This is not the way it was meant to finish for England.
Hope turned to heartbreak.
There was to be no addition to the trophy cabinet for the European champions a 12 months on from Wembley glory. Simply unhappiness in Sydney.
They’ve turned disharmony into delirium – a marketing campaign that appeared prefer it was going to be derailed by 15 gamers quitting worldwide obligation final September has ended with the largest prize of all of them.
Solely three of the insurgent group determined to return to the squad following protests towards their therapy by the Spanish Federation.
It’s a reminder this World Cup has been surrounded by considerations in regards to the standing of gamers inside nationwide soccer associations.
Even the Lionesses head residence from this match not solely with out the trophy, however into talks with the Soccer Affiliation in regards to the bonuses they consider they’re owed.
They’ll see this as a missed alternative as effectively to overcome the world for the primary time, as all the previous champions had been toppled earlier than the semi-finals.
The Lionesses had been the favourites, however in the end Spain had been supreme within the last.
Sarina Wiegman‘s facet was reliant on Mary Earps producing a number of enormous saves, together with a penalty within the second half that would have seen Spain double their lead.
Even taking that slender 1-0 deficit into the ultimate 20 minutes, England could not discover a method to aim.
Now they will regroup.
Many of those gamers will likely be making an attempt to qualify by means of the Nations League for the Paris Olympics, the place they will compete as a part of a British workforce subsequent 12 months.
Then there’s the defence of their Euros title in 2025 earlier than they will set their sights on making an attempt to lastly win the World Cup in 2027.