England fans around UK react to Women’s World Cup final against Spain
Sarina Wiegman and her players were looking to bring the game’s biggest prize home from Sydney but Carmona drilled a finish into the far corner on 29 minutes and, although Mary Earps brilliantly saved Jennifer Hermoso’s penalty with 20 minutes remaining, England couldn’t fashion an equaliser.
It was the first time the England men’s or women’s team have reached a football World Cup final since 1966 and the nation came to a halt for the historic occasion – which was briefly interrupted by an anti-Putin protester invading the pitch in the first half – but were left bereft as Spain saw out the victory.
Lauren Hemp came closest to scoring for the Lionesses when her curling effort struck the bar in the 16th minute but Spain were good value for the win as they became just the fifth nation to lift the Women’s World Cup, following in the footsteps of USA (4), Germany (2), Norway (1) and Japan (1).
Follow the latest updates as the Lionesses fly home:
Mary Earps’ World Cup Golden Glove award still isn’t enough to convince Nike to sell her shirt
Fans of the Lionesses will still not be able to buy a replica of Mary Earps’ goalkeeper kit despite an ongoing campaign throughout the Women’s World Cup to convince kit suppliers Nike to put one on sale.
Nike decided last month that it wouldn’t be making Earps’ goalkeeper kit available to purchase and the decision drew criticism from fans, celebrities, and even Earps herself who called the decision ‘hugely hurtful’.
Nike issued an update on their decision after fresh calls to produce Earps’ England shirt came flooding in following the 30-year-old’s incredible performance in the World Cup showpiece.
In their statement released on Sunday, Nike promised to address the matter in ‘future tournaments’.
Mike Jones21 August 2023 11:22
How not to win a World Cup: Spain, Jorge Vilda and the story of a complicated victory
As Olga Carmona ran back to the Spanish celebrations, having just declared that the federation’s support was “marvellous” with a World Cup medal around her neck, she and manager Jorge Vilda high-fived then shared a huge hug.
It was an image that went against the more proliferated images of other players refusing to even look at their coach in the moment of glory.
This is not to try and say it was all much rosier in the Spanish camp than had been reported. It is quite the opposite. It points to how multi-layered the many issues in the squad were, going way beyond a mutiny against the manager.
The tragic news of Carmona’s father passing away before the final put all of this into its correct context, but the issues were real.
The Spanish federation’s social media account did put out a post with a picture of the coach and the Women’s World Cup trophy declaring “Vilda in”. The manager, having eventually appeared for his press conference after almost three hours of celebrating, was asked about this – and those who doubted him. In other words, the players at the core of the mutiny, who did not come back.
By Miguel Delaney on an unprecedented World Cup victory
Mike Jones21 August 2023 11:14
England backed to come back stronger after World Cup final defeat
Captain Millie Bright is confident England will emerge a stronger side after processing the gut-wrenching reality of finishing as World Cup runners-up.
Bright said: “The mentality has always been there. The character has been there, too. We show that, day in, day out, and in every game. We’ve just played in a World Cup final, it’s hard to see it like that at the moment. I’m proud of the girls.
“We’ve played on the highest stage. We’ve had a shot at competing for the trophy we have always wanted but this isn’t the end of the journey and we will definitely bounce back. For now, though, we’ll let it settle.
“There are probably one million different feelings. Pride, disappointment, heartbroken that we didn’t win.
“We came off the pitch holding our heads high, knowing that we have given absolutely everything in the game. In the second half especially we left it all out there.
“We didn’t take our chances today and those are the small margins that decide football in a final against a top, top team.
“You get those chances and hit the crossbar, the keeper makes saves. They get theirs and put it in the net.”
Mike Jones21 August 2023 11:07
England’s impact will last far longer than pain of World Cup final defeat
There remains a space above England’s crest, where that star could have been. It was what Lucy Bronze had dreamt of, ever since the moment where she first played for her country and realised England’s men’s and women’s teams don’t share the same badge. The Lionesses had the chance to change that, the opportunity to add their first star, the moment to capture their 1966.
But the wait will now go on. After a historic tournament where the Lionesses again made their mark back home and demonstrated the immense power of what they have created, Sarina Wiegman’s side were left with a devastatingly simple conclusion. As a first Women’s World Cup slipped out of reach, the deflating reality was that, on the day, Spain were just better.
And as England’s World Cup came to a close, there was no disgrace in that – certainly not against a side as talented as Spain’s, even with their issues. At full time, as the Spanish players celebrated at one end of the pitch, head coach Jorge Vilda and his staff at the other, Wiegman and her team were a picture of unity in the centre. Even in that moment, they realised they had already managed to achieve something far greater.
