Scotland, Norway, Germany and Sweden book World Cup places


Scotland, Norway, Germany and Sweden book World Cup places

by Steve Clare

15 of the 24 qualifiers are now known

Scotland, Norway, Germany and Sweden secured Womens World Cup places on Tuesday after the final round of qualifying games.

They join England, Spain and Italy who had already qualified from the European section and of course hosts France.

Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark and Belgium made the playoffs with one winner from them  securing the final berth.

It was a night of huge disappointment for Wales and especially Iceland who surprisingly missed out on even that consolation despite both being top of their Groups a few days ago.

Iceland’s disappointment was self-inflicted as they  could only draw 1-1 with the Czech Republic and saw themselves astonishingly pipped by the Belgium Women who recorded two unlikely wins in the last week. The Belgian Red Flames beat Romania and then Italy, having looked well out of the running a week ago.

Denmark lost at home to Sweden which allowed the Swedes to top the group, leaving the Danes very relieved after hearing Iceland’s failure to win elsewhere. In Group 3, Norway rushed into a two goal lead inside six minutes against the Dutch and held on for a 2-1 win, relegating the Dutch to a playoff.

Perhaps the most unlikely qualifiers were Scotland who dutifully won their away match in Albania 2-1 but became group winners after Switzerland only drew 0-0 in Poland. It is their first ever qualification for the finals and will be an amazing boost to the game in Scotland, which at present is covered by the BBC’s Gaelic language TV channel

They will go to France perhaps as the least heralded name in European Womens football, snuggled among the European big names such as England, Germany and Norway.

China, Thailand, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Chile and Brazil have booked their places from the rest of the world making it a total of 15 known names of the 24.

In Africa, 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations will decide who qualifies. It will be held from 17 November to 1 December 2018 in Ghana. Three will qualify from the continent along with three from the CONCACAF region which includes the USA and Canada. A fourth team will meet Argentina in a playoff. Oceania and the European playoff will provide the last two qualifiers.


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