In the final game played in New Zealand Aotearoa, Spain have come away with a 2-1 win against Sweden to secure their place in their first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup™ final.
Spain had initially opened the scoring with a goal from Salma Paralluelo, the super sub who came on and immediately changed the game in Spain’s favour. Her goal came in the 81st minute when she was able to somehow squeeze a shot through two Swedish defenders and out of the reach of goalkeeper Zecira Musovic.
Sweden responded only seven minutes later through their own substitutes. The hero of the penalty shootout against the USA, Lina Hurtig and Rebecca Blomqvist linked up in the box to find the equaliser. Hurtig’s header was directed expertly to meet Blomqvist in time for a volley that would find the back of the net.
It looked almost certain that the game would be yet another to head to extra time. All it took was 94 second.
A corner awarded in Spain’s favour, taken by Teresa Abelleira, directed to the top of the box instead of into the mass of players waiting inside. Captain Olga Carmona then scored her second goal for her country, one that would book their ticket to the final for the first time.
Sweden’s keeper, despite reaching the shot that came at her like a laser from the top of the box, managed to get her hand to the ball but was unable to do more than tip it slightly, which wasn’t enough to deter it.
Sweden will face the team that fails to make the final, in Brisbane on the 19th of August, to decide who places third.
Spain, making history, now head to Australia for the first time in this tournament to play in the final game, their opponent being decided tonight between Australia and England.
The final will be played at Stadium Australia in Sydney, kicking off at 8pm AEST.