Mike Jones21 August 2023 11:00
The vital lesson England must take to ‘continue breaking barriers’ despite World Cup final defeat
In the immediate aftermath, it will be easy to resort to the hypothetical. What if Lauren James had been given a starting role? What if Lauren Hemp had put away her early chances? What if England hadn’t been overrun in midfield? What if the Lionesses had won the World Cup?
Reality, however, is what matters. The reality is that England didn’t quite have what it took, this injury-hit squad who battled through so much adversity to get as far as they did finally came up against their match. The reality is that Spain were better, that they dominated the duels, and that they were the ones who managed to find what was needed.
But the reality is not all negative. The team will be temporarily knocked down but they’ve shown that they have a habit of getting up from difficult moments and coming out better for it. The agony of the Lionesses’ near-miss will soon subside and they can begin to take stock of their achievements.
“I think we can be proud,” said Georgia Stanway. “The last 9 weeks, 7 games – to wear a silver, it’s special.
“It’s hard to watch another team celebrate when it’s your goal and your dream. When the dust settles we’ll be really proud of this. We hope everyone is really proud of us back at home. We hope we’ve inspired many many people.”
By Adam Millington in Sydney
Mike Jones21 August 2023 10:51
World Cup winner Olga Carmona learns of father’s death minutes after final whistle
Spain’s Olga Carmona’s World Cup Celebrations have been marred by tragedy after she found that her father died just minutes after the game.
The 23-year-old Real Madrid star secured a 1-0 win over England today in Sydney in the final.
Carmona found out that her father died following the full-time whistle. Spanish FA said her father died just before the final got underway.
Mike Jones21 August 2023 10:43
Spain star Jenni Hermoso reacts after FA president kisses her on lips
Spain star Jenni Hermoso insisted she “did not enjoy it” after being kissed on the lips by Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales.
The incident occurred as Hermoso made her way to the podium after Spain defeated England in the Women’s World Cup final thanks to Olga Carmona’s strike.
After being given her medal by Fifa president Gianni Infantino, Hermoso was given a hug by Mr Rubiales, who lifted her off her feet.
A brief conversation between the pair followed, before Mr Rubiales grabbed Hermoso around her back and kissed her on the lips.
Outrage quickly spread on social media, with football supporters accusing Mr Rubiales of inappropriate behaviour.
Mike Jones21 August 2023 10:36
Lionesses receive surprise reception as they start journey back to England
England’s World Cup finalists received a warm welcome as they started their long journey back to the United Kingdom on Monday morning.
The Lionesses, who reached the final of the Women’s World Cup, were agonisingly beaten by Spain 1-0 on Sunday.
It was the first time any England team had reached the World Cup final in 57 years, but it was not to be and Olga Carmona’s goal secured a first trophy for Spain’s women’s team.
Starting their journey home, the Lionesses were applauded through Sydney Airport by passengers in a heartwarming moment.
Mike Jones21 August 2023 10:30
England suffer World Cup heartache as brilliant Spain show Lionesses what’s missing
An exhibition in how to win a World Cup and a final that delivered a painful example of what England need to do. Sarina Wiegman took her side to the very brink, but something was still just missing against a brilliant Spain. The Women’s World Cup has new champions, but it isn’t England. Spain had the one element that the European champions still lack, beyond that glorious trophy itself. They are the only women’s side with a profound football identity, which amplifies everything they do from within and was visible in the Olga Carmona goal that settled this contest. It was a fittingly divine strike to win a fixture like this.
Against that, Wiegman could only try to rearrange the pieces to give Spain more of a puzzle to solve. It has been her great strength, but it wasn’t enough. She sadly experiences defeat in successive World Cup finals, this one may be all the more painful because her side had seemed more primed for it.
It was only 1-0 but the gap in pure football terms felt far greater. This is the immense challenge in facing this Spain, what space to protect, how far you can go. Even Wiegman eventually found a problem she couldn’t solve. It was a challenge – and a game – too far.
Mike Jones21 August 2023 10:22
England Lionesses cheered and applauded at airport as they begin journey home
England’s Lionesses were applauded as they began the journey home from Australia after their World Cup Final defeat.
However, footage on social media showed the team being clapped and cheered at Sydney Airport on Monday ahead of their flight back to the UK.
Players signed autographs and took pictures with fans, while head coach Wiegman was seen waving and smiling.
Mike Jones21 August 2023 10:15