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Women’s World Cup: Spain break England hearts to make historic succes

Spain made history at Sydeny’s Olympic Stadium as Olga Carmona’s first-half goal catapulted La Roja to 2023 Women’s World Cup glory at the expense of England.

Unfazed by the significance of their first-ever appearance in the World Cup showpiece, both sides came flying out of traps from the outset, with early chances flowing on both ends.

England came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock through in-form Lauren Hemp, but the crossbar denied the forward’s curling effort from the edge of the box.

As the tournament’s most prolific side, Spain picked up a head of steam after a sluggish start, poised to add to their eye-watering 17-goal tally as Alba Redondo fired a warning shot.

Jorge Vilda’s side orchestrated a lightning-fast counter-attack to put Redondo in a prime position to open the scoring, only for Mary Earps to deny the Levante forward with a brilliant save.

However, England failed to recognise the threat, letting La Roja go in front only minutes later, with Carmona slotting home a devastating finish after receiving an inch-perfect pass from Mariona Caltendey.

Spain claimed the lead on the cusp of the half-hour mark and could’ve entered half-time 2-0 up, but Barcelona prodigy Salma Paralluelo could only hit the post from a promising position.

Despite weathering a first-half storm, Sarina Wiegman’s ladies remained on the back foot after the break, allowing the Iberian nation to break free in front of Earps on numerous occasions.

The Manchester United goalkeeper threw England a lifeline in the 70th minute, saving a spot-kick from Spain’s all-time top-scorer Jennifer Hermoso.

Chelsea forward Lauren James almost reaped the benefits from Earps’ impressive showing, but Barcelona stopper Catalina Coll pulled off a stunning fingertip save to keep Vilda’s team in the lead.

England couldn’t find a way past Coll despite being given 13 minutes of stoppage time as the final whistle sparked emotional scenes at the Olympic Stadium.

Spain became only the third European nation to win the Women’s World Cup, while England’s dream of building on last summer’s European Championship triumph collapsed at the final hurdle.

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