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Published 20 August 2023 5 min read
England Women's Senior Team

Spain 1-0 England - FIFA Women's World Cup Final match centre

Written by:

Oli Dickson Jefford, Frank Smith & Nicholas Veevers

  • Olga Carmona (29′)
  • Salma Paralluelo (78′)
  • Jenni Hermoso (69′ MISSED PEN)
FIFA Women's World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 The Final
Sunday 20 August, 11:00 AM Accor Stadium
1 0
HT: 1 - 0
  • L. Hemp (55′)

Find out all of the details, team news and stats ahead of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 Final between the Lionesses and Spain

20 Aug 2023 5:58

Highlights: Spain 1-0 England

See the best of the action from Sydney as the Lionesses lose the World Cup Final

 Millie Bright and Sarina Wiegman speak at the pre-match press conference for the FIFA Women's World Cup
Millie Bright and Sarina Wiegman speak at the pre-match press conference for the FIFA Women's World Cup

Spain v England
FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 Final
11am BST, Sunday 20 August 2023
Watch live on BBC and ITV in the UK
Sydney Football Stadium, Australia


England head coach Sarina Wiegman and captain Millie Bright believe the Lionesses will need to play "the game of their lives" in Sunday's FIFA Women's World Cup Final.

Spain lie in wait as opposition for the game in Sydney, with the greatest prize in football on offer for the winners.

And with this being both nations' first appearance at this stage of the Women's World Cup in history, the hopes and dreams of all players are on the line.

"It's just a really proud moment, and as a squad we're just really proud of our journey and how far we've come and now we're getting a shot at the trophy,” said Bright, at the official pre-match press conference.

"It's England versus Spain in the World Cup Final. They're a fantastic team and we've seen that in their performances so far, that's why they're in the Final and I think they deserve to be there.

"For us, we're just focusing on ourselves and our preparations to make sure we're in the right place come tomorrow, which we are.

"For us, we live in the moment and yes it's a World Cup Final but for our mentality is that it's another game. Our preparations won't change at this stage in the tournament and for me that's key.

"We'll allow the players to prepare in the way they want to and then we have a game plan which we have to go out and execute but everyone knows how big this is.

"It's been players' dreams for years so we already know that and how passionate our nation is back home. As Sarina said, we have a plan to execute and we need to play the game of our lives


"I think it's going to be a brilliant game between two top teams going head to head and ultimately it's about getting the ball in the back of the net and finding a way to win.”

As Bright alluded to, one of the most vital parts of Wiegman’s ethos is consistency in training and preparations and the head coach believes her squad are as ready as they can be.

"Everyone is fit, we've grown into the tournament and we'll just prepare as we always do and won't do different things all of a sudden,” said Wiegman.

"We've had our last training session and we'll have our last meetings within the 24 hours.

"Tomorrow, we'll be ready tactically. Of course, we've watched Spain and analysed them with our analyst team and I think we're ready.

"The Spanish team is in a good place and they've had a good tournament so far.

"As always, they want to play a possession game and they're very dynamic and want to go forward all the time. That's not very different from when I've seen them before and at moments, they will challenge us but we will challenge them too.

"Playing a final is special, I never take anything for granted. We're just preparing for a game, yes it's a final but we don't do anything different to what we do normally and we'll be ready for the game.”

With the game taking place on the other side of the world, both Wiegman and Bright have been amazed at the support which England have received both ‘down under’ and from back home.

And now they’re aiming for one last push to leave a nation united in celebration.

"It's incredible what happens and we've felt the support here and also from the other side of the world in the UK and that's something you dream of,” said Wiegman.

"We just hope we play our best game ever tomorrow and everyone who is watching in the stadium, in the UK and everywhere else who supports us is going to enjoy it.”

Bright added: "As a group, we'd like to say thank you not only to the fans back home but the fans out here as well. We've felt really welcomed over here and every game has been incredible

"We've seen the videos from back home and we really appreciate you setting your alarm clocks and making the effort to support us even though we're a million miles apart.

