Spain is in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final in Sydney, Australia on Sunday. In the first of two semifinals from Auckland, New Zealand on Tuesday, Spain defeated Sweden 2-1 in front of an outstanding crowd of 43,217 at Eden Park.
Who scored for Spain?
The Spanish players who contributed to Spain offensively were Salma Paralluelo of Zaragoza and Olga Carmona of Saville. Paralluelo scored in the 81st minute and Carmona scored in the 89th minute. Paralluelo scored her second goal of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, as she also scored the game-winning goal in the 111th minute on August 11 in a 2-1 Spain win over the Netherlands in the quarterfinals from Wellington Regional Stadium in New Zealand. For Paralluelo, it was her eighth international goal for Spain. At 19 years of age, the left winger on Barcelona has a bright future indeed.
Carmona meanwhile, scored only her second international goal, and it turned out to be one of the biggest goals in the history of Spanish women’s soccer. Carmona’s first goal for Spain came in a 3-2 loss to Australia at the 2023 Cup of Nations from CommBank Stadium in Sydney on February 19. In this four-team tournament leading up to the Women’s World Cup (also included the Czech Republic and Jamaica), Australia won the tournament with a perfect record of three wins and zero losses. Spain may have a chance of getting revenge against Australia on Sunday. Australia is in the other semifinal against England in Sydney on Wednesday.
Spain needs to protect late leads better
One definite area of concern for Spain is the fact they have struggled to protect a late game lead for the second straight contest. In their 2-1 quarterfinal win over the Netherlands, the Dutch tied the game in the 91st minute to force extra time. Then on Tuesday, Sweden tied the game at one in the 88th minute before Carmona scored the game-winner a minute later. In both games for Spain against the Netherlands and Sweden, there was very little action for the first 80 minutes before excitement and drama pursued.