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The Knight Online

The Knight Online

It’s Coming Home To Spain

Reliving Spain’s Historic Women’s World Cup Run
Steffen Prößdorf
The Adidas Oceaunz ball, the official matchball of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, is different from the design used in the semi-finals, third place game, and the final, the Adidas Oceaunz Final Pro. This ball has an orange and gold coloration, similar to a sunset.

At the first whistle, the crowd is cheering, and fans are on the edge of their seats in Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand. On July 20, 2023, the ninth official FIFA Women’s World Cup kicked off. 

Co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, fans from all over the world supported their teams in person, or at home. Yet, nobody watching was prepared for the history and upsets this World Cup would bring.

A day later, at Wellington Regional Stadium in New Zealand, Spain began their historic Women’s World Cup run, with a 3-0 group stage win against Costa Rica. 

The group stages are a blur, with most of the favorites making it through. Despite this, Brazil shocked everybody and themselves with an early knockout, not even making it out of the group stages. 

An idol for many, Marta had these words to say in her post-game interview, “Even in my worst nightmares I didn’t imagine it turning out this way. It’s just the start, though. The people of Brazil wanted renewal and they’re getting it.”

Yet, the World Cup carried on, and before the round of sixteen, fans were starting to doubt their teams, especially the United States. As Illiana Almaraz ‘25 said, “I wanted the USA to win at first, however after seeing their first couple of games, I did not think they would win and started rooting for Japan.”

She was right. The United States would not win, especially after getting knocked out in the round of sixteen by Sweden. While this upset was happening, Spain continued with their historic win with a 5-1 win against Switzerland.

On the other side of the bracket, tournament favorites put an end to Nigeria’s fairytale run, but not without a red card. English player Lauren James received a red card, leaving her out of the tournament for two weeks. Her only hope for playing again would be the final. Can England do it?

We’ll have to see as the quarterfinals had fans on the edge of their seats, especially Spanish supporters. The Spain-Netherlands game was 1-1 at the end of the full 90 minutes, leading to overtime.

The Netherlands had a chance to knock out Spain, with a miss in the 110th minute. This, however, gave Spain the opportunity to counter, and almost immediately, Spain scored the final goal of the game, moving on to the semi-finals where they will play Sweden, who knocked out previous world champions Japan in the quarterfinals.

England is still going strong, yet they have one more game before they can reach the final. Will Australia be able to end England’s seemingly easy run through this World Cup? 

The answer is no, and England moves on to the final where they will play Spain, who beat Sweden 2-1. The final is set, and both teams and fans are ready to see who will be the new world champion.

First, Sweden plays Australia for third place. It is a close match-up, but Sweden defeats the co-hosts 2-0.

One game left. Fans are making their predictions, and it becomes evident that England is the favorite for this Women’s World Cup. Yet, there are still plenty of fans who still believe Spain will pull through, such as Viviana Guevera ‘27, who says, “I predicted that Spain would win.”

Now is the moment the world, especially England, has been waiting for, the 2023 Women’s World Cup Final.

The teams are evenly matched, but in the end, Spain won 1-0 over England, prolonging England’s hope for a World Cup another three years. Despite England’s sadness and loss of another World Cup, Spain lifted their trophy as cheers of “Campeones!” filled the air, and the Spanish Women’s National Team are added to the list of Women’s World Cup winners.

Now, after Spain lifted their trophy, and players went back to their clubs, fans keep this World Cup alive, all while waiting for the tenth annual Women’s World Cup in 2027.

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