“It's amazing what football can do in bringing everyone together, especially our nation, we're really proud so stick with us one last game.”
England's squad huddle following their last training session before the FIFA Women's World Cup Final
England's squad huddle following their last training session before the FIFA Women's World Cup Final

Spain in profile

La Roja
 Jorge Vilda
Captain: Ivana Andres
Last encounter: England 2-1 Spain, 20 July 2022


Previous meetings

โ— This will be the 17th meeting between England (seven wins) and Spain (three wins) in all competitions (D6) and a rerun of last year’s European Championship quarter final (2-1 win for the Lionesses) which was the last time the two sides met.

โ— England and Spain have met three times previously at a major tournament (all at the European Championships), with the Lionesses winning the most recent two encounters (2017 & 2022) having lost the first (2013).

โ— The Lionesses will face Spain for a third time under Sarina Wiegman, having previously played out a goalless draw in the Arnold Cup (February 2022) and then beating them at the quarter-final stage of last year’s EUROs (2-1).

โ— England have failed to score in just five of their 38 games across all competitions under Wiegman, with one of those occasions coming against Spain in February 2022.

โ— The Lionesses have won four of their last six games against Spain in all competitions (D1 L1), netting exactly two goals in all four of those wins.

โ— All three of Spain’s wins against England have come by a single goal (2-1 in a 1996 EURO qualifier, 3-2 at the 2013 EUROs and 1-0 in the 2020 SheBelieves Cup), while five of England’s seven wins against Spain have also come by a single goal margin.


Match Facts

โ— Spain and England will face each other for the first time at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. England have only lost two of their last 13 games in all competitions against Spain (W7 D4).

โ— Excluding the inaugural edition in 1991, this will be the first FIFA Women’s World Cup final to see both teams make their first ever final appearance in the competition. It will also be the third final between two teams from Europe, after Norway-Germany in 1995 (2-0) and Germany-Sweden in 2003 (2-1).

โ— The winner of this game will become the fifth team to lift the FIFA Women’s World Cup trophy, after USA (four times), Germany (two times), Norway (one time) and Japan (one time). Spain are assured of their first medal in the competition while England finished third at the 2015 edition.

โ— Spain have won their last three games at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, their best winning run in the competition. They are the top scorers in the 2023 competition, having scored 17 goals in six games at this edition, eleven more goals than they managed in their first seven games in the competition (six goals across the 2015 and 2019 editions).

โ— Spain have conceded seven goals at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the most by a team to reach the final since Norway in 1991 (eight goals conceded on their way to the final).

โ— Each of the six goals scored (for and against) in Spain’s quarter-final and semi-final at this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup came after the 80th minute (including extra time), having seen only four of the previous 32 goals scored in their matches in the competition come after the 80th minute.

โ— England are looking to become just the second team, after Germany in 2003 and 2007, to win the FIFA Women’s World Cup as reigning European champions. They could also become the second team to have won a final and a third-place game (2015) in the competition, after USA (four final, three third-place games).

โ— England have won five of their last six games against European teams at the FIFA Women’s World Cup (L1), with the sole defeat in this run coming against Sweden in a third-place play-off game at the 2019 edition (1-2).

โ— England have scored 13 goals at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, equalling their best tally at a single edition of the tournament (13 in 2019). The Lionesses are unbeaten in all 19 games at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in which they’ve opened the scoring (W17 D2), including winning each of the last 13 when scoring first.

โ— Spain (84.2%) and England (83.7%) have the best passing accuracies among all teams at this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup and are also the most accurate sides when it comes to passing under high pressure (Spain 77.5%, England 74.6%).

โ— Spain have made 42-line breaking passes into the opponent’s penalty area at this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, 14 more than the second-best ranked team (USA, 28); however, England are the team to have made the most passes breaking at least two lines at the tournament (63).

โ— The Lionesses have won eleven of their 12 games at major tournaments under Wiegman (EURO 2022 and 2023 FIFA World Cup), drawing the other against Nigeria in the last 16 at this tournament. They are the only European side to participate in both tournaments without losing a single game.

โ— Having failed to win any of their first five FIFA Women’s World Cup matches against fellow European sides (D2 L3), England have since won five of their six games against such opposition in the competition, with the only exception being a 1-2 defeat to Sweden in a third-place play-off game at the 2019 tournament.

