Spain edged Colombia 1-0 in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 final at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Sunday to successfully defend their world champions title in the age-group tournament.
Ana Guzman’s own goal in the 82nd minute decided the final and eventual champions. The win also means that Spain is now tied with North Korea with two titles each and shares the honours of being the most successful football team in the history of the U-17 women’s World Cup.
The two sides had already met in the group phase, a match the Spanish team also won 1-0.
Colombia, however, can take consolation from the fact that this is the furthest they have ever progressed in the U-17 WC, having previously failed to go beyond the group phase.
Right from the start, Spain’s Cristina Libran was a constant threat to the Colombian defence. With 21 minutes gone, her fierce drive from a distance forced a fine save from Colombia keeper Luisa Agudelo. The midfielder went close again as half-time approached, going just wide with another long-range effort.
Two minutes into the second half, Libran had the ball in the back of the net after some good work from Jone Amezaga down the right. After her low first-time shot from Amezaga’s cut-back was saved by the Colombian goalkeeper Agudelo, Libran was quick to react and bundled the rebound into the back of the net. However, the VAR ruled out the goal because of a handball in the build-up.
Colombia had a good chance of their own around the half-hour mark when Natalia Hernandez latched on to a clearance from a corner and almost found a way past Sofia Fuente with an excellent drive from outside the box.
Then, with nine minutes remaining, Spain found a way to goal thanks to substitutes Paula Partido and Laia Martret, both of whom had only just come on. Breaking into space on the right, Partido sent in a low cross to the far post, where Martret diverted the ball goalwards with her right knee and turned away in delight after seeing her effort deflect off Guzman and over the line. It eventually turned out to be the winner.