By Chris King • 15 August 2023 • 16:54
Image of Spanish captain Olga Carmona.
SPAIN are through to the final of the Women’s World Cup after one of the most dramatic finishes to a match in a long time.
Jorge Vilda took a gamble on starting Alexia Putellas after her return from injury. The two-time Ballon d’Or winner has been an influential part of this La Roja team over the years and her experience was clearly important in a match of such importance.
A cagey display by both sides meant that it took until the 42nd minute before the first shot on target was recorded. However, Cata Coll in the Swedish goal denied her Barcelona teammate Fridolina Rolfo a third goal of the tournament.
With 80 minutes played, the game suddenly burst into life. Salma Paralluelo, on as a sub, latched onto the ball in the middle of the penalty area and proceeded to smash it low into the Swedish net. The 19-year-old was also responsible for scoring the winner in the quarter-final against the Netherlands.
The crowd at Eden Park in Auckland exploded into life with Spanish fans celebrating what looked like the goal that would take their team into a first-ever World Cup final.
They were silenced seven minutes later though when Rebecka Blomqvist fired a stunning volley beyond Coll to level the scores.
Extra time was looking very likely when Olga Carmona received the ball from a corner in the 89th minute. Positioned alone outside the box, the Spanish captain thundered a shot off the crossbar and into the net.
Sweden’s woman did not give up and continued to press in the hope of a late goal when seven minutes were added. It was not to be however and they fell to a miserable second semi-final defeat in two consecutive tournaments.
Spain will now wait for the outcome of tomorrow’s other last-four match between England’s Lionesses and the co-hosts, Australia.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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