Women’s World Cup 2023: England vs Spain in the final – All you need to know

place: Stadium Australia, Sydney date: Sunday 20 August Starting: 11:00 GMT
coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website and app from 09:45; Commentary on BBC Radio 5 live with a buildup from 10:00; Live text and highlights on the BBC Sport website and app

European champions England had the chance to make history for the second time in just over a year when they faced Spain in the Women’s World Cup final in Sydney on Sunday.

The Lionesses will be looking to claim the title for the first time, as well as becoming the first England team since 1966 to win a senior final on the world stage.

Standing in their way is Spain, who are also playing in their first final, with around 75,000 fans expected at Stadium Australia (11:00 GMT).

Millions more will watch the match live on BBC One, and the crowds from Australia will start at 09:45.

The winners will become the fifth different country to be crowned world champions in the ninth edition of the tournament.

The United States (four times), Germany (twice), Norway and Japan were the only other winners.

“Everyone talks about 1966, so let’s be at our best on Sunday and try to be successful,” said England manager Sarina Wegman.

“Reaching the final is special but with this team and the challenges we faced, the way we found a way to solve problems all the time was amazing – (it’s) very special in the final but now we want to win it too.”

The Lionesses, who will don their blue uniforms, will achieve world glory 13 months after defeating Germany at Wembley to win the European Championship for the first time.

Will the Lionesses clear the final hurdle?

While England’s road to the Euro 2022 title has been fairly uneventful, their trip to the World Cup final has been anything but.

They lost three stars in that victory to knee injuries prior to this tournament – Leah Williamson, Beth Meade and Fran Kirby – while also being tested in Australia, losing key players Kyra Walsh and Lauren James to injury and suspension respectively. Penalty shootout against Nigeria.

But Wegman’s side were cool under pressure and fell only seven minutes behind – against Colombia in the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, Walsh only missed one game after her injury wasn’t as bad as initially feared, and James was made available for the final after serving a two-match ban for knocking Nigeria’s Michelle Alouzi out.

Wigman will have to decide whether to stick with the line-up that performed so impressively in the 3-1 semi-final win over Australia, or bring back James, who was England’s best player at the tournament before the red card.

Captain Millie Bright, who was awarded the World Cup armband after Williamson’s injury, said: “It’s a dream come true to be in a World Cup final. Driving the girls out is a special feeling.

“We have a game plan that we have to go out with and execute. Everyone knows how big it is. We know how excited our nation is to come home and how badly we want to win.”

La Roja put the controversy aside

Against the backdrop of turmoil, disharmony and a 4-0 defeat by Japan in the group stage, it is remarkable that Spain, who are ranked sixth in the world – two places behind England – managed to reach the final.

Reports of a rift between president Jorge Vilda and his players followed La Roja all the way into this tournament.

La Roja’s national team, which appeared in the World Cup finals for only the third time, has shone since that heavy defeat at the hands of Japan, where it knocked out Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden.

Defender Irene Paredes said: “Spain has always been a football-loving country but it wasn’t our space, or at least that’s how it made us feel.

“We want to play football and (those who came before us) paid so they invested more in women’s football. We have the opportunity to play in a World Cup final. It’s time to enjoy it.”

The majority of the squad is made up of players from Champions League-winning Barcelona, ​​including the 2021 and 2022 Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Potellas.

However, it was 19-year-old striker Selma Baraloilo who stole the headlines, after her quarter-final winning goal against the Netherlands scored against Sweden in the semi-final, both times after coming on as a substitute.

Boss Battle – Wegman vs Felda

Jorge Vilda and Sarina Wegman during Euro 2022
Sarina Wiegmann came out on top when she last took on Jorge Vilda at Euro 2022

While England coach Wegman has won widespread plaudits for uniting her squad and taking them to the next level, Spain coach Velda has been surrounded by controversy since a player revolution last September.

The Dutch player reached a fourth major tournament final in a row, after winning the European Championship twice in a row with the Netherlands and England, after being defeated in the World Cup final with her home country in the 2019 World Cup.

The only defeat of Wegman’s 38-game reign with the Lionesses so far came in a friendly against Australia at Brentford in April – and he’s won 18 of his 19 matches in major tournaments as coach.

Meanwhile, Vilda had a falling out with 15 of his players amid reports of concern over training methods and inadequate match preparation.

A showdown ensued and only three of those players were included in his World Cup squad, meaning some world-class talents such as Champions League champions Patry Guijarro, Maby Lyon and Claudia Pena were left at home.

face to face

Ella Ton celebrates scoring against Spain at Euro 2022
Ella Ton scores an 84th minute equalizer as England come from behind to beat Spain 2-1 on their way to lifting the Euro 2022 trophy.

England and Spain have never faced each other in a World Cup, while the Lionesses have lost just two of their past 13 matches in all competitions against La Roja (winning seven and drawing the other four).

Their most recent meeting came in the quarter-finals at Euro 2022, when England needed a late equalizer from Ella Ton and an extra-time winner from Georgia Stanaway to advance to the semi-finals.

“It was a match we know we were on top, but the result is what matters,” said Vilda. “(Sunday) it will be a tactical match and it is a final match in which we will fight with everything.”

royalty in attendance

The final, with 75,784 sold, kicks off at 20:00 local time in Australia, nine hours ahead of England.

La Roja in Sydney will be fanned by royalty with Queen Letizia of Spain attends the final.

Football Association chairman Prince William has wished the England women’s national team well and said he was “sorry” for not attending the match in person. in a video message.

Football fans areas in london It was already sold out in anticipation of the Lionesses match.

The government said that if England actually won No plans for an additional amount bank holiday.

England flags and bunting are hung across Kirby's estate in Bermondsey, south London, in support of the Lionesses ahead of the World Cup final.
England flags and bunting are hung across Kirby’s estate in Bermondsey, south London, in support of the Lionesses ahead of the World Cup final.

England world class to conquer the world

Former England goalkeeper Rachael Brown-Fiennes predicted the World Cup Final:

I supported England from the start and I won’t change my mind now.

Spain have good players and they will take a lot, but England also have world class players. And they have a great experience, having beaten Spain on their way to winning Euro 2022.

The teams are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to teamwork. Problems within the Spanish system and controversy over coach Vilda’s methods are well documented, while England are closely knit and having fun.

I think these, along with Wiegman, are the extra percentage points that will get England over the line.

And I’m sure it could be a similar result for England to win in the semi-finals. I think they will start with the same line-up as they did in the semi-final, but they will bring James and Chloe Kelly off the bench, and also play their part in the final.

Brown Venice predicted: Spain 1-3 England

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