It was much joy for the winners at the stadiums hosting the semifinals of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup for the winners. Spain overthrew favourites Sweden in a match that saw three goals in the last ten minutes of normal time, and England produced an effective performance against the cohosts at their home ground to book their place with the Spanish at Stadium Australia on August 20. Both teams have been largely scintillating to watch in the tournament so far and will surely be serving up a match for the ages in Sydney.
Ella Toone became the first English player to score in the quarterfinal, semifinal, and final of a major tournament as she netted against the Australians in the thirty-sixth minute. Lauren Hemp and Alessia Russo then rounded up the win after elite striker Sam Kerr had equalized with a stunning strike in the sixty-third minute. The Lionesses were the better team throughout the encounter, although they endured some nervy moments where Sam Kerr should have finished her chances with the deadly precision, we have come to associate her with. She failed to, and the England players took theirs to send themselves to their first-ever World Cup final.
In the other semifinal match, both teams struggled to put chances away, until the eighty-first minute when substitute Salma Paralluelo fired a low shot into the net after a cross was not properly dealt with. This marked the second consecutive time the Barcelona midfielder would be bailing out her teammates after her lone goal took the Spanish into the semifinal against the Netherlands. The joy was short-lived, however, as Blomqvist equalized for Peter Gerhardsson’s charges seven minutes after. Olga Carmona would have the last laugh as she fired a beautiful high shot over goalkeeper Musovic in the ninetieth minute and sent Spanish fans and teammates into a frenzy enroute to winning the game.
This win will surely have put the furore that rocked the Spanish team before the tournament out of the minds of fans and enthusiasts, and, while many Spanish stars such as Patri Guijarro and Mapi Leon decided to boycott the tournament, they will surely be wishing they had had a part to play in the current tournament. What is done is done, however, and there is only one way to go; forward.
Spain are surely favourites for this encounter, and we will be expecting them to dominate proceedings with their possessive style of football. England are no slouches however, and, with Lauren James coming back into the fold after her two-match suspension for her stamp on Nigerian midfielder Michelle Alozie, the Spanish will surely have their hands full with containing the attacking threat. Nevertheless, the match will be as entertaining and exciting as possible.
May the best women’s team win!