Score and updates as Lauren Hemp hits bar in Women’s World Cup final

Lauren Hemp had an early chance for the European champions/England vs Spain live: Score and updates as Lauren Hemp hits bar in Women’s World Cup final
Lauren Hemp had an early chance for the European champions – Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

11:19 AM BST

Table of Contents

15 mins: England 0-0 Spain

First great chance of the match falls to England and more specifically Lauren Hemp. The Lionesses when they get into the final third are upping the tempo and playing with real intent. The ball is delivered square from the left and Hemp hits it first time with her left boot firing against the crossbar.

11:16 AM BST

From Tom Garry at Stadium Australia

England are going a lot more direct than we’ve seen for much of this tournament, in the early stages here.

In the technical areas, Spain boss Jorge Vilda is standing on the edge of his area with his hands in his pockets. Sarina Wiegman has sat down to speak with Arjan Veurink, her assistant.

11:16 AM BST

12 mins: England 0-0 Spain

Great one-touch football from Spain in their own half is a delight to watch but also, more importantly, gets them into the England half and again forces the backline into some timely tackles. A warning sign of what this Spain side are able to do.

11:14 AM BST

10 mins: England 0-0 Spain

England are pressing high up, looking to force Spain into errors. Bronze commits a foul BUT Spain give the ball away from the free-kick and Hemp is in the box and does well to earn the first corner of the game.

Can they create something from this? The answer is ‘no’ as Cata comes and claims the ball well.

But promising signs for Sarina Wiegman’s side.

11:12 AM BST

8 mins: England 0-0 Spain

Spain have been in the England half a fair bit so far, but Earps is yet to make a save. The Lionesses are looking more than solid at the back so far.

11:10 AM BST

Both sides showing enterprise so far

Alex Greenwood watches Spain's Alba Redondo

11:09 AM BST

5 mins: England 0-0 Spain

Spain again have some joy down the right. Bonmati does brilliantly, driving though midfield before laying it off for Redondo. She crosses into the box but ultimately England defend well and Spain are unable to create a chance.

11:07 AM BST

4 mins: England 0-0 Spain

The first shot of the match is from England as the ball is played into the box, Spain cannot deal with it and Hemp latches onto the loose ball forcing Cate into a good, low save.

Positive start from the Lionesses.

11:06 AM BST

3 mins: England 0-0 Spain

Spain attack down the right through the exciting teenager Paralluelo. Millie Bright stands her ground and forces Spain infield. The move peters out with a cross to no one. Solid start in defence from the Lionesses.

11:03 AM BST

2 mins: England 0-0 Spain

It’s a crisp evening in Sydney and it’s England with the early possession – Hemp taking a real whack as well, she’s up and OK though. Phew.

11:02 AM BST

1 min: England 0-0 Spain

The World Cup final is under way – Spain are in their traditional red and England in their away blue (remember England wore their away kit when winning the World Cup in 1966…).

11:00 AM BST

Just moments to go

Strap in and get ready to enjoy the ride…

Good luck Lionesses…

10:59 AM BST

The national anthems have been sung

There were definitely more fans singing ‘God Save out King’…more England fans in the stadium then?

10:57 AM BST

The two teams are out on the pitch

There are a mixture of serious, focused and relaxed faces on display. The Lionesses are led out by Millie Bright, the finish line is in sight, can England reach it ahead of Spain?

10:52 AM BST

The teams are in the tunnel

We’re about 10 minutes from kick-off.

How are those nerves?

10:50 AM BST

Tom Garry at Stadium Australia

It’s understood that 6,890 people are in hospitality seats for this final, the largest hospitality attendance ever at a Women’s World Cup match. There were only 13 matches at last year’s men’s World Cup in Qatar that had more hospitality guests. Right now, they’re seeing a ‘closing ceremony’ that is featuring an impressive light show, flames jetting into the air from the side of the pitch, fireworks and plenty of dancing. Pitchside, over a hundred photographs are in-position, clustered in two groups, awaiting the shots of the players walking out down the tunnel.


