Spain romps into World Cup final

Edwin
Edwin  - CEO August 15, 2023
Updated 2023/08/20 at 8:31 PM
6 Min Read
Spain's players pictured celebrating during their 2-1 win over Sweden in the semi-finals of the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup IMAGO/NurPhoto/Jose Breton

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023: The Red One defeats the Blue and yellow 2-1

 

Stina Blackstenius of Sweden controls the ball against Teresa Abelleira of Spain during the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Semi Final match between Spain and Sweden at Eden Park on August 15, 2023 in Auckland, New ZealandCREDIT: Getty Images/Hagen Hopkins

By Edwin Emeanua

 

Spain’s XI: Coll, Batlle, Paredes, Codina, Carmona, Abelleira, Bonmati, Putellas, Redondo, Hermoso, Caldentey

 

Sweden XI: Musovic, Andersson, Eriksson, Ilestedt, Bjorn, Rubensson, Angeldal, Rolfo, Asllani, Kaneryd, Blackstenius

 

 

Spain’s national Women’s football side, La Roja (The Red One) have become the first team to qualify for the final of the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament after their 2-1 victory over Sweden’s Blågult (The Blue and yellow), in the first semi-finals of the event at the Eden Park  in Auckland, New Zealand.

 

Spain had the initial moments of sustained attack, after easily settling into their renown possessive football brand early on with which. Three minutes into the tie, Caldentey outmaneuvered a Blågult defender on the left but her decent cross was easily claimed by La Roja Goalkeeper Musovic.

 

A minute later at the other end, Sweden’s Blackstenius’ feed to Asllani instead of taking a shot from outside the area was as well good enough only as a lost opportunity for the Swedish striker to score.

 

By the 7th minute of the game, Sweden have already caught up with Spain on the possession tally in the attacking data, and easily drop drop into a very tight defensive shape when they lose the ball.

 

Spain's defender #04 Irene Paredes fights for the ball with Sweden's forward #11 Stina Blackstenius during the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women's World Cup semi-final football match between Spain and Sweden at Eden Park in Auckland on August 15, 2023CREDIT: Getty Images/Saeed Khan

Spain's Ona Batlle in action with Sweden's Fridolina RolfoCREDIT: Reuters/Amanda Perobelli

 

Bonmati’s decent run on the right in the 11th minute met with a tight Sweden defense to deal with the threat, and Redondo’s cross moments later only sailed out of play as the game continued with the expectation for one of the sides to usurp the creativity.

 

At the 16th minute mark of the encounter, Sweden are having difficult to put together a string of attacking play but continued to hold their defensive line against a La Roja cohesive attacking setup. Then Rolfo did enough to win the ball back in midfield and drove into the Spanish defense but is swiftly outnumbered by several Women in red and blue.

 

Then in the 33rd minute, the highly talented Spanish side from deep in their own half clearly played six first-touch passes in a row to extricate themselves from trouble before earning a free-kick on the half-way line that also failed to break the deadlock despite their overwhelming dominance.

 

As the las soñadoras (the dreamers) of Spain continued to press their advantage in possession football play, the Blågult’s defensive line also persisted in holding their line ultimately leading to scores remaining scoreless at half time.

 

Fridolina Rolfo of Sweden reacts during the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Semi Final match between Spain and Sweden at Eden Park on August 15, 2023 in Auckland, New ZealandCREDIT: Getty Images/Phil Walter

Sweden's Stina Blackstenius in action with Spain's Irene ParedesCREDIT: Reuters/Hannah Mckay

 

On resumption of play in the second half, Caldentey drifted inside in the 47th minute with Redondo making a good run from the right to make herself the target of a cutting ball from Caldentey, but she only succeeded in putting too much on it for Musovic to claim the ball.

 

Then in the 56th minute, Spain turned over the ball it in a dangerous area leaving Blackstenius free inside the box, but she strayed with the ball to such an acute angle that she couldn’t generate enough power on her shot to trouble Coll.

 

At this stage, Paralluelo is on for Spain to replace the quiet Putellas.

 

Spain's midfielder #10 Jennifer Hermoso (R) fights for the ball during the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women's World Cup semi-final football match between Spain and Sweden at Eden Park in Auckland on August 15, 2023.CREDIT: Getty Images/Marty Melville

Spain's forward #08 Mariona Caldentey, Sweden's defender #14 Nathalie Bjorn and Sweden's midfielder #09 Kosovare Asllani fight for the ball during the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women's World Cup semi-final football match between Spain and Sweden at Eden Park in Auckland on August 15, 2023CREDIT: Getty Images/Saeed Khan

 

Then the goals started to pour in. Spain took the  lead in the 85′ and it was yet again the boots of the fabulous Paralluelo shooting La Roja ahead.

Sweden failed to deal with a cross from the left allowing it to fall perfectly for Paralluelo, who lashed a right-footed shot past Musovic.

 

Spain take the lead with their first shot on target, with eight minutes to go.

 

Two minutes later, it was Blomqvist’s turn and she leveled the scores as two of Sweden’s substitutes combined to notch the equalizer. Hurtig delivered a nicely guided header from a cross from the left for Blomqvist to smash past Coll.

 

A minute later, it was again Spain going ahead. The ball come to Carmona on the left side of the box and she was allowed too much time on her own to punish the Blågult for their lack of concentration. Carmona unleashed a powerful left-footed strike which crashes into the underside of the bar to elude Musovic effort at a hand save. It is Spain 2-1 Sweden on 90 minutes.

 

There was now an incredible uproar and scenes at Eden Park as las soñadoras dreams became reality. Even another 7 minutes of injury time failed to wipe out the dream of the Women in Red who are now guaranteed of a place in the final showdown of this tournament.

 

La Roja is now in line to clash with the winner of Wednesday’s second semi final game between the Lionesses of England and the Matildas of Australia in the epic final game billed to take place on Sunday, August 20 at Stadium Australia in Sydney.

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