England Lionesses lose to Spain in Women's World Cup final
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England's Lionesses have been defeated by Spain in the World Cup final.
The women's team, managed by Sarina Wiegman, sadly missed out on the opportunity to become world champions for the first time since the men’s team won it in 1966.
England took on Spain in the FIFA Women's World Cup final today (20 August) in Sydney's Stadium Australia.
Spain winger Olga Carmona's first-half strike was enough to secure the victory as the Spanish won 1-0 on the night.
Carmona struck the ball past Mary Earps with a left-footed effort into the bottom right corner.
Elsewhere in the second half, there was a lengthy VAR check when a penalty was eventually awarded by American referee Tori Penso.
Although Earps made an epic penalty save against Spain's Jennifer Hermoso, the team were unable to get the equaliser.
This comes just 13 months after they secured the European championship title – something the men have never done.
Prior to the game, England men’s boss Gareth Southgate said he had 'no advice' to offer the women's team that has already accomplished what his has not.
Speaking in a video posted on the Lionesses’ social media, Southgate said: “Hi to you all out there in Australia.
“You’re doing a brilliant job, so that’s the first thing, and of course there is no advice because you’ve done more than us already, and you know what is needed to win.
“So all that remains is to wish you the very best for the final, and we hope you can bring that trophy back.
“Good luck everybody.”
England reached the World Cup final after facing a hostile atmosphere in Sydney as they took on the Matildas on their home turf at Stadium Australia.
Ella Toone scored in the 36th minute before Australia's Sam Kerr smashed home the equaliser after the hour.
The Lionesses fought back with Lauren Hemp punishing a defensive error to get on to Mille Bright’s long ball in the 71st minute before Alessia Russo wrapped up the win later on.
England won 3-1 on the night.
The whole country has been behind them throughout – including footballing veteran David Beckham, who played for the male squad for 13 years between 1996 and 2009.
He sent the team a message of support in a video posted on the official England Instagram page, which was captioned: “A very special message for our @lionesses ahead of their #FIFAWWC semi-final!
“Thanks for your support, @davidbeckham (and Harper!)."
In the clip, Beckham said to the camera: “Hey girls!
“I just wanted to say, wow. What a tournament it’s been so far. It’s been so much fun to watch and we’re all so proud as a nation of what you’ve achieved already.”
While many social media echoed his sentiment in the comments, some picked up on his use of language – criticising Beckham for referring to the team as ‘girls’.
“Not sure that the right way to start the video,” one fumed.
Someone else agreed: “They're women David. Women!”
Another said: “They are women. Please stop calling them girls!!!”