Spain vs England preview: Women’s World Cup 2023 final

The two European heavyweights will bring the tournament to a close in what promises to be a close, high-quality final.

world cup
England fans watch England's quarterfinal win over Colombia at Boxpark Croydon [File: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images]

When: Sunday, August 20
Where: Stadium Australia, Sydney, Australia
Kickoff: 8pm (10:00 GMT)

The scene is set: La Roja and the Lionesses, two European heavyweights, will play the Women’s World Cup final in Sydney on Sunday.

It marks the end of a remarkable tournament that’s encapsulated all the beautiful game has to offer; from the group stages that oscillated between high-scoring mismatches and tight, cautious defensive displays to the high-quality knockout stages peppered with upsets, penalty drama, and the displays of joy and heartache that accompany such high-pressure stakes.

England’s Rachel Daly celebrates beating Australia in the semifinal [Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/Reuters]

La Roja have notched up an eye-watering 17 goals in the tournament.

After a dominant first two matches and already qualified for the knockout stages, they even afforded themselves a drop in focus and were beaten 4-0 by Japan.

In the knockout stages, they had a more difficult time, scraping past the Netherlands 2-1 in the quarterfinals with a 111th-minute winner. In the semifinal, Sweden and Spain served up a thriller, with Olga Carmona scoring the winner in the 89th minute with a delightful long-range shot that bounced off the crossbar and over the line.

Sweden's Magdalena Eriksson in action as Spain's Salma Paralluelo heads at goal
Spain’s Salma Paralluelo heads at goal [Molly Darlington/Reuters]

The Lionesses have not lost a game in the tournament and notched up some impressive results, not least their 3-1 win over co-hosts Australia in the semifinal.

However, they have sometimes shown some vulnerability, particularly against Nigeria, who could have beaten England in the quarterfinal had it not been for some wayward finishing.

If the last time the two met is anything to go by, then we are in for a treat. In last year’s European Championships quarterfinals, England came from behind to win after Esther Gonzalez’s first-half strike had given Spain the lead.

Georgia Stanway’s long-range strike in the final minutes to win it for the eventual champions will no doubt be replayed plenty of times in the England dressing room ahead of Sunday’s final.

Spain’s team news

Full-back Olga Carmona is expected to retain a place in the starting XI, having impressed in the absence of Oihane Hernandez, who is available for the final after serving a suspension.

England’s team news

England’s coach Wiegman will have to decide whether to start Ella Toone, who scored in the semifinal or breakout star Lauren James, who is available again after a two-match suspension.

Players to watch


Aitana Bonmati, Barcelona’s versatile midfielder, has emerged as Spain’s chief playmaker, scoring three goals in the tournament.

To put her performances into perspective, Pep Guardiola, the manager of the men’s Manchester City, said: “I would say she [Bonmati] is like the women’s [Andrés] Iniesta playing for Barcelona”. High praise indeed from one of football’s most successful managers.


Keira Walsh, another Barcelona midfielder, has blessed her national team with grace, composure and intelligence, and has been a vital cog in Wiegman’s machine.

She may not have made it onto the scoresheet so far, but she is England’s unsung hero, having dictated play in midfield for the Lionesses.


The two teams have played 11 times, with England notching up six wins, Spain two and three draws.

World Cup record and FIFA rankings

Spain were sixth in FIFA’s world rankings ahead of the World Cup, while England were fourth.

Spain: W L W W W

England: W W W W W

Where can I watch the game?

Global listings are available from

If you are in England, you can watch the game for free on both BBC and ITV or stream it on BBC iPlayer and ITVX. If you are in Spain, you can watch it live on RTVE.

You can also follow our live blog on match day.

Source: Al Jazeera