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Women's World Cup qualifying: October update

European champions the Netherlands opened qualifying with a dramatic defeat of Norway as Iceland shocked Germany before being held themselves in October's fixtures.

Belgium celebrate Aine Zeler winning her 100th cap
Belgium celebrate Aine Zeler winning her 100th cap ©Sportpix.be

In the second set of FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying group stage games, the Netherlands followed up their UEFA Women's EURO success by beating Norway in dramatic style, Iceland surprised Germany and the likes of Belgium and Italy maintained perfect starts.

  • Qualifying schedule: all the matches
  • The seven groups
  • Matches will be played home and away until 4 September 2018.
  • The seven group winners will qualify to join France in the finals from June–July 2019.
  • The four runners-up with the best records against the sides first, third and fourth in their groups will advance to the play-offs, consisting of two rounds of two-legged knockout ties in October and November 2018 to decide Europe's last qualifier.

Group 1
Wales hold the lead as they added to their September win in Kazakhstan with a 0-0 draw in Russia, who also lost 6-0 to England last month. Bosnia and Herzegovina joined England on three points from one game by winning 2-0 in Kazakhstan. Russia are not in action in November when both England and Wales play Kazakhstan and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Group 2
, under new manager Shelley Kerr, got their campaign started by winning 2-1 in Belarus and beating Albania 5-0 to join Switzerland on six points from two games, three clear of Poland. The Swiss host Belarus and Albania in November before their 5 April meeting with Scotland.

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Group 3
All eyes were on Groningen where newly-crowned European champions the Netherlands took on Norway (who had picked up two September wins) in a repeat of the opening game of UEFA Women's EURO 2017. Like that game it ended in a 1-0 Dutch victory but Sari van Veenendaal needed to save a Maren Mjelde penalty before Vivianne Miedema's added-time winner. The Republic of Ireland matched their 2-0 September win in Northern Ireland with an identical result in Slovakia. Both Slovakia and the Republic of Ireland face the Netherlands in November.

Group 4
After their cancelled game last Friday, both Denmark and Sweden returned to action on Tuesday with wins, 4-0 in Croatia and 5-0 against Hungary respectively to move on to six points each. Ukraine, held 1-1 by Croatia in September, visit Hungary in the only November game.

Group 5
Iceland produced the result of the groups so far on Friday with a 3-2 win in Germany that ended their hosts' long unbeaten run in qualifying. That was followed on Tuesday by Iceland drawing 1-1 in the Czech Republic and Germany thrashing the Faroe Islands 11-0. Germany are two points ahead of Iceland (who have a game in hand) and the Czechs, who also won 4-0 in Slovenia.

Group 6
Aline Zeler became the first Belgium footballer to reach 100 caps as they beat Romania 3-2 and won 1-0 in Portugal to move on to nine points from three matches. That is level with Italy, who overcame Romania 3-0. Italy can make it four wins when they visit Portugal in November before both teams play Belgium in April.

Group 7
Finland started life under former Scotland coach Anna Signeul by beating Serbia 1-0 while Spain opened their campaign with a 6-0 win in Israel. That allowed Finland and Spain to join Austria in having won their one fixtures so far. Among the November games are Austria's trip to the side they beat on penalties in the UEFA Women's EURO 2017 quarter-finals, Spain.

The hosts
Having begun their preparations in September under new coach Corinne Diacre by defeating Chile 1-0 and Spain 3-1, France picked up two more home wins. It took a last-minute Viviane Asseyi goal to see off England 1-0 in Valenciennes before she struck twice, along with two each from new captain Amandine Henry and Eugénie Le Sommer, in an 8-0 win against Ghana in Rennes. In total, well over 50,000 fans have watched the four friendlies so far.