Spain were crowned FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup champions for the first time in their history with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Mexico in the final. New Zealand wrapped up their historic performance at Uruguay 2018 by finishing with the bronze medal after a 2-1 win over Canada in the match for third place.
Vintage La Rojita: Claudia Pina’s opening goal in the Final showcased the Spanish style of play to a tee. After a neat sequence of passing, Maria Mendez sent a long, diagonal pass with precision for Salma Paralluelo, who cushioned a headed pass for Pina and the playmaker did the rest, calmly dribbling past her marker before finishing into the far, bottom corner.
Star-studded guest list: Plenty of special guests were among the 5,488 spectators to witness the culmination of the tournament in Montevideo, including FIFA President Gianni Infantino, FIFA Vice-President Alejandro Dominguez, Mexico Football Association President Yon De Luisa, Vice-President of Spain’s Football Association Rafael Del Amo among many others.
Local legend graces the Charrua: One of Uruguay’s greatest footballers and FIFA Legend Diego Forlan kicked off Saturday’s festivities by bringing the official trophy on to the field moments before the opening whistle. As if any more motivation was needed, both La Rojita and El Trigot a glimpse of the trophy at stake. You can be assured there were a few who didn’t dare take a look at the shiny cup out of superstition.
Finishing with style: Before Spain and Mexico kicked off the final the crowd at the Estadio Charrua were treated to a rendition of “Uruguay Noma” by a large group of children, some coming from Escuela 355, where several Uruguayan players visited earlier this week, inspiring the next generation.
Wisnewski wows: The first match of the day saw a new record set at the U-17 Women’s World Cup. Grace Wisnewski scored the tournament’s fastest ever goal to ultimately lead the Kiwis to a bronze medal. Her family initially did not travel to Uruguay because she thought her playing time would be limited, however, once New Zealand qualified for the semi-finals with her playing an important role, they flew thousands of miles to see her, and there’s no doubt they’re glad they did.