Women’s World Cup Finals: Spain vs England. We are at the final stretch with two teams remaining. We will crown a new champion as Spain and England will look to add their first star to their crest. There is also the third-place matchup between Sweden and Australia to look forward to.
Our Back Sports Page soccer team chose their picks on who will be victorious on Saturday and Sunday.
Third-Place Match: Sweden vs Australia
Sweden played until the very end against Spain, tying the match in the 87th minute. However, they conceded a goal shortly after. Their bad luck continues as they fail to capitalize on another trophy, following their second-place finish against Canada during the 2020 Olympics. Sweden were one of the powerhouses in the tournament with their world class defending against the USWNT and their upstanding performance against Japan.
Surprisingly, their center back Amanda Ilestedt has been their top scorer this World Cup, totaling four goals while averaging about four clearances per match. Goalkeeper Zecira Musovic has been the best keeper at this tournament, making 11 saves against the U.S while totaling 18 saves thus far.
For their opponent Australia, they gave it their all, but could not crack through England. It was heartbreaking for the host nation, who broke a record for the most viewed TV event in country history with 11.5 viewers. With the population of the country 25.69 million, this was about 43% of the population.
One advantage Australia has over Sweden is the 12th player: the fans. They sold out every match, totaling an attendance of 75,784 against England. Australia also has Sam Kerr back, who scored a screamer against England to tie the match. The Chelsea star is accompanied by Real Madrid’s Haley Raso. She is the team’s top scorer with three goals while winning 10 tackles.
Here is what the team thinks will win third place on Saturday August 19th:
Paulina Vairo: Sweden
Alex Sabri: Australia
Carlo Magno: Australia
Nicole Powell: Australia
Andy Diederich: Sweden
Final Match: Spain vs England
Spain have been the best team at this tournament. Besides a hiccup against Japan, they have outplayed their opponents in practically every match on every stat line. They have outscored their opponents 17-7 while maintaining an average of 71% of possession each match. There has yet to be a match where Spain have held less than 60% of possession, which is an incredible stat.
Even with Alexis Putellas not at her peak, they have done it without her. Jennifer Hermoso and Aitana Bonmati are the two stars of the team, together having six goals and four assists. Not to mention rising star Samla Paralluelo, scoring two crucial goals to help put Spain into the finals.
On paper, Spain looks like the favorites, however there are flaws in the team. Conceding four goals against Japan show the weakness in their defense. Not to mention the own goal by Laia Codina against Switzerland and the almost upset against the Netherlands.
With England, they have played to their expectations at this tournament, though there were doubts following a rocky group stage. Their opening match saw them draw against Haiti, almost conceding a few times against them. Lucky for them, they had Lauren James to rescue them, scoring three goals and three assists in the group stage to secure first place in the group.
England again had another hiccup, failing to score against Nigeria to win it in penalties. Their issue is keeping consistency. They have not been able to keep a streak of good matches, which could be dangerous against a dominating Spain side. However, they have the advantage of the veteran players.
Out of the 22 players on the roster, half of them were on the team that won the Euros in 2022. They have also been able to outscore opponents 13-3, keeping three clean sheets in six matches. This will make one entertaining final, with any team in the race to take the trophy home for the first time.
Here is what the team thinks will win it all on Sunday August 20th:
Paulina Vairo: England
Alex Sabri: Spain
Carlo Magno: England
Nicole Powell: England
Andy Diederich: England
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter at @backsportspage for Women’s World Cup Coverage of both the third-place and final matches!