World Cup Final: Spain make history following victory over Sweden

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La Roja made history earlier today when they qualified for the World Cup final at the expense of Sweden. Spain, who had earlier made history when they qualified for the quarterfinals and semifinals for the first time in their history, defeated Sweden 2-1 to seal their spot in the final of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The first semifinal match of the World Cup between Spain and Sweden was as dramatic as a game of football could get. The buildup to the game, the start of the game, as well as the way the game ended, made the match one of the best games in the World Cup.

Spain, who happened to be playing in the semifinals for the first time in their history following a 2-1 defeat of the Netherlands, faced off against Sweden, who were no strangers to the semifinals and qualified for the semifinals after defeating Japan 2-1 in the quarterfinals.

The head-to-head record of both teams coming into the game indicates the superiority that Sweden has had over Spain in previous years, with Spain never having defeated Sweden before in all competition.

The game, which before kickoff was filled with so much history and excitement and open to both sides creating more history on the field, kicked off in Auckland with both sides looking to book a spot in the final of the World Cup. A feat that would be a novelty for Spain and for Sweden, a dream that has been long overdue following years of disappointment at this stage of the tournament.

At kickoff, both sides looked evenly matched and were as cautious of each other as one could be in a game of football. However, as the match progressed, the game opened up a bit more, with Spain looking to grab a goal and creating opportunities that were not fully taken. Sweden came closest to scoring in the first half when Fridolina Rolfo’s shot on goal was denied by Spanish goalkeeper and Barcelona teammate Cata Coll.

Roles were reversed in the second half when Sweden took the initiative and dominated the game until the manager of the Spanish national team made a key substitution, in the 57th minute, replacing Alexia Putellas with teenage sensation, Salma Paralluelo. The introduction of the young forward tilted the game in Spain’s favor, as the teenager used her pace, agility, and stamina to pressurize the Swedish defense.

In similar fashion to their quarterfinal game against the Netherlands, the teenager registered her name on the scoresheet. In the 81st minute, Paralluelo was in position to place a wonderfully executed half-volley with her right foot beyond Sweden’s goalkeeper Zecira Musovic. With the deadlock broken so late in the match, it seemed like the teenager had gotten the match winner for Spain once again. However, Sweden were not going to be knocked out that easily; in the 88th minute, Rebecka Blomqvist, who came on to replace Stina Blackstenius, scored an equalizer following a momentary lack of concentration in the Spanish defense and put Sweden right back in the game.

But their joy and excitement only lasted for a fleeting moment, 94 seconds later, when Spain won a corner kick. Teresa Abelleira passed the ball out to the edge of the box, where it found Spain’s left back, Olga Carmona, who finished beautifully, guiding the ball beyond Musovic and just under the crossbar with the inside of her left foot to give Spain the lead again.

The match ended 2-1 in favor of Spain, with La Roja making history as they reached the World Cup final for the first time in their history. On the other hand, it was a tale of woe for Sweden, as their semifinal curse struck again, having them miss out on football’s ultimate prize at the penultimate stage.

Barcelona players Cata Coll, Irene Paredes, Laia Codina, Ona Batlle, Aitana Bonmati, Alexia Putellas, and Mariona Caldentey all made the starting lineup for Spain, while Salma Paralluelo came on as a substitute. Fridolina Rolfo played the entirety of the match for Sweden

The final whistle was a cruel and conflicting scene for Barcelona Femeni fans around the world, with some of the team’s players jumping for joy at the end of the game and left back and match winner in the Champions League, Fridolina Rolfo, in tears after another disappointing end to Sweden’s fantastic World Cup run.

Spain would face the winner of the second semifinal match between Australia and England to determine who would be the 2023 World Cup winners.


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