Women’s World Cup 2023 LIVE: Lionesses receive heartwarming homecoming as attention turns to next game

Spain 1-0 England: Olga Carmona’s goal sees the Lionesses lose in England’s first World Cup final for 57 years despite Mary Earps’ penalty save

Michael Jones
Monday 21 August 2023 16:50 BST
England fans around UK react to Women's World Cup final against Spain

England heartbreakingly lost 1-0 to Spain in their first Women’s World Cup final as Olga Carmona’s first-half goal proved enough to break the Lionesses’s hearts.

Sarina Wiegman and her players were looking to bring the game’s biggest prize home from Sydney but Carmona drilled a finish into the far corner on 29 minutes and, although Mary Earps brilliantly saved Jennifer Hermoso’s penalty with 20 minutes remaining, England couldn’t fashion an equaliser.

It was the first time the England men’s or women’s team have reached a football World Cup final since 1966 and the nation came to a halt for the historic occasion – which was briefly interrupted by an anti-Putin protester invading the pitch in the first half – but were left bereft as Spain saw out the victory.

Lauren Hemp came closest to scoring for the Lionesses when her curling effort struck the bar in the 16th minute but Spain were good value for the win as they became just the fifth nation to lift the Women’s World Cup, following in the footsteps of USA (4), Germany (2), Norway (1) and Japan (1).

Follow the latest updates as the Lionesses fly home:


World Cup winner Olga Carmona learns of father’s death minutes after final whistle

Spain’s Olga Carmona’s World Cup Celebrations have been marred by tragedy after she found that her father died just minutes after the game.

The 23-year-old Real Madrid star secured a 1-0 win over England today in Sydney in the final.

Carmona found out that her father died following the full-time whistle. Spanish FA said her father died just before the final got underway.

World Cup-winning goalscorer is informed of father’s death minutes after final ends

Carmona’s family kept death secret from her for two days until after match was over

Mike Jones21 August 2023 10:43

Spain star Jenni Hermoso reacts after FA president kisses her on lips

Spain star Jenni Hermoso insisted she “did not enjoy it” after being kissed on the lips by Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales.

The incident occurred as Hermoso made her way to the podium after Spain defeated England in the Women’s World Cup final thanks to Olga Carmona’s strike.

After being given her medal by Fifa president Gianni Infantino, Hermoso was given a hug by Mr Rubiales, who lifted her off her feet.

A brief conversation between the pair followed, before Mr Rubiales grabbed Hermoso around her back and kissed her on the lips.

Outrage quickly spread on social media, with football supporters accusing Mr Rubiales of inappropriate behaviour.

Spain star reacts after FA president kisses her on lips

The Spain star was making her way to the podium after receiving her Women’s World Cup winners’ medal following her team’s victory against England

Mike Jones21 August 2023 10:36

Lionesses receive surprise reception as they start journey back to England

England’s World Cup finalists received a warm welcome as they started their long journey back to the United Kingdom on Monday morning.

The Lionesses, who reached the final of the Women’s World Cup, were agonisingly beaten by Spain 1-0 on Sunday.

It was the first time any England team had reached the World Cup final in 57 years, but it was not to be and Olga Carmona’s goal secured a first trophy for Spain’s women’s team.

Starting their journey home, the Lionesses were applauded through Sydney Airport by passengers in a heartwarming moment.

Lionesses receive surprise reception as they start journey back to England

England recieved a warm reception at Sydney Airport

Mike Jones21 August 2023 10:30

England suffer World Cup heartache as brilliant Spain show Lionesses what’s missing

An exhibition in how to win a World Cup and a final that delivered a painful example of what England need to do. Sarina Wiegman took her side to the very brink, but something was still just missing against a brilliant Spain. The Women’s World Cup has new champions, but it isn’t England. Spain had the one element that the European champions still lack, beyond that glorious trophy itself. They are the only women’s side with a profound football identity, which amplifies everything they do from within and was visible in the Olga Carmona goal that settled this contest. It was a fittingly divine strike to win a fixture like this.

Against that, Wiegman could only try to rearrange the pieces to give Spain more of a puzzle to solve. It has been her great strength, but it wasn’t enough. She sadly experiences defeat in successive World Cup finals, this one may be all the more painful because her side had seemed more primed for it.

It was only 1-0 but the gap in pure football terms felt far greater. This is the immense challenge in facing this Spain, what space to protect, how far you can go. Even Wiegman eventually found a problem she couldn’t solve. It was a challenge – and a game – too far.

England suffer World Cup heartache as brilliant Spain show Lionesses what’s missing

England 0-1 Spain: Mary Earps stopped Jennifer Hermoso’s penalty, but the Lionesses were beaten by Olga Carmona’s goal

Mike Jones21 August 2023 10:22

England Lionesses cheered and applauded at airport as they begin journey home

England’s Lionesses were applauded as they began the journey home from Australia after their World Cup Final defeat.

