England manager Sarina Wiegman walks past the Women's World Cup trophy
England manager Sarina Wiegman.
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Wiegman reacts to ‘very disappointing’ England defeat in Women’s World Cup final

Sarina Wiegman says that she is “proud” of her England squad despite a “very disappointing” defeat to Spain in the Fifa Women’s World Cup final.

Spain emerged 1-0 winners from the decider thanks to a first-half strike from Olga Carmona to become just the second nation to win both the men’s and women’s tournament.

“I think everyone has seen an incredible game, very open game, both teams who want to play football,” the England manager told BBC One. “Two different halves for us. In the first half we really struggled to have a press on the ball.

“We changed it in the second half back to 4-3-3 and I think we got momentum then. But then the energy went out of the game with the penalty and the injury to Alex [Greenwood].

“After all Spain were just a little bit better than we were today and they had a great tournament so congrats for Spain.

“Of course it feels really bad now, very very disappointing. You go into the final and you want to give everything and then you lose it.

“That happens in sports too but what we have done, how we have shown ourselves, who we are, how we want to play as a team, overcoming so many challenges, I think we can be so proud of ourselves now although it doesn’t feel like it at the moment.”

Spain began the brighter of the two side, creating the greater number of chances in an open-ended and frenetic start to the game. But England were still able to expose gaps at the back and went closest to opening the scoring when Lauren Hemp’s strike smacked off the crossbar.

Yet it was Carmona who drew first blood in the 16th minute after combining with Barcelona’s Mariona Caldentey, the left-back drilling the ball into the bottom-right corner.

Wiegman made a double change at the half, subbing on Lauren James and Chloe Kelly for Alessia Russo and Rachel Daly.

It had the desired effect, in that England were much improved after the interval and grabbed a foothold in the game. But Spain continued to pile on the pressure as the half wore on.

They were handed the opportunity to double their lead when, following a lengthy VAR review, Keira Walsh was judged to have handled the ball in the box. Mary Earps was equal to Jennifer Hermoso’s effort, saving the penalty to keep the Lionesses in the game.

But Jorge Vilda’s side held on until the final whistle, which came after 13 minutes of injury time, to secure their first ever Women’s World Cup trophy.

Read – England ‘heartbroken’ as Spain edge tight Women’s World Cup final

Read Also – Roy Keane slams ‘desperate’ Man United following Tottenham defeat

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