2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup: UEFA Qualifying – Play-Offs Roundup

(Image credit: @FAIreland)

Roundup of the UEFA Qualifying Play-Offs for 2023 FIFA World Cup as teams battled for three final European qualification spots.

In a change from the men’s qualification format, those who qualified for UEFA Qualifying Play-Offs for the Women’s World Cup were ranked based on their group performances – minus sixth placed teams in six team groups – with the top three automatically qualifying for the Second Round.

Switzerland, Iceland and Republic of Ireland therefore received byes to the Second Round, whilst Scotland, Austria, Wales, Bosnia & Herzegovinia, Portugal and Belgium were condemned to the First Play-Off Round, from which the winners qualified for the Second Round.

The three Second Round winners were then again ranked following merger of Group and Play-Off Second Round results, with the top two automatically booking their spot at the World Cup.

The lowest-ranked play-off winner meanwhile were designated to the inter-confederation Play-Offs in February 2023.


Round One

(Image credit: Scottish Daily Express)

Substitute, Abi Harrison headed in a 92nd minute winner as Scotland eliminated this summer’s UEFA Euro Quarter-Finalist, Austria, by a narrow 1-0 result in extra time in torrential conditions at Hampden Park.

Jess Fishlock’s volley in first-half injury time of extra-time proved enough for Wales to eliminate Bosnia & Herzegovinia, following a frustrating encounter in which the Welsh dominated but wasted numerous shots.

Fatima Pinto struck a 89th minute winner to send Portugal through to the second round of the play-offs following a 2-1 home win over Belgium, in which Diana Silva’s opener was cancelled out by Tessa Wullaert’s equaliser for the Belgian Red Flame.


Round Two

(Image credit: @BBCChwaraeonRC)

Switzerland qualified automatically for the World Cup as the highest-ranked play-off winner with 22 points, after Fabienne Humm’s close-range strike completed a 2-1 extra-time win over Wales, having equalised through Ramona Bachmann to cancel out Rhiannon Roberts’ opener.

Amber Barrett’s 72nd minute counter-attack strike fired Republic of Ireland to a first-ever major Finals in any competition, as the Irish defeated Scotland 1-0 in a close encounter at Hampden Park to secure the second automatic qualification spot with 20 points.

Portugal thrashed Iceland 4-1 after extra time in Pacos de Ferreira but results elsewhere meant that they were the lowest-ranked play-off winner, and will now face an inter-confederation play-off in February 2023.

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  3. UEFA Qualifying – Play-Offs Roundup – Sport Grill – The Insight Post

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