Spain takes the lead against England in historic FIFA Women’s World Cup final


Halftime: England chasing goal in wide-open match

The Lionesses have at least 45 minutes to find an equalizer in a match that’s been marked by end-to-end attacks.

While Spain has controlled most of the possession, England has created chances and will hope to be equally aggressive in the second half.

Spain has outshot England, 6-3, with both sides putting two on target.

Chance: Spain hit the post

Salma Paralluelo hits a lovely shot from outside the box but it hits the post.

Photo: Olga Carmona celebrates her opening goal

SAEED KHAN / AFP – Getty Images

Chance for England

England break nicely down their right side and in comes the cross. But Lauren Hemp is judged offside after the ball runs across the goal.

Chance for Spain

The ball drops to Irene Paredes in the England penalty area, but she smashes it wide.

Counter attack proves fruitful for Spain

Lucy Bronze was on the attack for England before she was met by a wall of four Spanish defenders at midfield.

That dispossession ignited a lightning fast Spanish counter, ending in Olga Carmona’s strike and 1-0 lead for La Roja. 

Goal: Olga Carmona gives Spain the lead

Olga Carmona drives into the England box and hits a hard and low shot into the bottom corner.

Photo: Spain’s Salma Paralluelo and England’s Alex Greenwood fight for the ball

SAEED KHAN / AFP – Getty Images

Great chance for Spain

Spain work it nicely down their left. The ball comes across the box and Alba Redondo shoots from a few yards out. But England goalkeeper Mary Earps makes a fine save.

England hit the bar

Some nice play from England and the ball comes to Lauren Hemp on the edge of the box. She hits a great shot but it crashes off the bar.

It’s already a physical clash in final

Spain’s Irene Paredes and England’s Lauren Hemp both went down in rough challenge for the ball in an early moment.

There was no whistle in an early sign both sides will have some latitude in physical play.

London pub packed for women’s final

LONDON — At the heaving Bar Kick in east London, Kate Litman, 26, arrived an hour before kick off to make sure she got her spot.

Having rearranged a holiday to Scotland to make sure she could be in the nation’s capital for the final, Kate told NBC News she was “feeling the pressure but it’s so exciting to see such a big turnout for women’s football.”

She added that she thought England had “got this in the bag.”

England fans watch the game at Bar Kick in east London.
England fans watch the game at Bar Kick in east London.Kate Litman

Early shot on target for England

Driving into the box on the right hand side, England’s Lauren Hemp hits a low shot. But it’s not powerful and Spanish goalkeeper Catalina Coll saves.

Game kicks off

England kick off the games in Sydney.

Teams take to the field

The teams have taken to the field. Who will make history? 

American officials take the whistle for world’s biggest match

While the U.S. women’s national team is nowhere to be found at Stadium Australia on Sunday, three American officials will be running the world’s biggest match.

Tori Penso and her assistants, Brooke Mayo and Kathryn Nesbitt, will be blowing the whistle and raising flags as England and Spain fight for the sport’s ultimate trophy.

Young fans soak up the atmosphere ahead of the game

Image: Spain v England: Final - FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023
Catherine Ivill / Getty Images
Image: Spain v England: Final - FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023
Jenny Evans / Getty Images
Image: Spain v England: Final - FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023
Robert Cianflone / Getty Images

England announces unchanged starting XI

Coach Sarina Wiegman has picked an unchanged starting 11 from the semifinal, meaning star player Lauren James will be on the bench. 

England’s starting XI: Mary Earps (GK), Lucy Bronze, Keira Walsh, Alex Greenwood, Millie Bright (C), Georgia Stanway, Rachel Daly, Ella Toone, Lauren Hemp, Jess Carter, Alessia Russo

Spain announces starting XI

Coach Jorge Vilda has made one change to his semifinal starting XI with Salma Paralluelo coming in for Alexia Putellas.

Spain’s starting XI: Catalina Coll (GK), Laia Codina, Irene Paredes, Olga García, Ona Batlle, Teresa Abelleira (C), Jennifer Hermoso, Aitana Bonmatí, Mariona Caldentey, Alba Redondo and Salma Paralluelo

Spain defied expectations to reach final despite near mutiny

Spain has defied expectations by reaching the final despite a near-mutiny by players last fall when 15 quit the national team citing mental health concerns. The players also called on the federation to create a more professional environment.

Three of those players — midfielder Aitana Bonmati, forward Mariona Caldentey and defender Ona Batlle — reconciled with the federation and came back for the tournament. 

Coach Jorge Vilda has thanked the federation for supporting him repeatedly during the tournament, and his players have said they are focused on the present.

Spain earned its spot in the final with a 2-1 victory over Sweden on Tuesday. Salma Paralluelo ended a scoreless stalemate with a goal in the 81st minute. After Sweden tied it, Olga Carmona scored the game winner in the final minute of regulation time.

Prince William wishes lionesses luck

England could flip ‘It’s Coming Home’ from hope to real life

The rallying cry “It’s Coming Home” is one game away from reality and the end of England’s 57-year drought in global soccer.

The World Cup trophy can return this Sunday to the birthplace of soccer for the first time since 1966. But if it happens, the journey back to England will be with the women’s national team and not the men’s.

The Lionesses have roared their way into their first Women’s World Cup title game, Sunday against Spain. It is the first all-European final since 2003, when Germany beat Sweden.

It has been a magical ride for both teams: England has been on top of the global game since winning the European Championship last summer, and Spain is in its first final less than a year since 15 players quit the team in protest.

How to watch the Spain vs England

It’s the Women’s World Cup final round and Spain will take on England.

When: 6 a.m. ET Sunday, 8 p.m. local time.

Where: Stadium Australia in Sydney. It is the largest venue being used for the tournament and seats nearly 75,000 spectators.

How to watch: Watch the action on FoxTelemundo and Peacock.

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