The closing ceremony is almost over and the match is nearly upon us – AP/Rick Rycroft

10:44 AM BST

Corydon Boxpark is simmering ahead of kick-off

By Janet Eastham

The music has been blaring for over an hour at Croydon Boxpark in south London, and on the balcony Ava Stewart, 9, had been waving an England flag for almost the entire time.

“I’m worried her arm is going to fall off,” jokes her mother, Michelle O’Neill, an executive assistant from Kingston.

Nine-year-old Ava, sporting both lion face paint, is part of the new generation of female footballers inspired by the seemingly unstoppable rise of England women’s team.

“Lauren James is my favourite footballer, because she plays for Chelsea and she’s a great player,” Ava told The Telegraph.

The young Chelsea fan trains twice a week at Fulham and plays for Richmond Park.

Croydon Boxpark

Fans excited for the final ahead at Croydon boxpark – Jamie Lorriman for the Telegraph

10:40 AM BST

Let’s talk about Spain

Such is the focus on the Lionesses that sometimes it’s easy to forget there is another team out on that pitch tonight.

Since they lost 4-0 to Japan in the group stage Spain have impressed, knocking out Switzerland, the Netherlands and France.

Not only that but they’ve done it while coping with a rift between coach Jorge Vilda and his players – remarkable…

The majority of the players are made up of Champions League winners Barcelona and they will likely enjoy more possession tonight. England will need to be patient.

READ: How Spain defied internal turmoil to reach World Cup final

Spain football team

Spain will be tough to beat and will likely enjoy more possession than England today – AFP /Saeed Khan

10:32 AM BST

Prince of Wales is disappointed not to be in Sydney

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said the Prince of Wales is “disappointed” not to attend the Women’s World Cup final, as she defended William and the Prime Minister from criticism that they have not travelled.

Speaking to the PA news agency in Sydney, she said: “I’m in Australia representing the Government. The Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, is also here. I know that the Prime Minister feels very passionately about the women’s game.

“Only about a month or so ago he and I were at 10 Downing Street with the Lionesses, and I know he sent a message to the Lionesses wishing them congratulations and luck today.”

Asked if she understands the disappointment of people who suggest both William and Rishi Sunak would be attending if it were the men’s team in the same position, Ms Frazer added: “I think the royal family do a tremendous amount for the country in so many spheres, including in sport. Prince William is, of course, the president of the FA and is a tremendous supporter of the sport.

“I know that he’s disappointed that he isn’t able to be here today but he has sent a message of good luck to the Lionesses.

“I’m sure that on their return, win or lose, he will be congratulating them on how they’ve done in this competition.”

10:26 AM BST

Good omen alert No.2!

Fara Williams has been somewhat of a Mystic Meg this tournament, not only predicting the right results but also the right scores (spooky…). And the former England international and current BBC pundit has gone for a 2-0 win to the Lionesses.

So fear not, get rid of those nerves and enjoy the match…

Fara Williams

Part-time pundit, full-time mystic, Fara Williams – Getty Image/Naomi Baker

10:20 AM BST

From Tom Garry at Stadium Australia

“The England supporters have been singing in Sydney all day, gathering in the coastal suburb of Manly, north east of Sydney, around 10am this morning – 10 hours before kick-off – with a group of them catching the ferry into downtown Sydney this morning under pristine, blue skies, chanting ‘Tooney and ‘Lessi Russo’ at the top of their voices as the ferry approached Central Quay, the harbour adjacent to the iconic Sydney Opera House.

“Around 8,000 Lionesses fans are expected to be here tonight, but perhaps more, as resale tickets have been snapped up frantically with slightly over-confident USA fans having seemingly grabbed a lot of the tickets for this match in the early sale windows. It’s a sellout, nonetheless, and currently we’re being treated to a rendition of ‘Heeeeey, Hey baby, Oo, Aah…’ (You know the song) around the stadium sound system.”

10:18 AM BST

Sarina Wiegman speaks to the BBC – ‘Enjoy the moment’

On the feelings in the squad…

“We have prepared as we always do and are excited.”

On Lauren James starting on the bench…

“I hope everyone who starts has impact on the game. It’s nice to have LJ on the bench and if needed she’s ready.”

