In a breathtaking moment that electrified the FIFA Women’s World Cup final, Spain’s captain Olga Carmona fired the opener against the England Lionesses. Her name had already become synonymous with victory after scoring the winning goal against Sweden in the semi-finals. Now, she’s asserted her prowess on the grandest stage of them all.
Spain artfully found the chink in England’s armor, exploiting an uncharacteristic gap created by Lucy Bronze. Carmona, seizing the opportunity, unleashed a low and fierce shot that nestled into the far corner, as can be seen in the video below:
The immediate aftermath saw Mary Earps, England’s goalkeeper, bellowing at her defense, a rare lapse that cost them dearly.
It wasn’t the only rare lapse, however, as Earps had to save a penalty in the 70th minute to keep the Lionesses in the game. As Spain relentlessly pursued another goal, their efforts seemed fruitless until the game took a sudden twist, shifting everyone’s attention to an unexpected situation.
With the ball deflecting wide of the goal, the referee’s attention was drawn to a possible handball by Walsh inside the penalty box. After a VAR check, the penalty was given; a golden opportunity presented itself for Spain to double their lead in the FIFA Women’s World Cup final.
As Hermoso stepped up to the spot, the pressure was palpable. She aimed low, attempting to outfox the goalkeeper. But Earps was not to be beaten so easily. Reading the situation perfectly, she guessed right and made a magnificent save, denying Spain their moment of triumph.
How England and Spain made it to the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup
It’s only the second time England have conceded first in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the previous instance occurring against Colombia in the quarter-finals.
But England are no strangers to adversity. The Nigerian team put them to the test in the last 16, only for the Lionesses to clear the hurdle and advance to the quarter-finals. They shone when they came from behind to beat Colombia, pushing their way into the semi-final, where they enjoyed a 3-1 triumph over Australia.
On the other hand, Spain’s journey in the FIFA Women’s World Cup has been nothing short of thrilling. A surprising defeat to Japan might have eased their path, pitting them against a Switzerland team that dazzled but ultimately fell short. The Spanish team’s ability to equalize in stoppage time and then find the winner in extra time came in quite handy in their quarter-final.
Spain’s semi-final against Sweden was a slow burner, taking 80 minutes to ignite, but they pulled through and are now on the verge of achieving greatness against England.