Sarina Wiegman’s side lost 1-0 to Spain in a tight match in Sydney on Sunday.

However, footage on social media showed the team being clapped and cheered at Sydney Airport on Monday ahead of their flight back to the UK.

Players signed autographs and took pictures with fans, while head coach Wiegman was seen waving and smiling.

England Lionesses cheered and applauded at airport as they begin journey home

They are expected to arrive back in the UK on Tuesday, with fans congratulating them despite the defeat.

Mike Jones21 August 2023 10:15

We gave everything – Sarina Wiegman so proud despite ‘hard to take’ final defeat

England boss Sarina Wiegman felt the Lionesses exhausted every effort to win their first Women’s World Cup final despite coming up just short with a 1-0 loss to Spain in Sydney.

The Dutch boss, who led England to their first major trophy at last summer’s European Championship, finds herself with a silver medal in two consecutive attempts after steering 2019 runners-up the Netherlands to the title-decider four years ago in France.

Second place is still a best-ever finish for the Lionesses in a global showpiece, beating their bronze medal from 2015, but the three-time FIFA Best winning coach knows from experience it may take some time before the sting subsides.

“It feels really bad, of course, and very disappointed, but still very proud of the team. I’m just hurt about this moment. Losing a game and in a final, when you’re in a final you want to win it.”

Read the England coaches full thoughts below:

We gave everything – Sarina Wiegman so proud despite ‘hard to take’ final defeat

The Lionesses suffered a 1-0 loss to Spain in Sydney’s Women’s World Cup final on Sunday.

Mike Jones21 August 2023 10:09

England players ‘heartbroken’ after World Cup final defeat to Spain

England captain Millie Bright said the Lionesses are “heartbroken” after an agonising defeat to Spain in the World Cup final.

Olga Carmona’s first-half strike settled the Sydney final as England’s bid to win their first World Cup in 57 years came up short.

The Lionesses were given hope when Mary Earps brilliantly saved Jenni Hermoso’s penalty, but Sarina Wiegman’s side were unable to find the equaliser.

Read the full reaction from members of the England camp below:

England players ‘heartbroken’ after World Cup final defeat to Spain

The Lionesses were denied a first Women’s World Cup title as Spain saw out a 1-0 win in Syndey

Mike Jones21 August 2023 10:06

‘England did us proud’: Stars congratulate Lionesses for World Cup final efforts

British stars from the world of showbiz and broadcasting have shared messages of appreciation for the Lionesses who lost to Spain in the Women’s World Cup final.

Spain secured a final 1-0 victory in Sydney on Sunday, following Olga Carmona’s first-half goal, however, Sarina Wiegman’s side still achieved a best-ever second-place finish.

Read more below:

Mike Jones21 August 2023 10:03

Prince William sends ‘thank you’ message to Lionesses after World Cup final defeat

The Prince of Wales has shared a message of consolation with the Lionesses after their defeat against Spain at the World Cup final.

Spain’s women’s football team beat England 1-0 in the final, the first time since 1966 that any England football team had reached a World Cup final. In response to the disappointing result, William sent an encouraging message to the team on social media.

“Although it’s the result none of us wanted, @Lionesses you have done yourselves and this nation proud,” he wrote on Sunday afternoon.

“Your spirit & drive have inspired so many people and paved the way for generations to come. Thank you for the footballing memories.”

He concluded his message by sharing a message of congratulations to Spain, before signing off with his initial, “W”.

Mike Jones21 August 2023 10:00

A change too far? England’s last roll of the dice comes up short

England had covered the gaps, they had filled the holes. They had adjusted, adapted, repositioned, created a new formation, and reached a first World Cup final. Then England changed again.

Down 1-0 in the World Cup final, Sarina Wiegman went for a last roll of the dice, a double substitution that saw Alessia Russo and Rachel Daly brought off and Lauren James and Chloe Kelly come on. That 3-5-2 that was England’s revelation of the tournament, that changed their World Cup? It was binned. England went back to 4-3-3. They disposed of the wing-backs and brought on the wingers. They stopped pressing Spain and abandoned their plan.

But perhaps Wiegman and England needed to stick with their conviction. For the first time at the World Cup, the Lionesses did not find the changes that were required. James and Kelly brought moments of improvement, but the truth is that England were at their most dangerous when Lauren Hemp and Russo were combining as a front two. Hemp’s switch to a central role took away the threat that was everywhere in the first half, and left Wiegman searching for something else. On came Beth England. Up went Millie Bright. But this was a situation England could not overcome.

Read Jamie Braidwood’s full report from Sydney:

A change too far? England’s last roll of the dice comes up short

England 0-1 Spain: Sarina Wiegman replaced Alessia Russo and Rachel Daly at half time for Lauren James and Chloe Kelly, but the Lionesses fell short in Sydney

Mike Jones21 August 2023 09:57

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