On what she’s told the players…

“Spoken about our plan and the strengths and weaknesses of Spain. We want to play our best game but most of all enjoy the moment.”

Sarina Wiegman

Sarina Wiegman has told England to go out there and enjoy it – Getty Images/Matt King

10:06 AM BST

Lucy Bronze speaks to the BBC – ‘The girls are excited and relaxed for the match’

On whether she has any pre-match nerves…

“I am just enjoying the moment, we’ve played here twice before so familiar territory for us. The girls are relaxed and excited for the match.”

On the Spain XI…

“It’s pretty much the same – bar Salma is playing through the middle. We’re ready for whoever they play and who is picked – we’re excited to play them.”

On Lauren James being back on on the bench…

“Sarina says it’s a boost for us to have 23 available, LJ is back and we’re all excited. She’s excited if she comes on and can show everyone what’s she capable of.”

On having big final experience from last year’s Euros triumph…

“We can draw on the fact we know how it goes, we cope with the pressure. It makes a big difference to how you start the game tonight. Hope that can give us the edge.”

Lucy Bronze

Lucy Bronze is ready and excited for the final – Getty Image/Naomi Baker

09:59 AM BST

Both sets of players…

…are looking relaxed and chatting to each other. Obviously Lucy Bronze and Kiera Walsh know a few of the players from Barcelona.

09:55 AM BST

Ready and surveying the scene


Lionesses on the pitch some 70 minutes before kick-off – PA/Zac Goodwin

Esme Morgan and Laura Coombs look relaxed ahead of the big match
Sarina Wiegman

Sarina Wiegman has been here before – four years ago with the Netherlands – can she land the big one with England? – PA/Zac Goodwin

09:51 AM BST

The England team in old-fashioned black and white

England XI to face Spain: Earps, Bronze, Bright, Greenwood, Carter, Daly, Walsh, Stanway, Toone, Hemp, Russo.

Subs: Charles, James, Nobbs, Hampton, Wubben-Moy, Morgan, Coombs, Kelly, England, Zelem, Roebuck, Robinson.

As many expected Sarina Wiegman has named the same England starting XI. That means Lauren James, returning from a two-match suspension, starts on the bench.

Ella Toone keeps her place in the side and England set-up with a back three again. The impressive pairing of Alessia Russo and Lauren Hemp lead the line for England.

And a reminder of the Spain XI…

Spain XI to face England: Cata, Batlle, Paredes, Codina, Olga, Abelleira, Bonmati, Hermoso, Redondo, Caldentey, Paralluelo.

The big news is that two-time Ballon d’Or Alexia Putellas is on the bench…

09:48 AM BST

England unchanged

09:46 AM BST

Nottingham ready to cheer on one of its own

By Eleanor Steafel

A queue of England fans is forming outside the Trent Navigation pub in Nottingham, ready to cheer on one of their own.

Just across the river, in West Bridgford, goalkeeper Mary Earps first pulled on the gloves in a game for the West Bridgford Colts. “I was a young girl who wasn’t afraid of diving around in the mud, I wasn’t afraid of the ball and so I saved it,” she said earlier this year. “That’s how the great love affair started.”

Sisters Faith and Laura Worrall have brought their sons to watch Earps and the Lionesses on a big screen outside the pub.

Laura is feeling “very confident”. “I think it’ll be a tough game, but we’re going to win.

“I think it’ll be 2-1 at full time because I don’t want it to go to penalties.”

You’d imagine Earps is probably feeling similarly.

Mary Earps

Mary Earps has had another outstanding tournament – Getty Images

09:42 AM BST

Ella Toone an inspiration for her former club

Girls’ football has become so popular at Lioness Ella Toone’s old club that they “can’t form teams fast enough”.

Lorraine Warwick-Ellis, from Astley and Tyldesley Community Football Club where Toone used to play, told the BBC: “(Women’s football) weren’t televised for a long time, which was a shame. Now we are on TV, we’re visual and the girls can see it, they can be it.

“It’s great to see all these young girls now who are coming down. It’s like we cannot form teams fast enough for them. It’s superb.”

Toone’s former PE teacher Chris Nuttall said she was a “dream” pupil because she got other students involved.

