Women's Finalissima 2023: England vs Brazil at Wembley – All you need to know
The first Women's Finalissima matched England with Brazil at Wembley on Thursday 6 April.
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The first Women's Finalissima pitted England against Brazil at Wembley Stadium on Thursday 6 April 2023.
Who played in the 2023 Women's Finalissima?
England took part as winners of UEFA Women's EURO 2022, which they hosted, having beaten Germany 2-1 after extra time in the Wembley final on 31 July 2022. The Lionesses triumphed in front of 87,192 spectators, a European record for a women's national-team fixture as well as for any EURO finals match for men or women.
Brazil earned their place with victory at the 2022 Copa América Femenina, defeating hosts Colombia 1-0 in Bucaramanga a day before England's Wembley success. Whereas the Lionesses celebrated clinching their first major trophy, Brazil's victory increased their record number of Copa América titles to eight (from nine total editions).
How often had England played Brazil previously?
England and Brazil had previously met three times at senior women's international level. On 6 October 2018, England beat Brazil 1-0 in a friendly at Meadow Lane, Nottingham, courtesy of a second-minute Fran Kirby goal.
They then met twice in 2019. On 27 February, England won 2-1 in the SheBelieves Cup in Chester, Pennsylvania, trailing at half-time to an Andressa Alves penalty but turning the game through Ellen White and Beth Mead. On 5 October in Middlesbrough, it was Brazil who won a friendly 2-1 with two Debinha goals before Beth England pulled one back.
Brazil had also played once before at Wembley, in the 2012 Olympic group stage against a Great Britain team made up largely of England players coached by Hope Powell. Steph Houghton's second-minute strike gave Team GB a 1-0 win in front of 70,584 fans, though both teams were already through and went on to lose in the quarter-finals.
When was the Women's Finalissima be played?
The game took place on Thursday 6 April 2023 at 19:45 local time (20:45 CET).
Where was the Women's Finalissima be played?
The match took place at Wembley Stadium in London. It fell nearly exactly 100 years after the very first official game in the original stadium on the site, on 28 April 1923, when Bolton Wanderers beat West Ham 2-0 in the FA Cup final before an official crowd of 126,047 – but thought to be perhaps twice as many.
The original stadium closed in 2000 and the replacement opened in 2007 with a capacity of around 90,000. It has already staged several major women's fixtures, including the 2012 Olympic final, in which the United States beat Japan 2-1, and the Women's EURO 2022 decider, when England overcame Germany.
England have also played a number of recent home games there, including a 2-1 loss to Germany on 9 November 2019, watched by a world-record women's friendly crowd of 77,768, and a 2-1 win against the United States on 7 October 2022 in front of 76,893. Wembley has been the home of the FA Women's Cup final since 2015.
Many men's showpieces have likewise been held there, including the UEFA EURO 2020 final and the first men's Finalissima, in which Argentina beat Italy 3-0 on 1 June 2022.
Why has the Women's Finalissima been introduced?
The match is part of the expansion of the cooperation between UEFA and CONMEBOL, which notably includes women's football, futsal and youth categories, the exchange of referees, and technical training schemes. The first men's Finalissima game, which pits the winners of the UEFA European Championship against the Copa América holders, took place at Wembley in June 2022. Argentina beat Italy 3-0.
Other similar events have so far included the 2022 Under-20 Intercontinental Cup held in August – UEFA Youth League winners Benfica beat Copa Libertadores U20 holders Peñarol 1-0 at Estádio Centenario in Montevideo – and the 2022 Futsal Finalissima. That four-team event at Parque Roca in Buenos Aires involved top performers from UEFA and CONMEBOL's national-team competitions, with European champions Portugal beating Spain in the final and Paraguay pipping South American title winners Argentina 3-2 for third place.
Have the European and South American women's champions met before in an official showdown?
This was the first time the champions from the Women's EURO and Copa América Femenina have met in a formal, scheduled fixture.
Oddly, the one Europe vs South America fixture in a major final, when Germany beat Brazil 2-0 to win the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup in Shanghai, came in the only period since the Copa América Femenina began in 1991 that As Canarinhas were not champions, having lost the 2006 final to Argentina (who were then beaten 11-0 by Germany in the opening game of the 2007 World Cup).