SYDNEY: Spain defeated England 1-0 in the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday (Aug 20), capping off a tournament that has broken attendance and TV records and raised hopes of a surge in interest for the women’s game.
Co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, the ninth edition of the global showpiece event was the first to be held in the southern hemisphere.
While local interest ebbed when Australia exited in the semi-finals, just shy of two million fans will have passed through the gates in nine host cities after Sunday’s final crowd of 75,784 is added to the tally.
An Olga Carmona goal was the difference between the two sides in a pulsating game that saw Spain create the majority of the clear-cut chances.
“We suffered, it was a difficult match (but) we always thought we were going to make it,” Carmona, who was also named player of the match, told Spanish state broadcaster TVE.
La Roja were rocked by a locker room dispute between the squad and coach Jorge Vilda and the Spanish football federation, with some of their best players absent from the tournament as a result.
But despite a shock 4-0 loss to Japan in the group stage, the team has shone throughout the tournament with their brand of attractive, attacking football.
“I can’t imagine how much excitement there will be in Spain,” Vilda told TVE.
“We are going to celebrate here and we don’t know when it will end.”