World champions Spain beat France to win Women's Nations League

World champions Spain beat France to win Women's Nations League

© AFP 2022
February 28, 2024 at 8:00 PM
Spain completely outplayed France at Seville's El Cartuja stadium
Spain completely outplayed France at Seville's El Cartuja stadium. Photo: CRISTINA QUICLER / AFP
Source: AFP

Aitana Bonmati scored as Spain added the Women's Nations League trophy to their World Cup title with a comfortable 2-0 victory over France in Wednesday's final in Seville.

Spain continued their golden run of form as they prepare for a first ever appearance at the Olympics in Paris later this year.

Hopes are high that France, coached by Herve Renard, can challenge for the Olympic title on home soil, but they were completely outplayed by Spain.

The world champions secured a title at the first attempt for coach Montserrat Tome, who replaced controversial boss Jorge Vilda after he was sacked following the World Cup and ex-football federation president Luis Rubiales's forcible kiss on the lips of forward Jenni Hermoso.

Spain dominated the early stages, coming close to breaking the deadlock in the 26th minute when centre-back Irene Paredes powered a header from a corner just wide.

The hosts did forge ahead just after the half-hour mark as France were cut open down their left-hand side, with Ballon d'Or winner Bonmati arriving unmarked in the centre to volley home Olga Carmona's cross from close range.

Spain almost doubled their advantage in the final seconds of the first half, as Laia Aleixandri headed wide, with appeals for a penalty for a possible deflection off France defender Amandine Henry's arm waved away.

But Tome's side wasted little time in making it two after the break, as Mariona Caldentey swept Ona Batlle's low ball into the bottom corner in the 53rd minute.

France never threatened a fightback, failing to muster a single shot on target in the match.

Paredes had another header saved by France goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin as Spain pushed for a third, but they had to settle for the most straightforward of two-goal victories.

Later on Wednesday, the Netherlands host Germany in the third-place play-off in Heerenveen, with the winners to join Spain and France, who did so automatically as hosts, in qualifying for the Olympics.

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© AFP 2022 photo
© AFP 2022