While there were mixed emotions outside the Australia Stadium in Sydney after Spain's 1-0 win against England, the consensus was that the women's game has a lot to be proud of.
There were ecstatic scenes on Sunday as Spain was crowned world football champions for the first time, beating England 1-0 in the FIFA Women’s World Cup final in Sydney.
Despite a fiercely contested match, Spain’s captain Olga Carmona's goal in the first half was enough to clinch La Roja's first Women's World Cup title.
It was the first time either team had reached the final. Spain's victory also means they become the second country to win both the men's and women's versions of the tournament after Germany.
On the flip side, it was natural heartbreak for England, who suffered their first defeat of manager Sarina Wiegman's tenure.
Ecstatic fans outside the stadium
Spanish football supporters left the Australia Stadium in Sydney in a jubilant fashion.
On his way out of the arena, Spain fan Rodrigo told the Associated Press he believed the deserved winners came through after they 'controlled' the game.
Another Spain supporter, Charmaine, said she was "absolutely ecstatic" and "very proud" of the team.
Also attending the game were England fans Jackie and Kate, who despite the defeat, said they had an 'amazing' experience throughout the tournament in Australia.
"The whole competition was just amazing. It's such a win for women's football, it was brilliant," said Jackie.
Women's football makes strides
As the World Cup concluded, the tournament's success has been felt in both Australia and co-host New Zealand.
Often overshadowed by the men's game in terms of visibility and funding, the ninth edition of the women's tournament highlighted the growth and popularity of the women's game.
According to research firm OzTAM, Australia's semi-final defeat to England drew over 7 million TV viewers, the country's highest-ever viewership.
The average attendance at matches exceeded just over 30,000, only the third time in the history of the FIFA Women’s World Cup that the tournament has averaged over 30,000 fans per match, according to the football body FIFA. Sunday's final also drew a full house of 75,784.
Just under 2 million supporters attended matches in the 2023 edition. The last Women's World Cup in France in 2019 attracted over 1.1 million fans with an average crowd of just 21,000.