Spain defeat England to win the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, heartbreak for the Lionesses
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Spain has defeated England 1-0 in the Women’s World Cup final to leave the Lionesses heartbroken in Sydney.
It was the Lionesses’ chance to go back-to-back from winners of the European Championships to the World Cup.
75,000+ packed out Stadium Australia, but you could be mistaken in thinking the final was being played at Wembley.
England fans packed out the stadium, making their voices heard early, and getting behind their team.
With two of the best passing teams in the world going up against each other, both tried to control the game early.
England had their first proper chance of the game about 15 minutes in with Lauren Hemp curling the ball from the edge of the area and hitting the crossbar.
Spain hit back just moments later with Mary Earps pulling out an incredible save to deny Alba Redondo from the six-yard box - it was an opportunity the Spanish side should’ve put away.
But Spain would open their account with a quick piece of play that found its way to an overlapping Olga Carmona.
Carrying the ball into the area she hit a low effort across Earps’ goal into the bottom-right corner with a brilliant finish.
Salma Paralluelo had a vital chance on the brink of half-time with her effort hitting the post, with England thankful they were still in the game.
The Lionesses went into the half-time break 1-0 down with Spain looking promising for their lead.
Sarina Wiegman decided to shake things up as England took to the field for the second half with Chloe Kelly and the returning Lauren James taking to the field.
La Roja started out the second half the way they finished the first, playing the ball around with Mariona Caldentey fashioning out a chance.
Her effort was tipped wide by Earps to keep England just one goal behind.
Hemp had the chance to put the Lionesses level with her effort from just in front going wide - England still had it all to do.
Things went from bad to worse for England with a heartbreaking handball decision going against Keira Walsh in the 67th minute after a lengthy VAR delay.
Jennifer Hermoso stepped up to take the penalty but Earps became the hero that England needed in that vital moment, diving to her left to make the save and lift the European Champions.
James finally got herself into the game and lifted the England team with an effort that was tipped over by Cata Coll.
England kept the pressure on as the game headed into injury time, desperate to equal the scores.
Earps kept England out of trouble on many occasions as they game headed to full-time.
But her efforts ultimately weren't enough as Wiegman's side struggled to make it count at the other end of the pitch.
Tori Penso blew her whistle to signal full-time after 103 minutes of play and confirm Spain as the World Cup champions.
Heartbreak for the Lionesses.