Spain have beaten England 1-0 to win the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time, and after Olga Carmona’s first-half goal.
Carmona’s left-foot shot in the 29th minute went into the far corner of the net and just out of reach of diving England goalkeeper Mary Earps.
In celebration, she raised her jersey to reveal the word ‘Merchi’ scrawled in ink on her undershirt, an apparent nod to her former school.
Carmona had also scored the game-winner in the 89th minute of Spain’s 2-1 semi-final victory over Sweden, becoming the first player since Carli Lloyd in 2015 to score in a World Cup semi-final and final.
Spain had a chance to double the lead in the 68th minute but Jenni Hermoso’s penalty attempt was saved by Earps, who anticipated perfectly and dived to her left.
England coach Sarina Wiegman was the first coach to take her teams to back-to-back World Cup title matches. She led the Netherlands to the final in 2019, but fell 2-0 to the United States. She’s now 0-2.
England was coming off a 3-1 victory over host Australia in the semi-final. Lauren James, who was the team’s top scorer with three goals and three assists, was forced to sit out two matches because of a suspension for stomping on Nigeria’s Michelle Alozie to open the knockout stage.
While James was available for the final, Wiegman started Ella Toone. James came into the match to start the second half.
The game was briefly interrupted in the 25th minute by a person who raced onto the field but was quickly tackled by security.
One of England’s best chances was on the 16th when Lauren Hemp’s blast caromed off the crossbar. A minute later, Salma Paralluelo raced to the goal but couldn’t get a clean shot, and Earps stopped Alba Redondo’s attempt in the scramble in front of the net.
Spanish coach Jordi Vilda started 19-year-old Paralluelo, who scored the breakthrough goal for Spain against Sweden and the game-winner in extra time over the Netherlands in the quarter-finals.
Paralluelo’s nearly scored seconds from half time, but her shot hit the post. She was handed a yellow card in the 78th minute for a foul on Alex Greenwood, who had a cut above her eye.
Hemp had another chance in the 54th but sent it wide. A minute later, she was handed a yellow card for a foul on Laia Codina. [spainenglish.com]