Spain clinch maiden FIFA Women’s WC title, beat England 1-0 | Football News

Spain clinched their inaugural FIFA Women’s World Cup title in a gripping clash against England on Sunday – just under a year after a highly-publicised player revolt – as Olga Carmona’s first-half strike secured a 1-0 victory. The World Cup title marked a historic moment for La Roja, as the triumph established Spain as the first team to concurrently hold the under-17, under-20, and senior world titles. Joining Germany as the only nations to secure both men’s and women’s World Cups, Spain emerged as the fifth winner in nine Women’s World Cup editions.

Spain’s players and officials celebrate with the trophy after winning the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women’s World Cup final(AFP)

As the final whistle echoed, Spanish players jubilantly piled on each other in front of their goal. The celebrations continued during the trophy presentation, where they hoisted the trophy amid a cascade of golden glitter.

England, aiming to bring a FIFA trophy home for the first time since 1966, missed the mark again; the men’s team had lost in the quarter-finals of the 2022 edition of the World Cup, losing to eventually runners-up France.

Captain Millie Bright cited a strong second half but acknowledged that it was a tough loss to take. “They’re a fantastic team. I think first half we weren’t our best, second half, we definitely put the fire in,” England captain said. “But yeah, we just couldn’t finish it today. This is the hard part of football.”

Olga Carmona’s left-footed strike in the 29th minute remained the sole goal of the game. Her celebration revealed the word “Merchi” on her undershirt, a nod to her former school. This victory also marked Carmona’s second game-winner in crucial moments, following her semi-final feat against Sweden.

Spain’s path to victory was marked by resilience, overcoming a player rebellion last year. A notable near-mutiny by 15 players remained the backdrop of their journey to success in the tournament. The presence of Ona Batlle, Aitana Bonmatí, and Mariona Caldentey, who reconciled with the federation, reflected the team’s growth.

England’s aspirations were propelled by their European Championship win at home last summer. Yet, injuries plagued key players, affecting the team’s performance. Their coach Sarina Wiegman’s back-to-back World Cup title appearances ended in disappointment once again, following her 2019 final loss with the Netherlands.

Despite Spain’s chance to double their lead from a penalty, England’s goalkeeper Mary Earps’ stellar saves kept the contest alive. One of their best chances came in the 16th when Lauren Hemp’s blast caromed off the crossbar.

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