The PE teacher at Fred Longworth High School in Tyldesley told the BBC: “The good thing for us is Ella still comes back to school. She’s very supportive. And I think with the girls seeing Ella around the school as well when she comes in, it’s been a massive for them.

“We have girls’ teams now in every year group. A lot of girls are very interested and we were just chatting then about how many of the students are coming through wanting to be part of the girls’ team, and that is massively down to Ella and her achievements.”

09:39 AM BST

Beth Mead: ‘They just have to go out there and enjoy it’

England and Arsenal footballer Beth Mead, who missed out on a spot in the Lionesses squad due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury, has told the BBC she is “not surprised” they are in the World Cup final.

Mead told BBC Breakfast: “I’ve been super-proud of them and what they have achieved so far. Obviously they weren’t all guns firing in the group stages, but now they have grown into the tournament, a great semi-final against Australia and hopefully they peak today.

“I’m not surprised where they are, I know the quality we have in the squad and the direction that Sarina (Wiegman) is putting us in.”

When asked how the Lionesses will be preparing in the last few hours before the final, Mead added: “I think the process won’t have changed throughout the tournament. From game one to now, nothing will have changed.

“People who know the players, friends and family, will always message the day before to try not to bombard them on game day. Generally we wouldn’t look on social media to try and get too overexcited or anything in that sense.

“I know the girls will be fully focused, they will have done their preparation and they will have done their work on Spain.

“They will know all about them and knowing Sarina, she will have a plan A, B, C and D. Now they just have to go out there and enjoy it.”

09:36 AM BST

Where are you watching the match?

Well, if you want some inspiration have a read of this…

READ: The best UK bars and pubs to watch the Women’s World Cup final live

09:34 AM BST

Meanwhile, in Madrid…

By James Badcock in Madrid 

Spain fans are flocking towards fanzones and big-screen events to watch today’s final in cities across the country, including Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia.

The atmosphere is certain to reach boiling point with hot weather expected across almost all of Spain today. It will be at least 30 degrees Celsius in Madrid by kick-off time with a high of 39 degrees predicted for the capital today.

The big-screen fanzone at Madrid’s WiZink Center has capacity for 6,000 supporters.

09:33 AM BST

Millie Bright on her dreams coming true…

The England captain on making it to the World Cup final…

“If you’d told the nine-year-old me [I would be playing in a World Cup final] she would have probably said you were being silly and it was never going to happen.

“But I guess dreams come true. It is a really proud moment and as a squad, we are just really proud of our journey and the tournament and how far we have come. We are finally getting a shot at the trophy, like we always wanted.”

Millie Bright

Millie Bright has one more win to get if her ultimate footballing dream is to come true – Getty Images/Mark Metcalfe

09:30 AM BST

The England team bus has arrived at the stadium

That gives them 90 minutes to prepare for the big match.

09:27 AM BST

The fans are ready

England fans

England fans outside Stadium Australia ahead of the big match – Getty Images/Maja Hitij

England fans

These England fans seem pretty sure of a win for the Lionesses – Getty Images/Maja Hitij

Spain fans

There are Spain fans there, too, with this pair happy, at least for now… – PA/Isabell Infantes

09:21 AM BST

So what are the battles England need to win

If they are to lift that trophy?

Here’s Luke Edwards on the key battles.

Alessia Russo vs Irene Paredes

Only a few weeks ago there was a genuine debate as to whether Russo deserved to keep her place in the side but she has scored three goals at this World Cup and has formed a dangerous pairing with the rapid Lauren Hemp.

Russo’s strength and hold-up play will be key to England’s game plan but she will be up against the vastly experienced Paredes, who has been the glue at the back for Spain for more than a decade. She has helped the more error prone centre-back Laia Codina through this tournament.

Keira Walsh vs Aitana Bonmati

The Barcelona pair play exceptionally well together at club level, winning the Spanish title and the Champions League together last season. The prospect of them facing each other in a World Cup final is a mouth-watering one.

Bonmati has had the better tournament up to this point but Walsh remains the player who can make England tick in the middle of the pitch. She has been a little off-colour Down Under, but this is the perfect time to prove why she is the most expensive player in the world.

