England suffer Women’s World Cup final heartache against Spain
Women’s World Cup final viewers were baffled by how Spain’s second-half penalty wasn’t retaken over suspicions that Mary Earps left her line. England fell short at Stadium Australia on Sunday but were handed a lifeline with 20 minutes left when Earps denied Jennifer Hermoso from the spot.
A lengthy VAR check led to Spain being awarded a penalty, and a chance to go 2-0 up after Olga Carmona fired them ahead on the half-hour mark.
There were wild Spain protests after Mariona Caldentey’s effort struck Keira Walsh’s hand in the penalty area.
The referee overturned her decision after looking at the monitor, seemingly dashing England’s hopes of overturning the deficit.
But Earps played the role of heroin, as she so often does for England and Manchester United, diving low to her right to deny Hermoso.
It was met by a raucous reaction from Lioness fans in attendance in Sydney and online and sparked some life into Sarina Wiegman’s side in the closing stages.
But some were sceptical about whether Earps’ save was legal after a screenshot shared on X (formerly Twitter) appeared to show the goalkeeper off her line when Hermoso took the penalty.
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Fans rushed online to claim that the spot-kick should be retaken, but nothing came of it, suggesting it was a legal stop.
And FIFA have since taken to X (formerly Twitter) to confirm that Earps was, in fact, on her line before she cancelled out Hermoso’s effort.
A post read: “As with all penalties, the Video Assistant Referee checked Spain’s penalty for encroachment by the goalkeeper and determined that Mary Earps’ back foot was in line with the goal line.”
It was another memorable moment from a successful tournament for Earps, who received the Golden Glove for the most clean sheets.
Rachel Brown-Finnis, on commentary, said: “What a save, every adulation. She guessed right, did her homework.
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“It was not the perfect penalty from Jenni Hermoso, and Mary Earps took full advantage.
“What a save, what a moment. You’ve got to enjoy these moments. Your team are still in it.”
Fellow ex-England stopper Karen Bardsley also sent praise Earps’ way, reacting: “What a fantastic save from Earps.
“She will have known where Hermoso was going to go. She will have researched it before this game. Went early and got a clean catch on it.”
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