“The England coach is the first manager in World Cup history to reach a final with two different nations, four years ago she took her home country Netherlands to the finals”
The Spanish ladies did the Flamenco dance on the turf of the 75,784-capacity Stadium Australia, Sydney, after Tori Penso blew the final whistle, bringing an end to the most keenly contested World Cup finals since its inception in China in 1991.
The game between Spain and England came to live in the 29th minute when Spanish Captain Olga Carmona scored the only goal of the game with Spain becoming the fifth team to lift the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The shining star from the Spanish team and Golden ball winner Aitana Bonmati was solid in her midfield duties, and was a force in the high intensity press to evade the 3-5-2 used by England in the first half.
She completed more take-ons (6) than any other player on the pitch in the final misplacing only two passes.
The England coach Sarina Wiegman, changed her tactics in the second half to 4-3-3, which unstabled the champions a bit in the second half.
Wiegman said: “The first half, we really struggled to have pressure on the ball, so we changed in the second back to 4-3-3, which gave us momentum.
“I thought we got momentum, then the penalty and then the injury with Alex Greenwood, and we lost it.”
The England coach is the first manager in World Cup history to reach a final with two different nations, four years ago she took her home country Netherlands to the finals.
This is Wiegman first competitive defeat as England manager having gone 29 such games without defeat since losing against Spain in the SheBelieves Cup in March 2020, embattled La Roja head coach Jorge Vilda was also in charge back then.
Spain head coach, Jorge Vilda, said he was filled with immense joy and pride at his team’s World Cup-winning performance.
The symphonic display on the pitch by La Roja is in contrast to the off pitch distractions.
Vilda was heavily criticised in the build-up to and during the tournament for his tense relationship with a number of players who quit the national team in protest against the coach and the Spanish football federation.
Three of the 15 protesting players returned for the tournament – Aitana Bonmati, Ona Batlle and Mariona Caldentey, all of whom started in the final.
After the victory the coach said: “It’s difficult to describe, immense joy, I’m so proud of this team.
“I’m so happy for everyone watching us right now, we’ve made them happy too. We’re champions of the world.
“Now we have to celebrate. I can only imagine how Spain is, we’re celebrating here and we don’t know when it will end.”