Women’s World Cup – who’s in and who’s out?


Republic of Ireland captain Katie McCabe leads the celebrations with her teammates

It was a case of so near yet so far for Scotland and Wales in the play-offs for the 2023 Women’s World Cup, but for the Republic of Ireland it was the night they made history by reaching the finals for the first time.

Amber Barrett’s breakaway goal at Hampden Park was enough to see off Scotland and secure Ireland’s place at a first major tournament.

Defeat for the Scots means they will miss out on two consecutive major championships after previously qualifying for Euro 2017 and the World Cup two years later.

Wales’ hopes of reaching a first major tournament were ended in Switzerland, who scored a winner in the dying seconds of extra time to claim a 2-1 victory and a place in Australia and New Zealand.

In the third play-off final, Portugal overcame Iceland in extra time, although their 4-1 victory wasn’t enough to seal automatic qualification.

Switzerland and Ireland’s superior qualifying records mean Portugal have one more hurdle to clear as they will now play in the inter-confederation play-offs in February.

Team Points
Switzerland 22
Republic of Ireland 20
Portugal 19

Who else has qualified in Europe?

England were among nine teams who topped their qualifying groups to automatically book places in next year’s World Cup. They won Group D with their best record in qualifying history, with 10 victories and 80 goals.

Joining the Lionesses are two-time World Cup winners Germany, 2019 runners-up the Netherlands and Even Pellerud’s Norway, who remain the only other European world champions.

France, Denmark, Sweden, Spain and Italy also finished top of their groups and gained automatic qualification.

Switzerland and the Republic of Ireland now join these European teams, while Portugal will have one last chance in the inter-confederation play-off.

The draw to determine the groups for the World Cup takes place on 22 October and it will also decide whether a team will be based in Australia or New Zealand.

What is the inter-confederation play-off?

A 10-team tournament will take place in New Zealand in 2023, to decide the last three finalists.

The teams will be split into three groups, two of three teams and one of four, which are to be played as knockout competitions.

In the two three-team groups, the seeded team will go straight to the final and meet the winners of the semi-final between the other two sides in their group.

Portugal will compete alongside Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Cameroon, Senegal, Haiti, Panama, Chile, Paraguay, and Papua New Guinea.



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