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Italy, Spain in finals: Women's World Cup qualifying guide

Published: Wednesday 13 June 2018, 1.39CET
Italy, Spain and hosts France have qualified. Here's the state of play ahead of the last games.
by Paul Saffer
Italy, Spain in finals: Women's World Cup qualifying guide
Italy celebrate qualifying ©Getty Images
Published: Wednesday 13 June 2018, 1.39CET

Italy, Spain in finals: Women's World Cup qualifying guide

Italy, Spain and hosts France have qualified. Here's the state of play ahead of the last games.

Italy and Spain are the first European teams to qualify to join France in next year's FIFA Women's World Cup finals with the other five group winners and four play-off contenders to be decided between 30 August and 4 September.

  • Qualifying schedule: all the matches
  • The seven groups
  • The seven group winners will qualify to join France in the finals from 7 June–7 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.
  • Ties are split in the first instance by head-to-head, and the away goals rule applies if needed.

AT A GLANCE (teams listed in group order)
  • Qualified: Italy, Spain
  • Can still win group: Wales, England, Switzerland, Scotland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Germany
  • Can still reach play-offs: Ukraine, Czech Republic, Belgium, Austria, Finland

Full list of qualifiers
: Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, France (hosts), Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Thailand
Places to be filled: 3 from Africa, 6 from Europe, 3 from North/Central America, 1 from Oceania, 1 from play-off between Argentina and 4th-placed North/Central American side

Group 1

  • Can still win group: Wales (Pd7, Pts17), England (6, 16)
  • Key games: 31 August, Wales v England; 4 September, Kazakhstan v England

Whoever wins when Wales play England on 31 August will book their place in France. If it is a draw, England would top the group with a point in Kazakhstan on 4 September.

Group 2

  • Can still win group: Switzerland (Pd6, Pts18),  Scotland (6, 15)
  • Key games: 30 August, Scotland v Switzerland; 4 September, Poland v Switzerland & Albania v Scotland

Scotland lost 1-0 in Switzerland so will need a two-goal win when they host the leaders on 30 August to go top. If it finishes 1-0 to Scotland and both teams win (or lose) on 4 September, it goes to overall goal difference, and Switzerland would start the day with an advantage of 5.

Women’s EURO 2017: Watch all 68 goals now!

Group 3

  • Can still win group: Netherlands (Pd7, Pts19), Norway (6, 15)
  • Key games: 31 August, Slovakia v Norway; 4 September, Norway v Netherlands

Norway will pip the European champions by winning both their remaining games. If Slovakia hold Norway, the 1995 World Cup winners would need a victory by a two-goal margin against the Netherlands to finish first.

Group 4

  • Can still win group: Sweden (Pd6, Pts15), Denmark (6, 15)
  • Can still reach play-offs: Ukraine (6, 10)
  • Key games: 30 August, Denmark v Croatia & Sweden v Ukraine; 4 September, Denmark v Sweden

Sweden's loss to Ukraine on Tuesday not only kept the winners in contention for the play-offs, but was a boost for Denmark. Should the top two both win on 30 August, any victory would be good enough for Denmark against Sweden rather than them needing to overturn their 3-0 forfeit defeat from earlier in the group (a draw would favour Sweden). Ukraine need two wins for a play-off chance but cannot finish top even in the case of a three-way tie (when they would be second behind Denmark).

Group 5

  • Can still win group: Iceland (Pd6, Pts16), Germany (6, 15)
  • Can still reach play-offs: Czech Republic (6, 10)
  • Key games: 31 August, Czech Republic v Slovenia; 1 September, Iceland v Germany; 4 September, Iceland v Czech Republic & Faroe Islands v Germany

Iceland, who beat Germany 3-2 away in October, host the Olympic champions on 1 September knowing victory would send them to their first World Cup and a draw would leave them knowing a 4 September win against the Czech Republic would also book qualification. Germany have never missed a World Cup and qualification is still in their own hands if they win in Iceland. The Czechs need two wins as well as no draw in the Iceland v Germany game for any hope of a play-off.

Group 6

  • Qualified: Italy (Pd7, Pts21)
  • Can still reach play-offs: Belgium (6. 13)
  • Key games: 31 August, Romania v Belgium; 4 September, Belgium v Italt

Italy's 3-0 win against Portugal on Friday took them to their first World Cup since 1999. Belgium, who will finish second, may need two wins if they are to be one of the four play-off teams.

Group 7

  • Qualified: Spain (Pd6, Pts18)
  • Can still reach play-offs: Austria (7, 13), Finland (6, 10)

Spain beat Israel 2-0 then saw Austria win 2-0 in Finland to be the first European qualifiers (hours ahead of Italy). Finland must visit Spain and Austria, with the runners-up in this group currently looking set to miss out on the play-offs though it is still very tight.

Last updated: 14/06/18 11.11CET

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