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Nine from FC Barcelona into World Cup Final

Spain are through to the final of the Women’s World Cup for the first timer ever, and with nine Barça players in the squad that means a massive club interest in Sunday’s events at Stadium Australia. The only downside to today’s semi-final is that Rolfo, who was on the losing Swedish side, will not be there.



Second in their group

Spain started the competition with wins against Costa Rica and Zambia, which meant they had already qualified for the knockout stage when they played Japan, who beat them 4-0. Perhaps the most prominent Barça player of the first three games was Aitana Bonmatí, who started each time and also scored one goal.

Through the knockout stages

Aitana and Codina both scored in the round of 16 as Spain saw off Switzerland in surprisngly comfortable fashion, 5-1. They then faced the finalists from the previous edition, the Netherlands, and won 2-1 with the goals coming from Mariona and Salma.

And today they defeated the Sweden side that had seen off the much-fancied USA and Japan in the previous rounds. Salma Paralluelo opened the scoring and although the Swedes levelled late on, Olga Carmona snatched a winner just as extra time was looming.



It all means that Irene Paredes, Ona Batlle, Aitana Bonmatí, Mariona Caldentey, Alexia Putellas, Laia Codina, María Pérez, Salma Paralluelo and Cata Coll all have places in the final. They could be joined by Keira Walsh and Lucy Bronze, whose England side takes on hosts Australia on Wednesday.

Salma thrilled

Salma Paralluelo, the Barça striker who came on as a substitute to score Spain’s first goal at Eden Park said afterwards that “I’m very excited, it’s been amazing. It was a tough game. I thought about my family, my team-mates. We so deserved to qualify and now we will be facing the final challenge.”


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