Alessia Russo celebrating a goal for EnglandAlessia Russo scored in both the quarter-finals and semi-finals for England2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup: Final - Spain v England

Venue: Stadium Australia Date: Sunday, 20 August Kick-off: 11:00 BST
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, listen on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Sounds and follow on the BBC Sport website & app

England take on Spain in the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup final on Sunday at 11:00 BST.

It is the first time either country has reached the final - so what tests did they face along the way?

BBC Sport takes a look at some of the key moments for both teams as they progressed through the tournament.


Walsh carried off versus Denmark

England began their campaign with a hard-fought 1-0 win against Haiti and scored early on in the second match against Denmark.

But their concern was then focused on defensive midfielder Keira Walsh, who suffered a knee injury in the first half and was carried off on a stretcher.

There were fears she had suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage - but luckily, the injury was not as bad as it first looked. She missed the third group game against China, but has started England’s other five matches to date.

James superb as England hit China for six

Lauren James was England’s matchwinner against Denmark and was in unstoppable form against China.

She scored two excellent goals, created three assists and was unlucky to be denied another goal by a controversial video assistant referee decision.

James helped England secure a 6-1 victory as they cruised through as group winners with nine points from three matches.

Penalty joy against Nigeria after James red card

James was the star against China but had a moment to forget in the last 16 when she was sent off for standing on the back of Nigeria’s Michelle Alozie, who was lying face down on the grass.

England had to battle throughout extra time a player short and stayed in the game to force a penalty shootout.

Georgia Stanway, who scored a retaken penalty in the 1-0 win over Haiti, went first and shot wide, only for Nigeria’s Desire Oparanozie to also miss. Beth England scored and Alozie fired over the bar to give the Lionesses the advantage.

Rachel Daly and Alex Greenwood converted their efforts before Chloe Kelly, who netted the winner in last summer’s Euro 2022 final, kept her cool to take England into the quarter-finals.

England fight back to beat Colombia

England also had to fight hard in their quarter-final with Colombia.

Leicy Santos put the South Americans ahead, lobbing goalkeeper Mary Earps, just before half-time, but England grabbed an equaliser through Lauren Hemp in the sixth minute of first-half injury time.

Alessia Russo put the Lionesses ahead after 63 minutes and although Colombia had chances to take the game to extra time, Earps and the England defence denied them to advance into the final four.

Russo seals final spot with late goal to see off co-hosts

With Spain already through to the final, England took on co-hosts Australia for the right to join them.

Ella Toone fired a superb strike into the top corner to put Sarina Wiegman’s side ahead, only for Chelsea striker and Australia captain Sam Kerr to equalise with a stunning goal of her own.

Hemp capitalised on a defensive error to restore England’s lead, then set up Russo, who added a third to secure a first World Cup final spot and end Australia’s hopes of winning the tournament.


Spain put off-field problems behind them in great start

Spain’s build-up to the tournament had been dominated by a player revolt, with a number of players wanting head coach Jorge Vilda to be sacked.

But Vilda stayed on, and his side made a superb start, beating Costa Rica 3-0 and Zambia 5-0.

Japan thrash Spain in final group match

Despite dominating possession, Spain were thrashed 4-0 by Japan in their final Group C match.

The 2011 world champions scored three times in the first half, two from Hinata Miyazawa and one from Riko Ueki before substitute Mina Tanaka added a late fourth to leave already-qualified Spain in second place in the group.

Bonmati stars as Spain smash Switzerland

But Spain returned to form in style as they gained a 5-1 victory over Switzerland to secure their first knockout-stage win at a World Cup.

Aitana Bonmati scored twice and made two further goals, with Alba Redondo, Laia Codina (who had earlier scored a bizarre own goal from 40 yards out) and Jennifer Hermoso also on the scoresheet to ensure a place in the last eight.

Teenager Paralluelo’s extra-time goal eliminates Netherlands

The Netherlands, runners-up four years ago, were Spain’s quarter-final opponents with Vilda’s team scoring an 80th-minute penalty from Mariona Caldentey.

Stefanie van der Gragt grabbed a 91st-minute equaliser for the Dutch to force extra time, but 19-year-old Salma Paralluelo became her country’s youngest scorer at a Women’s World Cup with her winner in the 111th minute.

Last-minute winner takes Spain into final

Sweden, a side third in the world rankings, were Spain’s opponents in the semi-final and it was another thrilling finish, with all three goals scored inside the last 10 minutes.

Paralluelo opened the scoring, Rebecka Blomqvist equalised but just 93 seconds later captain Olga Carmona scored an 89th-minute winner to spark wild scenes of jubilation among the Spanish supporters.

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