So Close For Lionesses
England missed out on the chance of lifting a maiden Women’s World Cup yesterday following a 1-0 loss to Spain at Sydney’s Stadium Australia. Spain’s Olga Carmona grabbed the only goal of the game after 23 minutes to send her nation into bedlam and announce the Spanish as the new team to beat.
A single goal separated the sides in terms of scoreline, but anybody who watched the game would’ve known that there was a substantial gulf in class between the two sides. England, who have been so impressive over the past 18 months, looked nervous and disorganized in possession, whereas Spain looked as if they’d score every time they broke forward. Metrimonic in midfield and intelligent up-front, England were lucky that only one of Spain’s 13 attempts went in.
England goalkeeper Mary Earps produced a fine performance and even saved a penalty to keep her side in the game. It was, however, not to be and the wait for a first English World Cup since 1966 goes on.
Spain Outplay England
The Lionesses’ high-pressing style of play was quickly figured out by Jorge Vilda’s side and the lack of a suitable plan B caused England to be hurried in possession and bereft of ideas in the final third. Lauren Hemp hit the crossbar in the first half, moments of quality remained elusive aside from that.
In typical Spanish style, La Roja outnumbered the Lionesses in midfield and used their superior passing ability to tire out England’s defence and create spaces out wide. For as much as we all wanted England to win, nobody in the right mind would say that Spain didn’t deserve the glory.
Sarina Weigman has now lost two World Cup finals in a row and yesterday was just the second time she’s lost a game whilst in the England dugout. The defeat caused several of the Lionesses to erupt in tears, but we all know that to reach the final is an incredible achievement in itself.
England will learn from this defeat and there’ll undoubtedly be a deep analysis of the game behind the scenes, but it remains true that the Lionesses have installed a massive sense of pride in the nation and their journey to the final has brought a lot of much-needed attention to the women’s game. There will be other chances at World Cup glory and Weigman’s England have proven time and time again that they can recover from setbacks.
Spain will be deservedly partying, but the Lionesses should feel extremely proud of the journey they’ve taken us on.
Disappointment For Welcoming Fans
There are endless wonderful things that I can say about this fantastic England team that delighted us all on the pitch and with their inspiration off their field too, however, they missed an open goal when returning home.
Fans waiting to greet their heroes were left disappointed when they arrived at Heathrow early in the morning only to find out the team had snuck out of a private exit.
Of course, it may have been a different story if the team won in the final and defeat is a heavy burden to carry, but I also believe a few waves and autographs as they come home wouldn’t have been too much to ask to repay the fans that have given them a lot of support.
The Lionesses have got lots of things right, but this feels like a missed chance and leads to a slightly sour taste.
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