โ— Salma Paralluelo (Spain) scored in the quarter-final and in the semi-final of this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, becoming first teenager to score multiple goals in the knockout stage of a single edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. She is also only the second player to score multiple goals as a substitute in the knockout stages of a single edition, after Alex Morgan in 2011 (two goals).

โ— Teresa Abelleira has created 23 chances at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup for Spain – since Opta has such data on record (2011 onwards), only Japan’s Aya Miyama has created more at a single edition (25 in 2015). Abelleira’s one assist at this tournament was for Olga Carmona’s winner in the semi-final.

โ— Among all players to have attempted at least 100+ passes while under pressure from an opponent at this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, England’s Keira Walsh has the best pass completion rate (86.7%), followed by Spain’s Teresa Abelleira (85.5%).

โ— Alex Greenwood has created 14 chances for England at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the most by a Lionesses player on record at the tournament (2011 onwards), while she has played 90 line-breaking passes, second only to teammate Millie Bright (95) at the tournament overall. She is also yet to end on the losing side in a game in all competitions under manager Wiegman (P33 W26 D7).

โ— Lauren James has been directly involved in six goals at this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup (3 goals, 3 assists) - only France’s Kadidiatou Diani has been involved in more (7). James’ rate of a goal involvement every 48 minutes is the best among the 13 players to have been involved in at least four goals at this year’s tournament.

10 Apr 2019 2:10

From the archive: England 2-1 Spain

A look at our meeting in Swindon from back in 2019

England Squad News

The squad for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 in Australia and New Zealand was named in May.

England will have forward Lauren James available for the Final, after she completed her two-game suspension in the semi-final victory over Australia.
Sign up to My England Football for updates on squad announcements in addition to a host of other benefits including discounts and ticket eligibility. 

Ticket Information

If any further tickets become available for England supporters, this will be communicated accordingly. Otherwise, tickets for the Women's World Cup are being sold directly by FIFA. Find out more.


Where to watch or stream

This game will be broadcast and live streamed in the UK on both BBC and ITV, as they are both FIFA broadcast partners for the 2023 Women's World Cup.

Match Line Up

Sarina Wiegman has named the same starting line-up for the FIFA Womenโ€™s World Cup final with Spain.

Much of the talk pre-match was around whether Ella Toone would retain her place, with Lauren Jamesโ€™ two-match ban over and the Chelsea star available once more.

And Tooneโ€™s impressive performances against Colombia and Australia have helped ensure the Manchester United midfielder retains her place.

The main talking point from Spain's starting XI is Ballon d'Or winner Alexia Putellas has dropped to the bench, with teenager Salma Paralluelo starting instead.

England: 1 Mary Earps (Manchester United), 2 Lucy Bronze (Barcelona), 4 Keira Walsh (Barcelona), 5 Alex Greenwood (Manchester City), 6 Millie Bright (Chelsea) ยฉ, 8 Georgia Stanway (Bayern Munich), 9 Rachel Daly (Aston Villa), 10 Ella Toone (Manchester United), 11 Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), 16 Jess Carter (Chelsea), 23 Alessia Russo (Arsenal)

Substitutes: 3 Niamh Charles (Chelsea), 7 Lauren James (Chelsea), 12 Jordan Nobbs (Aston Villa), 13 Hannah Hampton (Chelsea), 14 Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal), 15 Esme Morgan (Manchester City), 17 Laura Coombs (Manchester City), 18 Chloe Kelly (Manchester City), 19 Bethany England (Tottenham Hotspur), 20 Katie Zelem (Manchester United), 21 Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City), 22 Katie Robinson (Brighton & Hove Albion)

Spain starting XI: 23 Coll; 2 Battle, 4 Paredes, 14 Codina, 19 Carmona; 6 Bonmati, 3 Abelleira, 10 Hermoso; 17 Redondo, 8 Caldentey; 18 Paralluelo

 The squad take solace in each other after their defeat at the 2023 Women's World Cup Final
The squad take solace in each other after their defeat at the 2023 Women's World Cup Final
Olga Carmona’s sole strike handed England a heartbreaking FIFA Women’s World Cup final defeat as Spain sealed a 1-0 triumph in a tense encounter inside Stadium Australia.

An open first half saw Spain control proceedings and go in front through Carmona, though the Lionesses did have their chances - largely through Lauren Hemp.

