A goal in the first half by Olga Carmona proved to be enough as Spain beat England to win their first ever Women’s World Cup.
Spain were the better team throughout the final and could have had a calmer end to the match.
Keira Walsh was called for a handball inside the penalty area and Spain were awarded a penalty. Lucy Bronze tried her best to get into the head of Jenni Hermoso leading to the run-up. Whatever Bronze said worked as Mary Earps stopped the penalty.
One of the changes Sarina Wiegman made in the second half was to bring on Lauren James who was making her return after serving a two-game suspension for violent conduct in England’s quarterfinal match against Nigeria.
But James was unable to do much against a stout Spanish defense.
The final stretch of the match opened up a bit with England needing an equalizer and Spain trying to take advantage of the space left open on the counter.
While England did threaten and even got off a few shots, Cata Coll was there to block their attempts.
After 13 minutes of added time, the whistle blew, cementing Spain’s place in Women’s World Cup history. They become the second national team, after Germany, to have both their men’s and women’s team win a World Cup.
The historic achievement is a victory for the players involved. Despite the poor planning by the federation, Spain managed to overcome that and the deficiencies of their manager.
Regardless of what Jorge Vilda, or his sympathizers, might say, there was a clear discontent in the dressing room.
But the players put that aside when it came time to step on the pitch and saved their best performance for the final. A far cry from how the team looked in the drubbing they got in their group stage game against Japan.
This World Cup marked the first time Spain made it out of the round of 16 and they made it all the way to the final and won. Having swept the major tournaments at youth level, they translated it over to the senior team. On this occasion, the talent was able to rise above everything else surrounding it.