'Heart-broken but proud': England fans in Dubai on the Women's World Cup final

England lose final to Spain but fans are delighted with team's efforts

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England fans in Dubai have said they are heart-broken over the Lionesses losing in the Women's World Cup final but are proud of the team for going so far.

Spain defeated England to win the Women's World Cup for the first time thanks to a first-half goal from defender Olga Carmona.

Sarina Wiegman's Lionesses, the reigning European champions, were second best as they were beaten 1-0 by the Spaniards in front of 75,784 fans at Stadium Australia on Sunday, despite goalkeeper Mary Earps saving a penalty.

Dubai resident Sarah Pickford, a personal consultant with Travel Counsellors, said the "girls should be proud".

Ms Pickford has travelled to Europe to watch England and her club Manchester United play, and was in Doha for the men's World Cup last year.

She watched the women's final at her Dubai home.

"We played well, right until the end. It’s a real shame but the Spanish defence was impressive. Earps' penalty save was fabulous," she said.

"I have loved following the Lionesses and watching them grow to the final.

"It’s brilliant to be able to watch on TV anywhere in the world. It was exciting here with my mum who lives in Spain, and Scottish husband also cheering on the Lionesses.

"I’m watched the girls' devastated faces on the screen. I hope they are feeling proud of their achievement."

Matthew Faddy, 54, who also watched from his Dubai home, said he enjoyed the match but was heart-broken.

He watched the final with his sons Theo, 17, and Jengo, 13, in Dubai.

They travelled to Qatar in November to watch his sons' first live international match.

"Gutted for the Lionesses and although they played much better, in the second half Spain were clearly the better team at the end of the day and they deserved the win," he said.

"Earps was amazing though and had it not been for her goalkeeping the end result could have been much worse."

Jennifer Dinari, a mother of two from Devon, has started following football because of the success of the England women's team.

She watched the match at her Dubai home.

"Every England fan went into the game with so much hope, but knowing that England always seem to just be so close, but yet so far," she said.

"The goalkeeper {Earps] was incredible, keeping the ball out of the goal and the Spanish team won with their speed and determination.

"[It's] amazing that the Lionesses got to the final. I have never watched football, but was hooked with the competition.

"It felt like every time England possessed the ball, Spain came and all you could see was red shirts."

Hotels and venues across Dubai were packed as fans looked for a place to enjoy the match.

Dennis McGettigan, McGettigan’s Group chief executive, said its venues were buzzing with fans who turned up to cheer for their teams.

"It was a fantastic turnout with over 500 people in to watch the final," he said.

"The atmosphere in the bar has been electric. It's the best turnout we've seen for women's football and we're delighted everyone has had such a great time this afternoon."

Updated: August 20, 2023, 2:35 PM