World Cup Final: England vs. Spain

August 16, 2023 • 1:15 pm

Although my long=shot favorite team Colombia is out of contention for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, it will be an exciting final: England versus Spain.

From the NYT:

The noise was giddy, and gleeful, and just a little bit wild, as if the 75,000 fans who had packed into Stadium Australia could not believe quite how perfectly it had all turned out. They did not know it would not last, of course; at that point, the very idea it might not felt remote, absurd. In that moment, the noise seemed to ripple and crackle with magic.

Australia will not win this World Cup. That honor, instead, will fall to one of Europe’s two new powerhouses: Spain, narrow victors against Sweden on Tuesday, and England, conqueror of the Matildas — winning by 3-1, but no more comfortably — on Wednesday. On some level, though, this tournament has belonged to Australia.

For three weeks, the Matildas have held the country in the palm of their hands. Australia was captivated by the team’s brush with despair in the group phase. It was enthralled by its composed demolition of Denmark in the round of 16. The whole place seemed to hold its breath for the duration of the quarterfinal victory against France. The nation soared with every exhilarating high, and it suffered in each moment of exquisite tension.

Choose your team: the Matildas or the Phoebes.

Here are the highlights of England’s 3-1 victory over Australia:

. . . and Spain’s victory over Sweden (I hope these show up as we can’t access YouTube in the islands:

12 thoughts on “World Cup Final: England vs. Spain

  1. Well, the Lionesses had a fairly shaky start to the competition, but have steadily improved throughout the tournament. They are on good form to beat Spain, and become the first ever English football team to win a world title away from home.

    I must say that the whole World Cup has been carried out in a great atmosphere of sportswomanship. Would that the same could be said about more gentlemen’s sports!

  2. We’re in Spain visiting my father-in-law right now. I’m hoping to catch the match before we head to the airport on Sunday. England played pretty well against Australia today and could go all the way, but they’ve also given some lacklustre performances in the build up to the final. Spain have had some good moments too, despite their off-pitch difficulties – we’ll just have to wait and see…

      1. Or the French dude who made a sham of his career by headbutt… an Italian player in the MWC final, the last play he ever made (he was red carded) on the international stage as he retired after the match. Apparently and this could be wrong, the Italian insulted his mother.
        During the 2006 final, French captain Zinedine Zidane was sent off after he famously headbutted Italy’s Marco Materazzi in the chest, after a verbal provocation by Materazzi. This was the final act of Zidane’s professional career, as he remained committed to his pre-tournament decision to retire after the tournament.

    1. My name for the British women’s team. If the Aussies are “Matildas”, the Brits can be “Phoebes,” a common English women’s name. A Phoebe figures largely in the book I’m reading, Martin Amis’s “Inside Story,” an autobiographical novel that I recommend highly. Hitchens figures largely in it, and Amis uses real names. The most engrossing bit is about his relationship with one Phoebe Phelps.

  3. He did a skillful ‘drop a ball to his feet’ from a high incoming ball move while running toward the Italian goal and looking back over his shouder iirc… good move, sadly dumb end.

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