A new name has been etched onto the FIFA Women’s World Cup trophy as Spain became the fifth team to win the title after beating England 1-0 here on Sunday.
Olga Carmona took center stage as her 29th-minute strike ensured that Spain become the second country after Germany to have won both men’s and women’s World Cup titles, with Spain’s men having triumphed in 2010.
The fully-packed Stadium Australia hosted two sides who were reaching the tournament’s final for the first time, as England had knocked out co-hosts Australia 3-1, while Spain had seen off Sweden with a hard-fought 2-1 victory.
Spain replaced Alexia Putellas with Salma Paralluelo in a 4-3-3 formation, while England kept their starting line-up unchanged despite Lauren James being available again after suspension.
The two sides’ most recent meeting was in the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 quarterfinals, where England won 2-1 after extra-time en route to winning the tournament.
An even start saw both sides create chances after stringing together a run of plays. Lauren Hemp was close to putting England ahead in the 16th minute, but her left-footed strike struck the bar.
Spain responded a minute later when Paralluelo failed to get on the end of a Carmona cross, but it fell for Alba Redondo, whose strike was denied by England keeper Mary Earps.
La Roja went ahead in the 29th minute when they won back possession in midfield. Teresa Abelleira spread the play down the left, and Mariona Caldentey laid it off for Carmona, who unleashed a first-time rocket that went beyond Earps.
Spain had a chance to double their lead on the stroke of halftime, but Paralluelo’s attempt grazed a coat of paint off the post.
The Lionesses threw on James and Chloe Kelly after the break to strengthen their attack, but it was Spain that created genuine chances as Caldentey forced a one-handed save out of Earps, while Aitana Bonmati blasted over the bar.
In the 64th minute, the ball struck Keira Walsh’s hand and the referee awarded a penalty after a long VAR check, but Earps played heroics to save Jennifer Hermoso’s attempt.
James tested Spain goalkeeper Cata Coll in the 76th minute, but her attempt was parried away.
Spain remained dangerous into the dying minutes, as Earps provided another save to shield Ona Batlle’s deflected strike.
In a desperate bid to create a miracle, Earps rushed into the Spain area for a stoppage-time corner, but it was too late.
This is just Spain’s third appearance in Women’s World Cup, after having been eliminated in the round of 16 four years ago, and failing to progress from the group stage in 2015.