the european qualifying group stage for the fifa women’s world cup 2023 in australia and new zealand is underway, until the 6th of september.
The record 51 contenders are divided into six groups of six teams and three of five. they compete for nine direct places in the final (group champion), as well as for the possibility of competing for another two european places, and another in the interconfederation play-offs, which will be played in new zealand from february 17 to 23
Reading: Womens world cup round of 16
the draw for the uefa play-offs, in which the nine group runners-up will participate, will take place on September 9 with the matches between October 3 and 11. the top two play-off winners qualify directly and the others travel to the inter-confederation play-offs.
how it works
- Winners of the nine qualifying groups will advance directly to the finals in Australia and New Zealand from July 20 to August 20, 2023.
- Group runners-up will enter play of the uefa -offs in October 2022.
- in the play-offs, the best three runners-up will go directly to round 2. the remaining six runners-up will play three single-leg play-offs in round 1 .
- The three winners of Round 1 and the three teams seeded directly to Round 2 will compete in single-leg ties determined by lottery.
- The two ties the winners with the highest ranking (based on the results of the qualifying group stage and round 2 play-offs) will qualify for the final.
- the remaining winner of the tiebreaker will compete in the inter-confederation tiebreakers from February 17-23, 2023 in new zealand.
group a: sweden (qualified), republic of ireland, finland, slovakia, georgia
- kosovare asllani equalized with 11 minutes remaining to give sweden a 1-1 draw against the republic of ireland in april and the point they needed to maintain their qualifying record for every world cup final tournament . ireland was second on june 27, winning 9-0 in georgia with a katie mccabe hat-trick and is one point ahead of finland with two games to go. The two teams meet on September 1 with a victory for Ireland to seal their first ever World Cup play-off.
group b: spain (qualified), scotland (play-offs), hungary, ukraine, faroe islands
- Jenni Hermoso scored twice to give Spain a 2-0 win over Scotland, who book their place in the final with two games to go after six perfect wins. Scotland confirmed themselves in the play-offs after the June games when they won 4-0 against Ukraine, who then defeated Hungary 2-0.
group c: netherlands, iceland, belarus, czech republic, cyprus
- The Netherlands returned to the top in June by defeating Belarus 3-0. That result ensured that the Netherlands and Iceland would be the top two, with the only question now being who finishes first. the netherlands are two points clear, but iceland have a game to play against belarus on september 2 with a chance to go first before they visit the dutch four days later to decide the group. vivianne miedema of the netherlands is one behind julie fleeting’s career record of 32 world cup qualifying goals (though only one ahead of tessa wullaert of belgium).
group d: england, austria, northern ireland, luxembourg, north macedonia, latvia
- england’s serene progress continued in april when they won 5-0 in northern ireland for a perfect eighth win. they lead austria, 8-0 winners against latvia, by five points ahead of their game in wiener neustadt on september 3, when one point would secure the new european champions a world cup place. The top two are now certain of at least the play-offs with their mutual uefa euro 2022 women’s group a opponents northern ireland unable to catch up with either although they set a new attendance record of 15,348 in belfast v england.
group e*: denmark (classified), bosnia and herzegovina, montenegro, malta, azerbaijan
- denmark has eight perfect wins and is in the final. Bosnia and Herzegovina lead Montenegro by a point for second place and have better head-to-head goals if they finish level after a 2-0 away win in April.
group f: norway, belgium, poland, albania, kosovo, armenia
- an ada hegerberg hat-trick on her return to norway secured a 5-1 win against kosovo and a 2-1 loss to poland ensured a top-two finish and kept the leaders undefeated for three points ahead of belgium, who beat kosovo 6-1 with four goals from wullaert, who is now the top scorer in the groups at 15. that’s one short of adriana martin’s best european women’s world cup qualifier set by for 2011 and miedema for 2015, and two behind the record for the uefa women’s qualification set by célia Šašić for the 2013 women’s euro. october defeat in oslo for any head-to-head playoffs. poland is five points out of second with two games to play.
group g: italy, switzerland, romania, croatia, lithuania, moldova
- a late goal fromcristiana giralli gave italy a 1-0 win in switzerland and took azzurre top, two points clear of their opponents. He marked a change from November, when Italy lost 2-1 at home to Switzerland, whose perfect run ended in their April opener as Romania drew 1-1. A 1-0 win in Croatia kept Romania in contention, and they beat Moldova 4-0 on June 24 to move within three points of Switzerland with two games to go.
group h: germany, serbia, portugal, türkiye, israel, bulgaria
- previously perfect germany suffered their first defeat away from home in qualifying since 17 June 1998 when they fell 3-2 in serbia thanks to two goals from bayern’s jovana damnjanović in april, denying the two-time champion the opportunity to reach the final with two games to go. Serbia is three points behind Germany, who have a head-to-head goal difference advantage over the second-place team should they finish level. Portugal, in third place, beat Bulgaria 3-0 to stay within two points of Serbia, whom they visit on September 2.
group i: france (qualified), wales, slovenia, greece, estonia, kazakhstan
- france won 2-1 over wales and then delphine cascarino secured a 1-0 win against slovenia that secured qualification for les bleues. wales won 3-0 in kazakhstan to return to second place, two points ahead of slovenia. Greece is a further point behind after beating Estonia 3-0. wales take on greece and slovenia in september.
- Germany aim to follow up on their victories in 2003 and 2007.
- Norway are the only other European world champions, having triumphed in 1995.
- The Netherlands finished as runners-up in 2019.
- sweden won their second consecutive Olympic silver medal in August 2021; they took bronze at the world cup in 2019 after being runners-up to germany in 2003.
- england hope to follow their euro triumph with world cup success as germany did in 2003 and 2007 (Norway also won the European Championship in 1993 and the World Cup in 1995, but the European Championship was then biennial and Germany had taken the 1995 continental title a few months before the world final in Sweden).
- cyprus is making its women’s world cup debut.
- luxembourg is participating in a full qualifying group stage for the first time.
qualifying group stage16-21 September 202121-26 October 202125-30 November 202123 February 20227-12 April 202223-28 June 20221-6 September 2022
uefa play-offsOctober 3-11, 2022
finals: continental distribution/classified teams
hosts: 2 (australia, new zealand)afc: 5 (china, japan, philippines*, south korea, vietnam*)caf: 4 (morocco*, nigeria, south africa, zambia*)concacaf: 4 (canada, costa rica, jamaica, united states) conmebol: 3 (argentina, brazil, colombia) uefa: 11 (denmark, france, spain, sweden) interconfederation play-offs: 3
tiebreakers between confederations
A ten-team tournament will be held in New Zealand from February 17-23, 2023 to decide the final three finalists.
continental allocation/contendersafc: 2 (chinese taipei, thailand)caf: 2 (cameroon, senegal)concacaf: 2 (haiti, panama)conmebol: 2 (chile, paraguay)ofc: 1 (papua new guinea)uefa: 1
The teams will be divided into three groups: two of three teams and one of four, and the distribution will be decided according to the fifa ranking. the three pools will be played as separate knockout competitions, with the winner of each qualifying for the final. In the two groups of three teams, the top seed will go straight to the final (after playing a friendly against New Zealand or a guest country) and meet the winner of a semi-final between the other two teams in their group.