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Olga Carmona scores winning goal to crown Spain world champions

Women’s World Cup final match report and a tribute to Real Madrid’s 8 world champions.

Spain v England: Final - FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Photo by Will Murray/Getty Images

Spain 1 - 0 England

For the World Cup final, Jorge Vilda put up an already seen line-up. The line-up on paper raised some suspicions as it was identical as in the match Spain played against Japan and lost by whopping 4-0, with hopes that some lessons were drawn ahead of the final against England. Two Madridistas started this match - Teresa and Olga with Olga getting the honor of wearing the captain’s armband on the world’s biggest stage.

The beginning of the match didn’t look promising for the Spaniards as the Lionesses pushed forward for the first 15 minutes of the game and didn’t let La Roja cross the center a lot. In 16’ Lauren Hemp hit the crossbar giving Spain a scare that woke them up. A minute later, La Roja create their first chance of the game. Olga’s cross to the near post touched Parralluelo who couldn’t get a hold of the ball in front of the net, the ball continued its way to Redondo on far post who shot on target where Mary Earps had to intervene to save England.

From this moment forward, Spain were looking much sharper and slowly took control of the game. Half an hour in, they get a goal. Teresa’s long ball to Mariona opened up the chance for Olga to run in and receive Mariona’s pass. Real Madrid’s left back takes her first shot of the match and puts it in the right lower corner giving Spain the lead in the World Cup finals.

England were completely shut down for the rest of the first half. Spain took over the control and kept the play on England’s side of the pitch for the last 15 minutes.

Daly and Russo were taken off for James and Kelly by Sarina Wiegman’s judgement while Vilda decided to keep the line-up as it was. The beginning of the second half looked a bit more balanced. The teams took turns in creating chances, with Earps having to intervene once again in this window, after a shot from Mariona.

In 60’ Alba Redondo came off for Oihane. Another close call from Spain happened 2 minutes after their first sub as Aitana shot it just wide. In 64’ Mariona’s run-in and pass to Salma ended off target but it turned out that Keira Walsh’s efforts to stop Mariona included a handball action. There was a VAR check-over and it lasted around 5 minutes after which the penalty was awarded to Spain. Jenni Hermoso took it upon herself to try and double Spain’s lead. Her shot at the lower right corner was easily read by Earps and the score stayed 1-0 for La Roja.

There were two more long intermissions. One to attend Greenwood’s hit in the head and the other to attend Codina’s scares after which she had to be subbed off for Ivana in 73’. The last 15 minutes of regular time were spent in England’s efforts to get a late equalizer. Cata Coll had to intervene under the crossbar after a shot from Lauren James which was the most dangerous chance of the second half.

Thirteen minutes were added, and Spain were determined to keep the score as it was. Oihane’s effort to run forward with no one from her teammates following her lead, saved Spain some valuable seconds as England let her run into the penalty area where she was finally stopped. At the very last minute, England got a corner kick which was caught by Coll and followed by the final whistle of relief for the Spanish side.

Spain are crowned the Women’s World Cup 2023 champions and with that eight Madridistas carry the title of a world champion: Ivana Andrés, Olga Carmona, Teresa Abelleira, Misa Rodríguez, Athenea del Castillo, Claudia Zornoza, Rocío Gálvez, and Oihane Hernández. For the second time in history, and for the first time in women’s football, the captain of Real Madrid lifts the World Cup trophy for Spain.

Spain v England: Final - FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023
Ivana Andrés of Spain and Real Madrid lifts the trophy after winning with her team the FIFA Women’s World Cup
Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A special mention to Teresa Abelleira who orchestrated the Spanish midfield during the entirety of the tournament whose recoveries, passes and chance creation brought them the final and ultimately the winning goal with that crucial pass.

Special thoughts are reserved for Olga Carmona who was the one who gave Spain the match winners both in the semifinal and the final not knowing her father had passed away not long before the final. The Spanish football federation announced the death of her father hours after the getting proclaimed world champions.

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