The Lionesses of England were defeated 1-0 by the Spanish Female Team at the FIFA World Cup Finals in Australia and New Zealand, on Sunday, August 20th .
After the disappointments and self-appraisal, many would be wondering, why did the Lionesses fail at this critical last stage of the tournament?
England, hyped by the media had already crowned themselves world champions even before the final game had kicked off.
Yes, they were European champions and had been unbeaten in the group games.
In contrast, the Spanish did not have similar credentials and were touted as the divisive team of the tournament.Media reports had revealed infighting in the Spanish camp with several players at logger heads with the coach, Jorge Vilda. There were sustained reports of how the players had revolted against the rules and tactics of the coach. This was supposed to be a Spanish team in chaos.
The Lionesses had assumed they would walk all over the Spanish team in the finals. After all, with a sterling pedigree and seemingly sailing through the European qualification games without conceding a goal, who could stop them now? Certainly, not the divided Spanish team.
They were even talks about how the good English female team coach, Sarina Wiegman was and could transition to become the coach of the English National male football team, the three Lions! That would have been an unprecedented and record breaking feat for a female coach.
The truth is the English team stated losing the final game right from the second-round match against Nigeria. The English were both lucky and with some favors, they barely made it past the eleven time African champions.
That second game was the game that unraveled the English talisman, Lauren James. She cut a frustrated figure and was outplayed by the Nigerian defense. She eventually got a red card and would be banned for the next two games. Psychologically, it was a big blow for the English team.
Nigeria played so well and should rightly have won that game without the need to go into penalties. A very clear penalty offense committed by the English defense against Michelle Alozie, was surprisingly let go by both the referee and VAR. If that call had rightly been made, the English would have been out of the competition and spared their supporters the anguish of a cup final defeat.
The English team console themselves after the finals (Credit: Reuters)
The Spanish team came very well prepared and were better overall. The game should have been buried long ago if they had converted the penalty awarded to them in the second half.
It all comes down to one thing, the English team was just not good enough to be world champions.
It was an amazing world cup and a huge testament on the rise of female football all around the world.
Congratulations to the Spanish Female team, winners of the 2023 FIFA Womens World Cup