone together.
Even though the country is now the best in the world, the future of those players who were not part of the team is uncertain. Even with this victory, the questions about the national team’s situation and whether the problems can be solved don’t go away.
The best team wins
This final was a match between two of the best teams in the tournament, which made it very interesting and exciting to watch.
As expected, Spain controlled the ball most of the time – they had more than half of the possession in the first half. Spain’s skillful playing allowed them to pass the ball really well, and their quick one-touch style of play made it difficult for the Lionesses to keep up.
A 19-year-old named Salma Paralluelo, who played a big part in the semifinal against Sweden, was in the starting lineup for this match. She showed why she was chosen by being a constant threat in attack.
She was named the best young player of the tournament, and now she’s the first player to win Women’s World Cups at Under-17, Under-20, and senior levels. She has the potential to become one of the greats of the game.
Even though Alexia Putellas, a two-time Ballon d’Or winner, was on the bench – she hasn’t been in her best form this tournament after coming back from a serious knee injury – Spain played better.
Although England had the first real chance to score, with Lauren Hemp hitting the crossbar with a curling shot, Spain’s goalkeeper Mary Earps made a good save to keep out Alba Redondo’s shot shortly after. However, Redondo should have done better with that opportunity from such a close distance.
Then, in the 29th minute, the first goal was scored. Carmona shot the ball accurately into the bottom-right corner after Spain’s excellent teamwork on the left side of the field. Lucy Bronze had gone up the field, leaving a big gap in England’s defense, and Spain took advantage of it.
Irene Paredes had a chance to make Spain’s lead bigger, and Paralluelo’s shot hit the post just before the halftime break.
Spain was doing really well and continued to control the game after the break.
It seemed like Spain would secure their win in the 68th minute when Jennifer Hermoso took a penalty kick after Keira Walsh was penalized for touching the ball with her hand. But England’s goalkeeper, Earps, made an amazing save by diving to her left to stop Hermoso’s shot. This kept England in the game.
After that, England played their best part of the match. Lauren James, who came in as a substitute, made Spain’s goalkeeper Cata Coll work, but even with more energy, England couldn’t break through Spain’s defense. Eventually, it was Spain that ended the match on a strong note.
Spain’s coach, Vilda, said he was incredibly happy and proud. He told the reporters, “We’ve shown how we can play, we’ve shown that we know how to face challenges. This team believed in themselves, and now we’re the world champions.”
On the other hand, England’s coach, Sarina Wiegman, who has now lost two World Cup finals in a row – the first with the Netherlands against the US in 2019 – said the Lionesses should feel proud.
“Of course, it feels really bad right now,” she said. “We made it to the final and then we lost, but the way we’ve shown our character, our style of play, and how we’ve overcome so many difficulties – we can be very proud. Even though it doesn’t feel that way at the moment.”
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