Teenager scores winner in extra time to send Spain to first semis

Natalie Portman
By Natalie Portman 4 Min Read
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

Teen winger Salma Paralluelo was all the difference in the FIFA women’s World Cup quarter-final in Wellington on Friday as her strike in extra time gave Spain the edge over the Netherlands to reach their first ever semi-final.

Paralluelo delivered the knockout blow in the 111th minute, when a step-over from the left wing gave her enough space to fire cross cage and into the back of the net, making it 2-1 for Spain with just minutes left in the game.

Her thunderous strike that just clanged in off the far post was part of a Spanish onslaught of 26 shots that did not let up throughout the match. Some just skirted by the posts, others popped off the left upright in the first half, but the final blow made their efforts worth it.

A clear and careless handball in the box by Dutch defender Stefanie van der Gragt gave Spain a penalty with less than ten minutes remaining in normal time. Forward Mariona Caldentey stepped up and put it where Dutch keeper Daphne van Domselaar wasn’t to finally break the deadlock and give Spain a lead.

The Netherlands, recognizing they could no longer play defensively, furiously threw everyone forward. Van der Gragt made up for her earlier mistake by streaking past the Spanish defence to knot up the match on her own in stoppage time, forcing the extra 30 minutes of play.

The Netherlands, runner-up in the 2019 tournament, will not return to the final. Spain on Tuesday will play the winner of the match between Japan and Sweden later on Friday for an opportunity to play in the final in Sydney on August 20.

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
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
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 1Spain’s Esther Gonzalez (L) battles 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 1Spain players celebrae Mariona Caldentey’s penalty goal during the the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Quarter Final soccer match between Spain and the Netherlands at Sky Stadium. Aaron Gillions/AAP/dpa

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