Mary Earps saved Jennifer Hermoso’s penalty with 20 minutes to go of the contest in a timely boost for England, but the Lionesses were ultimately unable to find the required equaliser.

The early stages were open but it was Hemp who had the first shot on target of the final, her low strike scuffed and easily saved by Cata Coll.
And Hemp was agonisingly close with just over 15 minutes gone, smacking the crossbar from 18 yards up after some stunning build up play led by Keira Walsh and Rachel Daly.

But the Lionesses were nearly punished just a minute later, with Salma Paralluelo mistriking from close range before Alba Redondo’s angled effort scooped away by Earps.

Hemp again came close for England on the 20 minute mark, but once again saw her effort comfortably dealt with by the Spanish ‘keeper.

Spain were dominating possession, though, and just inside half an hour they converted that into the opening goal.
The Lionesses starting line up ahead of the game in Sydney
The Lionesses starting line up ahead of the game in Sydney
After England were dispossessed, Spanish captain Carmona was fed the ball inside the box and her precise, low strike evaded Earps and nestled into the bottom corner.

And La Roja were nearly 2-0 up less than ten minutes later, a poor clearance from Millie Bright landing directly at the feet of Irene Paredes - but she could only slash her attempt wide.

Paralluelo also came close with the final play of the opening half, her late effort kissing the post and going wide in added time.

At the start of the second half Spain continued building on their first-half momentum, with Earps forced to pull off another strong stop after Mariona Caldentey’s strike took a heavy deflection off Lucy Bronze.
Mary Earps saved a second-half penalty, but England couldn't find an equaliser
Mary Earps saved a second-half penalty, but England couldn't find an equaliser
But the Lionesses were looking dangerous on the counter attack, and half-time substitute Chloe Kelly delivered a powerful low cross which Hemp could only bundle wide.

It was a better spell of possession for Wiegman’s side, though with an hour gone Aitana Bonmati nearly doubled Spain’s advantage with her long-range strike sailing just over the bar.

And moments afterwards, La Roja were awarded a penalty after Walsh was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box, following a lengthy VAR check.

But it was not to be 2-0 to Spain, with Earps getting down well to her left to comfortably stop Hermoso’s spotkick.

The Lionesses had wind beneath their sails following that, and the returning Lauren James came closest in the aftermath with her effort forcing a good save from Coll.

But they were unable to create too many clear chances and Spain began to regain composure, with Paralluelo among those coming close to doubling their lead.

And ultimately La Roja held on during 13 minutes of added time, seeing Spain claim the Women’s World Cup title for the very first time.

Match Line Up

England: 1. Mary Earps; 16. Jess Carter, 6. Millie Bright, 5. Alex Greenwood; 2. Lucy Bronze, 8. Georgia Stanway, 4. Keira Walsh, 9. Rachel Daly; 10. Ella Toone, 23. Alessia Russo, 11. Lauren Hemp

Substitutes: 7. Lauren James for Russo 45’, 18. Chloe Kelly for Daly 45’, 19. Beth England for Toone 87’

Substitutes not used: 3. Niamh Charles, 12. Jordan Nobbs, 13. Hannah Hampton, 14. Lotte Wubben-Moy, 15. Esme Morgan, 17. Laura Coombs, 20. Katie Zelem, 21. Ellie Roebuck, 22. Katie Robinson

Spain: 23. Cata Coll; 2. Ona Batlle, 4. Irene Paredes, 14. Laia Codina, 19. Olga Carmona; 6. Aitana Bonmati, 3. Teresa Abelleira, 10. Jennifer Hermoso; 17. Alba Redondo, 18. Salma Paralluelo, 8. Mariona Caldentey

Substitutes: 12. Oihane Hernandez for Redondo 60’, 5. Ivana Andres for Codina 73’, 11. Alexia Putellas for Caldentey 90’

Substitutes not used: 1. Misa Rodriguez, 7. Irene Guerrero, 9. Esther Gonzalez, 13. Enith Salon, 15. Eva Navarro, 16. Maria Perez, 20. Rocio Galvez, 21. Claudia Zornoza, 22. Athenea del Castillo

Goals: Carmona 29’