Spain, which overcame a near-rebellion last year by their players before coach Jorge Vilda, will now attend her first ever Women’s World Cup championship.
AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Spain will play the first match Women’s World Cup Championship after Olga Carmona’s goal in the 89th minute lifted La Roja to a 2-1 win over Sweden in Tuesday’s semi-final.
Spain, which overcame a near-rebellion last year by its players against coach Jorge Vilda, will face the champions of the co-hosts Australia and England on Sunday in Finals in Sydney.
The controversy surrounding Spain began last September, when 15 players signed a letter complaining about Vilda and the conditions for the national team. Three of those players are in the squad for this World Cup, and Vilda a day before the game against Sweden praised the support of the Spanish federation.
Now, La Roja has a chance to become a World Cup champion for the first time.
“This is a historic day,” Vilda said. “We’re in the final, that’s what we want.”
He once again thanked the federation and its leadership for the support that helped Spain win the World Cup.
“The end result is a learning process that has helped us all become stronger, in my opinion, and let it be stored in the past and thought about the future,” says Vilda. speak through an interpreter. “And to think we’re here because we deserve it.”
Carmona’s goal helped Sweden equalize, then Spain won 90 seconds later with a surprising score.
Salma Paralluelo, the 19-year-old super-sub, who also scored to seal Spain’s 2-1 win in Spain’s quarter-final against the Netherlands, scored in the 81st minute to put Spain ahead 1- 0. She gestured to the crowd to cheer, and the crowd thought they were celebrating Spain’s decider.
But the celebration was brief. Rebecka Blomqvist scored for Sweden in the 88th minute.
Then, just 90 seconds later, Carmona beat Swedish goalkeeper Zecira Musovic with the winning goal.
Spain defender Irene Paredes said: “It’s really, really crazy. After scoring the first goal, I thought, ‘OK, that’s it, we have to keep the score.’ But they scored pretty quickly and I was like, ‘What the hell happened?’ But we were confident we could create something else.”
Sweden has now lost four of its five semi-finals and will attempt to finish third for the fourth time.
“I really have to watch the game before I can make any judgments,” said Sweden coach Peter Gerhardsson. “Right now I am full of emotions. This is the third loss in the semi-finals. I think people just feel so sad and disappointed.”
Paralluelo became the second teenage player to score in a Women’s World Cup semi-final after Canada’s Kara Lang in 2003, also against Sweden.
“It was a magical moment. It was something very unique when I scored the first goal. To be able to repeat that is really amazing,” Paraluello said.
Spain only participated in the World Cup for the third time. Four years ago, La Roja made it to the knockout stages but lost to eventual champion the United States.
“Now it is the final. I think we have to do what we’ve done in every game,” Paralluelo said. “We have overcome all the challenges and now we face the final test, the great test”
The Swedes have never won the World Cup. They were runner-up in 2003 and finished third three times. Sweden won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics two years ago and at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
Kosovare Asllani said: “I’m tired of crying in big tournaments. Sweden also lost in the Euro semi-finals last September.
The Swedes wiped out their opponents in the previous group stage knocked out two-time defending champion USA on penalties after a goalless draw.
Sweden was then undefeated before Japan 2-1 in the quarterfinals.
Spain fell to second place in the table after a heavy loss to Japan, but rallied to beat Switzerland 5-1 and Netherlands 2-1 into semi-finals. It was La Roja’s first time in a major semi-final since the 1997 European Championship.
Alexia Putellas, a two-time Spain Ballon d’Or winner, made her third World Cup appearance. Putellas ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament last summer and is trying to get back to full fitness. She came on from the bench in the team’s last two games.
Putellas, who replaced Esther Gonzalez in the 11th team, was substituted in the 57th minute for teenage Paralluelo, who has now scored in two consecutive games.
Spain dominated the ball and had many better chances in the first half. Carmona’s explosion from the top of the box was a low shot that went wide of the post. Sweden’s defense, which conceded just two goals in the tournament, was held up.
Putellas put through Filippa Angeldal before making a cross in the 35th minute but Magdalena Eriksson was there to save.
Spain goalkeeper Cata Coll swooped down to save Fridolina Rolfo’s shot late in the first half, then punched the ball out of a corner to keep the game goalless in the first half.
Sweden was full of energy to start the second half but Spain still had chances. Paralleulo’s header in the 63rd minute went wide.
Alba Redondo was lying in front of goal but had her foot on the ball and appeared to have scored in the 71st minute, but she went wide of the post and the ball went into the next net.
There were a few tense moments when Paralluelo’s goal was checked by video replay, but it was recognized.
After Carmona’s goal, the Spaniards piled on top of her near their bench.
There were 43,217 fans present for the match at Auckland’s Eden Park.