Salma Paralluelo’s goal sends Spain to the World Cup semifinals

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The quarterfinal match between Spain and the Netherlands was an intriguing match, with both teams looking to secure a spot in the last four. Both teams came into the game on the back of comfortable rounds of 16 wins. Spain defeated Switzerland 5-1, while the Netherlands secured a 2-0 victory over South Africa.

But only one team was going to progress, and it was Spain who ended up booking a spot in the World Cup semifinals. The Spanish team already made history when they faced the Netherlands in what happened to be their first-ever quarterfinal game in the World Cup.

The Spanish team put up an amazing performance and thought they had scored their first quarterfinal goal when Esther Gonzalez put the ball in the back of the net in the first half. But the goal was ruled out for offside after VAR intervention.

However, Spain would not be denied their first quarterfinal goal at the World Cup. La Roja got awarded a penalty in the 81st minute when VAR confirmed that the ball from Salma Paralluelo’s cross had struck the arm of Netherlands defender Van de Gragt in the penalty area. Mariona Caldentey scored from the penalty spot to give Spain the lead.

Victory would not come so easily in a quarterfinal game against the 2019 finalists, as the Netherlands equalized in additional minutes, courtesy of Van der Gragt, who had conceded the penalty earlier.

Following a 1-1 draw at full-time, 30 minutes of extra time were inevitable. And it wasn’t until the 111th minute that Barcelona sensation Salma Paralluelo scored the match-winning goal for Spain. The young forward danced past her marker and scored a beautiful goal with a well-struck shot that cannoned off the post and into the back of the net.

Salma scoring the winner against Netherlands

The Spanish youngster brought on to replace Alba Redondo in the 71st minute, has featured in all of Spain’s matches in the 2023 World Cup, starting all three group-stage games and coming on as a substitute in the round of 16 and the quarterfinal.

Paralluelo’s match-winning goal won her a well-deserved Player of the Match award

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The match ended 2-1 in favor of Spain, with Salma Paralluelo’s goal being the difference as the referee blew the final whistle. The young forward’s goal had sent Spain all the way to their first semifinal in the World Cup. Thus reaching out for more history and securing what is undoubtedly Spain’s best World Cup performance.

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