Keira Walsh in action for England against Australia - England vs Spain in Women's World Cup final 2023: when is it and how to watch

Keira Walsh will be key to England’s chances of winning the midfield battle against Spain – AFP/Saeed Khan

Millie Bright vs Jennifer Hermoso

Bright had to ease her way back into things after a lengthy injury lay-off in the build-up to the tournament, but she is now back to her best and was immense in the narrow wins over Nigeria and Colombia in the knockout rounds.

The England captain is a magnet for the ball whenever it is crossed in the air but she will need to keep the versatile and dangerous Hermoso quiet. The 33-year-old is Spain’s record goalscorer, can play either as a number nine or a number 10 and has the ability to dribble past you in a flash with her quick feet.

09:19 AM BST

Prince William hasn’t been able to make it to Sydney

But he was sent this message, with Princess Charlotte, to the Lionesses.

09:17 AM BST

While we wait for Wiegman’s starting XI…

…Spain have named their side to face the Lionesses and here it is…

Spain XI to face England: Cata, Batlle, Paredes, Codina, Olga, Abelleira, Bonmati, Hermoso, Redondo, Caldentey, Paralluelo.

So Salma Paralluelo, the teenager who came off the bench to score in the last-eight and the semi-final, starts. Ballon d’Or holder Alexia Putellas is on the bench. Barcelona playmaker Aitana Bonmati starts.

Salma Paralluelo

Salma Paralluelo has impressed as Spain have marched to the final – Getty Images/Phil Walter

09:12 AM BST

Millie Bright on the support back home

“I think as a group we would like to say thank you. Not only to the fans back home, but to the fans out here as well.

“I think we have felt really welcomed and really special over here. I think every game has been incredible, I think everyone has seen that first hand.

“Back home, we have seen the videos, we really appreciate everyone setting their alarm clocks and making the effort to support us.

“Even though we are a million miles apart, it is amazing what football can do in really bringing everyone together, but especially our nation. We are really proud. Stick with us for one more game.”

Millie Bright

Millie Bright says England are loving the support they are getting – Getty Images/Naomi Baker

09:09 AM BST

More Boxpark mayhem in the offing

By Janet Eastham

Boxpark Croydon in south London has had to clear away the tables in the main arenas to stop fans from dancing on them in celebration, regulars at the venue have claimed.

“When we’ve won previously we’ve actually been dancing on the tables,” said Croydon local Mary Barnett.

“We’ve been here all the time at Boxpark,” she told The Telegraph. “It’s a great atmosphere”.

Ms Barnett, who was in prime position at the top of the queue outside the sought after venue said she and her “squad” of 13 friends have been “told off so many times” for dancing on the tables.

“They’ve actually taken the tables away, to bring more capacity, but also to stop us from going on them.”

Extra capacity is much needed at the south London venue. Across the city, 3,000 tickets to watch the final across the three Boxpark were reportedly sold out in under eight minutes.

09:07 AM BST

Fancy a flutter?

Back England to lift the trophy with these Women’s World Cup free bets and betting offers. Women’s World Cup betting offers and free bets.

09:00 AM BST

From Luke Edwards in Sydney

The trains from the centre of Sydney were packed with England fans and there appears to have been an “invasion of the backpackers.”

Australia is a hugely popular destination for young people in the UK to travel and work and it seems thousands of them have got tickets for this final hoping to see history being made.

As well as the usual mix of women and families, there are a lot of young men, in their 20s, here as well. It’s yet more evidence of the new crossover appeal of women’s football, especially when there’s a successful team to support.

08:59 AM BST

So who do you think will win?

England or Spain?

Glory for Sarina’s side or final sorrow caused by Spanish success?

Here’s what our stable of writers out in Sydney think will happen…

READ: Women’s World Cup final 2023 predictions: Our writers in Sydney pick England or Spain

08:56 AM BST

How do you prepare for a World Cup final?

Well, if you’re the Lionesses you go for a walk in the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney, which is across the road from their hotel and has fruit bats in the trees – a peaceful stroll to get the heads right before the big game.

