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England qualify, Sweden and France close

Published: Thursday 21 August 2014, 23.29CET
England became the second European team to qualify for the finals in Canada as Sweden and France kept up their own perfect records in August's fixtures.
by Paul Saffer
England qualify, Sweden and France close
Lotta Schelin helped Sweden to an eighth victory ©Sportsfile
Published: Thursday 21 August 2014, 23.29CET

England qualify, Sweden and France close

England became the second European team to qualify for the finals in Canada as Sweden and France kept up their own perfect records in August's fixtures.

England became the second European team to qualify for the FIFA Women's World Cup as Sweden and France kept up their own perfect records in August's fixtures.

UEFA.com rounds up the action with two sets of games left on 13 and 17 September. The seven group winners qualify and the four runners-up with the best records against the sides finishing first, third, fourth and fifth in their sections go into the play-offs in October and November for the one remaining UEFA berth in the expanded 24-team finals next summer, for which hosts Canada, England and Switzerland have already been joined by holders Japan, Australia, China, South Korea and Thailand.

Group 1
Russia can still catch Germany at the top after coming from behind to defeat Slovakia 3-1 on Thursday, a day after the Republic of Ireland had stayed in the hunt for second by beating Slovenia 2-0. With two games to go Germany, with eight straight wins, are five points ahead of Russia, who lead Ireland by the same margin. Germany will qualify with a draw in Russia on 13 September or a win against Ireland four days later. Ireland first visit Slovakia, while Russia will hope to clinch at worst a play-off place in Croatia on 17 September.

Group 2
The top two were not in action, with Spain three points clear of Italy. Spain need only three points from their trips to Romania on 13 September and the Czech Republic four days later to reach a first World Cup; Italy host Estonia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The Czechs remained in third placed by overcoming Estonia 4-1; Romania are still three points behind with a game in hand after trumping FYROM 6-1.

Group 3
Switzerland
, the first European team to qualify in June, began their warm-up for the finals with a 4-1 loss in the United States on Wednesday. In the race for second place, Denmark won 1-0 in Iceland thanks to Pernille Harder's 58th-minute goal and are now two points ahead of their hosts. In September, Denmark host Malta and Israel, who also visit Iceland before Serbia do.

Group 4
Sweden opened up a three-point lead over Scotland as they won their game in hand 4-0 in Poland, Lotta Schelin scoring twice. On 13 September, Sweden, yet to drop a point, host Bosnia and Herzegovina while Scotland play the Faroe Islands four days before the top two meet in Gothenburg. If the gap is still three points, Scotland will need a 3-1 win or better in Sweden to top the group.

Group 5
There were no August fixtures in a section where Norway, with eight perfect wins, lead the Netherlands by five points, the top two confirmed. Norway will qualify with a victory in Albania on 13 September, when the Dutch host Portugal, or a draw at home to the Netherlands four days later.

Group 6
England have qualified after a 4-0 win in Wales, all four goals coming in the first half. Wales are now only three points ahead of third-placed Ukraine, who won 3-1 in Belarus and have a game in hand against Turkey on 13 September. Four days later Wales visit Ukraine, with whom they drew their home match.

Group 7
France remain on top with a 100% record following a 4-0 success in Hungary; Finland are still three points behind after an 8-0 win in Bulgaria courtesy of a Sanna Talonen hat-trick. Les Bleues visit Finland on 13 September then host them four days later. France will qualify with a win in either game or two draws. Austria are six points behind Finland with a better head-to-head, so will look to defeat Hungary and Kazakhstan and hope France win twice.

Last updated: 22/08/14 12.38CET

http://www.uefa.com/womensworldcup/news/newsid=2134555.html#england+qualify+sweden+france+close

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