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Women's World Cup qualifying group stage latest

European qualifying for the 2023 finals is in progress with a record 51 contenders.

Ellen White celebrates her winner for England against Austria
Ellen White celebrates her winner for England against Austria The FA via Getty Images

The European qualifying group stage for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup is in progress, running until 6 September 2022.

The record 51 contenders are split into six groups of six teams, and three of five. They are competing for nine direct spots in the finals as well as the chance to play off for two other European berths, and another in the inter-confederation play-offs, which like the finals will take place in Australia and New Zealand.

All the matches


How it works

  • The winners of the nine qualifying groups will progress directly to the finals in Australia and New Zealand from 20 July to 20 August 2023.
  • The group runners-up take part in the UEFA play-offs in October 2022.
  • In the play-offs, the three best runners-up will be seeded directly to round 2. The six remaining runners-up contest three single-leg play-offs in round 1.
  • The three winners from round 1 and the three teams seeded directly to round 2 will then compete in single-leg play-offs determined by a draw.
  • The two play-off winners with the highest ranking (based on results in the qualifying group stage and round 2 play-offs) will qualify for the finals.
  • The remaining play-off winner will compete in the inter-confederation play-offs from 17 to 23 February 2023 in Australia and New Zealand.

Qualifying groups

Sweden's Lina Hurtig celebrates her late winner against Finland
Sweden's Lina Hurtig celebrates her late winner against FinlandTT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images

Group A: Sweden, Finland, Slovakia, Republic of Ireland, Georgia

  • Sweden stayed perfect and opened up a six-point lead with a 2-1 win against second-placed Finland on Thursday, Lina Hurtig scoring ten minutes from time. The Republic of Ireland (who have a game in hand) and Slovakia are both two points behind Finland following their 1-1 draw in Dublin.

Group B: Spain, Scotland, Ukraine, Hungary, Faroe Islands

  • Spain have four wins out of four after defeating the Faroe Islands on Thursday. Scotland's perfect start ended on Friday but they salvaged a 1-1 draw against Ukraine with an added-time Abi Harrison goal. Scotland trail Spain by two points ahead of Tuesday's encounter in Seville. Ukraine remain six points off second with a game in hand.

Group C: Netherlands, Iceland, Czech Republic, Belarus, Cyprus

  • In a game put back a day due to heavy snow in Ostrava, the Czech Republic twice led the Netherlands only to be twice pegged back in a 2-2 draw, the second equaliser deep in added time by Stefanie van der Gragt. The Dutch, who also levelled late at home to the Czechs, are five points clear of Iceland, who have two games in hand. The Czech Republic are a point behind Iceland and one ahead of Belarus, held 1-1 by Cyprus on Friday for their first point in any senior women's qualifier.
Scotland celebrate their last-gasp equaliser against Ukraine
Scotland celebrate their last-gasp equaliser against UkraineSNS Group via Getty Images

Group D: England, Austria, Northern Ireland, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Latvia

  • Ellen White scored on her 100th England cap to secure victory on Saturday against the side they meet to open UEFA Women's EURO 2022 next July, Austria. That leaves England still perfect after five game,s five points clear of Austria and another side from their EURO group, Northern Ireland. In October, Luxembourg won 3-2 in North Macedonia for their first-ever points in a full qualifying group.

Group E: Denmark, Russia, Montenegro, Malta, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Azerbaijan

  • Denmark and Russia both secured fifth wins on Thursday. For the former, Signe Bruun took her competition-leading goal tally to 11 in a 3-0 win in Bosnia and Herzegovina while Russia prevailed 4-0 in Azerbaijan. The leading pair meet in Denmark on Tuesday. Montenegro won 2-0 in Malta on Friday and are six points behind.

Group F: Norway, Poland, Belgium, Albania, Kosovo, Armenia

  • All the top three secured wins on Thursday. Norway beat Albania to stay two points ahead of Poland, also unbeaten after their 2-1 success in Kosovo. Belgium are still within a point of Poland after their win against Armenia, in which Tessa Wullaert starred with five goals.
Switzerland secured a crucial win in Italy
Switzerland secured a crucial win in ItalyNurPhoto via Getty Images

Group G: Switzerland, Italy, Romania, Lithuania, Croatia, Moldova

  • Switzerland won 2-1 in Italy on Friday to reach 15 points from five games, three clear of the Azzurre, whose perfect start was ended. Romania beat Moldova 3-0 to move to within three points of Italy, who they host on Tuesday.

Group H: Germany, Portugal, Serbia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Israel

  • A Lea Schüller hat-trick, taking her to nine goals in qualifying, aided Germany to victory against Turkey on Friday, keeping them perfect after five games and two points clear of Portugal, who defeated Israel on Thursday. The top two meet in Portugal on Tuesday.

Group I: France, Wales, Slovenia, Greece, Kazakhstan, Estonia

  • France defeated Kazakhstan 6-0 to make it five wins out of five and stay two points clear of Wales, who beat Greece 5-0 – the top pair are matched in Guingamp on Tuesday. Slovenia are three points off second place after their 6-0 victory against Estonia.
Wales won ahead of their crucial trip to France
Wales won ahead of their crucial trip to FranceGetty Images

Team facts

  • Germany are aiming to follow their wins in 2003 and 2007.
  • Norway were the other European world champions in 1995.
  • Netherlands were runners-up in 2019.
  • Sweden won their second straight Olympic silver medal in August; they took World Cup bronze in 2019 having been runners-up to Germany in 2003.
  • Cyprus are making their Women's World Cup debut.
  • Luxembourg are taking part in a full qualifying group stage for the first time.
  • Competing in UEFA Women's EURO 2022 from 6 to 31 July: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, England (hosts), Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands (holders), Northern Ireland, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland. Austria, England and Northern Ireland are also in the same group.

Dates

Qualifying group stage
16–21 September 2021
21–26 October 2021
25–30 November 2021
23 February 2022
7–12 April 2022
23–28 June 2022
1–6 September 2022

UEFA play-offs
3–11 October 2022

Finals: Continental allocation

Hosts: 2 (Australia, New Zealand)
AFC: 5
CAF: 4
CONCACAF: 4
CONMEBOL: 3
UEFA: 11
Inter-confederation play-offs: 3

Inter-confederation play-offs

A ten-team tournament will be held in Australia and New Zealand from 17 to 23 February 2023 to decide the last three finalists.

Continental allocation
AFC: 2
CAF: 2
CONCACAF: 2
CONMEBOL: 2
OFC: 1
UEFA: 1

The teams will be split into three groups, two of three teams and one of four, with seeding decided by FIFA ranking. All three groups will be played as separate knockout competitions, with the winner of each qualifying for the finals. In the two three-team groups, the seeded team will go straight to the final (after playing a friendly against Australia or New Zealand) and meet the winner of a semi-final between the other two nations.