08:50 AM BST

The Three Lions wish the Lionesses all the best

Gareth Southgate has said he has no advice to give as “you’ve done more than us already, and you know what is needed to win.”

The message was delivered as part of a video sent by the men’s side, which you can watch here…

08:41 AM BST

Here’s a moving montage

08:36 AM BST

The England coach has left the hotel

Sarina Wiegman’s squad are on the way to Stadium Australia from their city centre hotel. The journey should take a bit under one hour.

08:34 AM BST

Millie Bright: ‘We have to play the game of our lives’

The England defender spoke ahead of today’s match to the media and here’s what she had to say on the enormity of today’s final….

“I think it has been players’ dreams for years. We know how passionate our nation is back home and how much they want us to win. But for us, there is a process. We have a game plan to execute. We need to play the game of our lives.”

Millie Bright

Millie Bright and Co are one win away from World Cup glory – Getty Images/Charlotte Wilson

08:24 AM BST

More English pre-match joy in Sydney

08:23 AM BST

A great way to get to the final

I also suspect that our very own Tom Garry is quite excited as well…

08:18 AM BST

England’s finest wish the Lionesses all the luck in the world

08:16 AM BST

Rishi Sunak tells the Lionesses ‘the nation is rooting for you’

The Prime Minister has told England’s Lionesses that the “whole nation is rooting for you” as they prepare to take on Spain in the Women’s World Cup final.

In a letter, Rishi Sunak wished England boss Sarina Wiegman and her players good luck for the final in Sydney, Australia, on Sunday, telling them: “You’ve made us all proud.”

Sunak has opted not to attend the southern hemisphere final in person, sending Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer to Australia to represent the UK Government.

Addressing the letter to “Sarina and all our Lionesses”, the Prime Minister said: “On behalf of the entire country, I want to wish you the best of luck against Spain in the World Cup final!

“Once again, this summer, you’ve made us all proud.

“From beating the Aussies in their own backyard to winning that penalty shoot-out, you have inspired us with your skill, teamwork and courage.

“This weekend, like millions of others, I will be watching and cheering you on.

“But whatever the result, I want you to know that you have already secured a lasting legacy: that every girl in this country will have equal access to all school sport, including football.

“For my daughters, and for every girl in this country, you have made football something for them; you have made them feel they belong on the pitch.

“So – in a way – you’ve already brought football home.”

08:09 AM BST

Good omen alert!

England will, apparently, be wearing their blue away kit today (not sure why as white doesn’t clash with Spain’s red…). And as many of you will doubtless know, back in 1966 England wore their away kit of red…

England 1966

Away kit glory – will it be the same for the Lionesses today? – Getty Images

07:55 AM BST

Sarina Wiegman and the Lionesses hoping to emulate the heroes of 1966

England are in the World Cup final, words no one has been able to string together in a footballing sense since 1966, and words that tend to send the UK partly crazy with a mixture of hope, expectation, excitement, and a fair few nerves.

Yes, the men’s rugby team won at the same stadium the Lionesses will play in today, back in 2003, and yes the brilliant Red Roses reached the World Cup final only last November. And who can forget Anya Shrubsole and Co, as well as Eoin Morgan’s men, landing global glory in 2017 and 2019 respectively? But there’s something about the national game and the search for World Cup success that has lifted today’s final into the higher reaches of the country’s consciousness.

Just uttering 1966 tends to make even the average English person go misty eyed (regardless whether they were alive then or not) and becoming the first England football team to win a senior final on the world stage since Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton, Geoff Hurst and the legion of legends did it 57 years ago is at the forefront of Sarina Wiegman’s mind.

“Everyone is talking about 1966, so let’s be at our best on Sunday and try and be successful,” the England manager said. “Making a final is special but with thi8s team and the challenges we had, how we find a way all the time to solve problems has been amazing. It’s very special being in a final but now we want to win it too.”

Whisper it quietly but England have been far from their best on their path to today’s showdown against Spain. They were pushed all the way in the knockout games against Nigeria and Colombia and it was only in that memorable semi-final victory over hosts Australia that they began to show what they can really do.

Stay here for all the pre-match build-up, team news (will Lauren James return to the starting XI?) and action, with kick-off set for 11am.

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