Spain beats England to win first-ever title

While Spain has been dubbed the “Invincibles” and has been one of the most dominant teams in world soccer in men’s soccer, the country has been a laggard in women’s soccer. For a long time, the team was overshadowed by European powerhouses such as Germany and Sweden, and only qualified for the 홀덤사이트 World Cup for the first time in 2015 in Canada.

Since then, however, their progress has been tremendous. In 2019, they reached the round of 16 for the first time in France. Now, four years later, they’ve culminated in a world title.

Spain won the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia-New Zealand 2023 final on Tuesday, beating England 1-0 at Stadium Australia in Sydney, Australia. It’s a tremendous accomplishment for Spain, just eight years after their first World Cup appearance, and the first time a European team has won the tournament in 16 years since Germany in 2007. Spain also became only the second country in history to win both the men’s and women’s World Cups, joining Germany.

Spain was considered the favorite to win the tournament. They have one of the best women’s soccer players in the world in Alexia Putejas, and Timur was a force to be reckoned with last year, reaching the quarterfinals of Women’s Euro 2022.

However, a knee injury sidelined ace Putejas ahead of the tournament, and a 0-4 loss to Japan in their final group game took the wind out of their sails.

Entering the tournament, Spain was a different team. They cruised to the final with a 5-1 win over Switzerland in the round of 16, followed by 2-1 wins over the Netherlands and Sweden in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively, who had finished second and third in the previous tournament.

Both teams battled back and forth. England were the first to break through in the 16th minute when Lauren Hemp struck the post with an unstoppable left-footed shot from near the penalty spot. Spain responded a minute later, with Salma Parajuelo and Alba Redondo firing back-to-back shots that were saved by England goalkeeper Mary Epps.

The tension was broken in the 29th minute. Spain won the ball near the halfway line and went on the counter-attack, where Mariona Caldentei’s pass from the left flank was met by Olga Carmona, who struck the ball with her left foot into the bottom corner of the far post.

England fought back and were threatened with a penalty in the 19th minute when Kira Wilsey was fouled in the box for a handball inside the penalty area. However, goalkeeper Epps saved the spot kick and England were back in the game. However, they were unable to penetrate Spain’s solid defense and the 1-0 lead held firm.

In the final 45 minutes of regulation time, Spain head coach Jorge Bilda made the decision to bring on Putejas, who was on the bench due to injury. Normally, a team would sit back and defend their lead, but Bilda opted to be more aggressive with Putejas on the bench, forcing a desperate England to push forward. In the end, Spain held on for the win, even denying England a corner in stoppage time.

The Golden Ball, awarded to the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP), went to midfielder Aitana Bonmati, who directed Spain’s attack throughout the tournament. 2003-born forward Farahuelo was named Young Player of the tournament.

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