Written by Nidhi Sriharsha, Vedhavathi E, Abhirama Sudhindra
Olga Carmona, captain of the Spanish Women’s Football team, lost her father on 18th August and despite this crippling loss, the 23-year-old carried her team to a thumping 1-0 victory on Sunday, August 20, 2023.
Olga was informed about her father’s death after she finished the match.
According to Spanish media outlet Relevo, Carmona’s friends and family decided not to share the news with her so that she could focus on the most important match of her life, while leading her team.
In an emotional tweet, Carmona likened her father as a star looking down on her, while she was playing the final.
“And without being aware of it, I had my Star before kick off,” she said on Twitter. “I know you gave me the strength to accomplish something truly unique. I know you were watching me tonight and that you are proud of me. Rest in peace, dad.”
Spain won its first ever Women’s World Cup Title by defeating England in a 1-0 thrilling final at Accor Stadium (formerly Stadium Australia), in Sydney on Sunday.
The scintillating match was witnessed by 75,784 fans, including Billie Jean King, the great American tennis player, reported The Hindu. Spain made it to the finals in only their third appearance in the women’s tournament. This year Spain won both the Men’s and Women’s World Cup and is just the second country to achieve this feat after Germany.
The impressive win was sealed by none other than team captain Olga Carmona, who had delivered the decisive blow in the first half at 29 minutes. Carmona, the left back, had scored back-to-back goals this tournament. The Spanish team has a tournament best with 18 goals this World Cup season according to The Times of India.
From the beginning Spain showed their prowess by demonstrating a defensive approach and excellent passing skills between the players. Spain also exhibited exceptional skill with their ball recovery time. England on the other hand dominated by showcasing their offence skills by targeting the goal. Commendable talent was shown by their goalkeeper, Mary Earps throughout the game. Earps bagged the Golden Glove Award and has been named the best goalkeeper at the maiden appearance by England in Women’s World Cup Final.
Lauren Hemp, England’s forward showed deftness by testing Spain’s defence early on. Around the 5th minute, after a throw-in Hemp drove the ball towards the goal before narrowly missing the target with another attempt that bounced off the crossbar.
Spain dominated the first half of the game, while England too put up a good fight, however they failed to equalise the scoreline.
The second half of the game began with great anticipation from England to score a goal.
Spain continued to play aggressively in the second half to maintain their lead. They missed the opportunity to secure a lead at this point. England goalkeeper Earps once again displayed her skills and blocked off a penalty shot made by Spain’s Mariona Caldentey.
Spain had the chance to double their lead around the 68th minute, when they won a penalty for Keira Walsh handball. The American referee Tori Penso relied on the Video Assist Referee (VAR), to assess the situation which was done within 5 minutes, and she ruled in favour of Spain.
Jennifer Hermoso’s penalty attempt was thwarted by Mary Earps. Hermoso’s move was well anticipated by Earps as she deflected the ball perfectly.
Around the 78th minute, England defender Alex Greenwood received a massive blow to her head during a collision with Spain’s young forward, Salma Paralluelo. This brought the match to a standstill. Greenwood showed true dedication to her team and returned to the field after being bandaged up.
This accident later resulted in the addition of 13 minutes of stoppage time.
Paralluelo was unable to deliver her best performance in the finals however she has shown exceptional talent throughout this season and has won the Young Player of the Tournament award only at the age of 19.
The Captain, Olga dedicated her astonishing victory to the mother of her friend who passed away recently.
“I want to say this victory is for one of my best friend’s mother who died recently, I celebrated the goal with that shirt [‘Merchi’ t-shirt]”, the Spaniard said after the match.
Despite the valiant efforts made by England, the Spaniards could not be kept down.
Spain secured their victory when their goalkeeper Cata Coll confidently grabbed and stopped the ball while surrounded by all the players of England.```