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FIFA Women’s Worldcup: Spain wins its first Women’s World Cup title

Spain secured their first Women's World Cup title by defeating England 1-0, thanks to Olga Carmona's goal in the first half. Carmona's strike secured the victory for La Roja.

Spain clinched its first Women’s World Cup championship in under a year following a player revolt, triumphing over England 1-0 on Sunday with Olga Carmona’s early goal. The victory marked Spain’s first major international title and the first time a European squad had claimed the Women’s World Cup since Germany’s 2007 victory.

The Spanish team erupted in joy at the final whistle, huddling in front of their net to celebrate. Carmona’s left-footed strike in the 29th minute sailed into the net’s far corner, beyond the grasp of England’s diving goalkeeper, Mary Earps. Carmona’s exuberant celebration involved revealing the word “Merchi” on her undershirt—a tribute to her former school.

Notably, Carmona’s earlier goal in the semifinal against Sweden secured Spain’s 2-1 victory and made her the first player since Carli Lloyd in 2015 to score in both a World Cup semifinal and final.

Despite the triumph, Spain’s journey was fraught with challenges, including a near-revolt by players a year prior. Fifteen players withdrew from the national team citing mental health concerns and a need for a more professional atmosphere. Notably, three of those players—Ona Batlle, Aitana Bonmatí, and Mariona Caldentey—reconciled with the federation and participated in the World Cup.

England entered the tournament with momentum after winning the European Championship on home soil the previous summer. However, the team faced setbacks as key players including captain Leah Williamson, Fran Kirby, and Beth Mead were sidelined due to knee injuries, preventing their inclusion in the World Cup squad.

England’s coach, Sarina Wiegman, made history by becoming the first coach to lead teams to consecutive Women’s World Cup final matches. Her Netherlands side reached the 2019 final but lost to the United States. Wiegman’s England fell short as well, making her record 0-2 in World Cup finals.

The match witnessed a brief interruption in the 25th minute when a person ran onto the field but was swiftly apprehended by security. England’s near-miss opportunities included Lauren Hemp’s shot hitting the crossbar in the 16th minute and Salma Paralluelo’s effort stopped by Spain’s goalkeeper, Alba Redondo, in a scramble.

Spanish coach Jorge Vilda’s tactical decisions were influenced by Alexia Putellas, a two-time Ballon d’Or winner recovering from a torn ACL. Putellas began the final on the bench and entered the game with 15 seconds left in regulation, which was followed by 13 minutes of stoppage time.

A crowd of 75,784 fans, including tennis legend Billie Jean King, witnessed the final at Stadium Australia. The two teams had previously met in the 2022 Euros quarterfinals, where England emerged victorious with a 2-1 win in extra time, courtesy of Georgia Stanway’s goal.

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