Teenager Paralluelo sends Spain into first semis, 2-1 over Dutch

Natalie Portman
By Natalie Portman 4 Min Read
origin 1Spain players celebrates their win over the Netherlands after the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Quarter Final soccer match between Spain and the Netherlands at Sky Stadium. Aaron Gillions/AAP/dpa

Teenager Salma Paralluelo scored in extra time as Spain beat the Netherlands 2-1 on Friday to reach the semi-finals of the women’s World Cup for the first time.

Substitute Paralluelo, 19, was on target in the 111th minute in off the left post in Wellington.

Spain had thought they had won it in regulation from an 81st-minute penalty by Mariona Caldentey after Stefanie van der Gragt had handled the ball.

But Dutch captain Van der Gragt made up for her mishap with a stoppage-time equalizer that sent the game into extra time where the 2019 runners-up then had to bow to Paralluelo’s winner.

In the semi-finals on Tuesday in Auckland, Spain face either 2011 champions Japan or Sweden who meet later on Friday. Japan beat Spain 4-0 in the group stage.

“This is very important for all of us. We did it, we fought until the end. We believed in ourselves,” Paralluelo said.

Spain coach Jorge Vilda added: “You always dream of a moment like this. We’ve reached the semi-finals for the first time, we’re among the four best in the world, but we’re not going to stop. Tomorrow we will prepare for the semi-finals because we want to be in the final.”

Netherlands coach Andries Jonker said: “Spain put us under a lot of pressure, but we fought. We had two great chances in extra-time to get the win today. I have mixed feelings. I am very disappointed we did not get to the semi-finals, but incredibly proud of my team.”

Spain were the dominant team and registered 26 shots, with Alba Redondo’s 17th-minute header turned against the post by Daphne van Domselaar and Redondo’s rebound then also hitting the post.

Spain had the ball in the net 20 minutes later from Esther Redondo but the goal was nullified for offside.

But they were also lucky in the 62nd when referee Stephanie Frappart first gave the Dutch a penalty after Irene Parades had pushed Lineth Beerenstyn, only to nullify her decision upon review.

The spot kick then came at the other end, also after a VAR review which confirmed that Van der Gragt had handled the ball, and Caldentey stepped up to break the deadlock.

The Dutch threw all players forward and the defender Van der Gragt kept them alive with the equalizer one minute into stoppage time which also was a World Cup record 147th goal in one tournament, eclipsing the 146 scored in the 2015 and 2019 editions.

Beerenstyn threatened twice in extra time but Paralluelo, who had come on in the 71st, then clinched a famous victory for Spain when she cut inside from the left and rifled into the far corner.

origin 1Spain’s Salma Paralluelo (R) celebrates scoring her side’s second goal during the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Quarter Final soccer match between Spain and the Netherlands at Sky Stadium. Masanori Udagawa/AAP/dpa
origin 1Netherlands player Lineth Beerensteyn (L) and Spain’s Laia Codina battle for the ball during the the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Quarter Final soccer match between Spain and the Netherlands at Sky Stadium. Masanori Udagawa/AAP/dpa
origin 1The Netherlands players celebrate their side’s first goal scored by Stefanie Van Der Gragt during the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Quarter Final soccer match between Spain and the Netherlands at Sky Stadium. Masanori Udagawa/AAP/dpa

Share This Article
Leave a comment