With simply over 300 days till the world descends on Australia and New Zealand for the Girls’s World Cup, pleasure has by no means been greater.

October is ready to be a giant month in preparation for the match with the ultimate direct European slots to be determined and the World Cup draw to be carried out on Oct. 22 in Auckland.

Because it stands, 27 nations have certified for the expanded 32-team match after a busy July window, stuffed to the brim with continental competitions. Whereas some groups have prolonged their streaks of by no means having missed a Girls’s World Cup, others shall be dreaming about their first World Cup matches. It is a rundown of each group that has certified for the 2023 version.

The primary of the 2023 host nations, Australia has tried repeatedly to stage a soccer World Cup, beginning in 2003, notoriously repeatedly in 2010, and eventually, efficiently, bidding for 2023. Tony Gustavsson is the person tasked with main the Matildas on house soil however his tenure has been something however clean crusing.

A fourth-placed end on the Olympics and a quarterfinals exit on the Asian Cup maybe present the most effective summation of the place Australia is at proper now. After they’re good, they’re nice. After they’re unhealthy, it feels disastrous. Tipping the scales again into ‘good’ territory, and maintaining it there persistently, is the problem for the Matildas proper now.

New Zealand will change into the primary OFC host of a significant worldwide match when the world involves play in 2023. The Soccer Ferns have been on the inaugural World Cup in 1991, they usually have not missed a match since 2007. Nonetheless, they’ve additionally by no means received a World Cup match so house soil in 2023 may effectively be the proper setting.

The group didn’t take part within the OFC Girls’s Nations Cup in July, opening the door for a first-time winner. As an alternative, Jitka Klimkova’s facet has been traversing the globe and lately nabbed wins towards the Philippines and Mexico in addition to a draw with Wales and a loss to Norway. The Ferns might want to use the lead-up to the World Cup to search out appropriate midfielders having misplaced Ria Percival and Annalie Longo to long-term knee accidents previously six months.



Joey Lynch tells The Nationwide Curriculum that he’s fed up with the “excuses” Tony Gustavsson has been making as Matildas head coach.

By way of enlargement comes alternative, and the Philippines have felt this in additional methods than one. The expanded Asian Cup and World Cup tournaments have offered extra alternatives than ever, and the nationwide group, beneath head coach Alen Stajcic, has gone on a recruitment drive, tapping in to the Filipino diaspora, notably in the USA.

The Malditas have performed a monumental 25 matches in 2022, with the Asian Cup, Southeast Asian Video games, and AFF Championship — which they received on house soil — offering match expertise. Scheduled friendlies towards Costa Rica will present additional alternatives to benchmark themselves towards a fellow World Cup-bound facet.

South Korea certified for a fourth World Cup, and a 3rd consecutive match, by ending second on the Asian Cup earlier this 12 months. Defeat within the ultimate was undeniably disappointing for the Taegeuk Women, but it surely represented progress because the group had by no means beforehand made the decider of an Asian Cup.

This group has lengthy proven it’s among the many greatest in Asia, however translating that competitiveness continentally to the worldwide stage hasn’t all the time been forthcoming. The Taegeuk Women are greater than able to matching the most effective, as evidenced by attracts towards the USWNT in late 2021 and Canada in mid-2022; however now they need to take the following step to construct on their greatest World Cup end result — a Spherical-of-16 exit.

As soon as a worldwide powerhouse in girls’s soccer, China are having fun with “a brand new begin”, in response to their coach. The Metal Roses have certified for all however one World Cup, they usually reached the 2023 match by successful the Asian Cup. That was their first continental victory in 16 years, and it represented an unmatched ninth Asian Cup success.

China, like many groups which have certified for 2023, are present process a little bit of a refresh inside their squad. At one finish of the spectrum are the likes of Wang Shuang and Wang Shanshan, who boast greater than 260 caps and virtually 100 targets between them; on the different finish are gamers with fewer than 20 caps. China have all the time made it out of the group stage at World Cups, at a minimal, and they are going to be hoping their mixture of expertise and youth can information them deep into the match.

Japan certified for a ninth straight World Cup however did so in a way that maybe wasn’t as convincing as they’d have favored. With the Asian Cup doubling as World Cup qualifying, and Nadeshiko heading to the match because the two-time reigning hosts, there was some degree of expectation on the group. However a semifinals defeat by China, on penalties, noticed them fail to make the ultimate for the primary time since 2010.

Nadeshiko are present process a rebuild following immense success within the 2010s; outcomes aren’t what they want now, however Japan have basically futureproofed their squad and proceed to develop gamers able to going deep in youth worldwide tournaments. Whether or not the rebuild has been timed to coincide with a problem in 2023 stays to be seen.

Vietnam will make their World Cup debut in 2023, after successful the Asian Cup repechage to earn the ultimate direct qualification spot from Asia. That repechage noticed them defeat Chinese language Taipei and 2019 World Cup debutants Thailand to keep away from the intercontinental playoff.

Vietnam have lengthy been a regional powerhouse, successful Southeast Asian Video games medals and persistently ending within the high 4 of the AFF Championship. There’s nonetheless a bridge to be crossed on the subject of competing with the continent’s greatest on the Asian Cup, nevertheless, however the expanded tournaments have given Vietnam a chance they would not have in any other case had.

Spain’s stature and popularity have been rising in worldwide circles, and there’s a lot to love about La Roja; this pleasure has been taking place in entrance of a backdrop of discontent that has solely grown louder in current months, nevertheless. The enjoying group is reportedly sad with supervisor Jorge Vilda, and the federation seems to be doubling down on help for the coach quite than listening to the gamers’ issues. The federation has a historical past of neglecting and ignoring participant issues, resulting in a fractured relationship.

Regardless of this, and definitely not due to it, Spain proceed to supply outcomes on the park. Their Euro 2022 quarterfinals exit by the hands of England was effectively in need of expectations, however their World Cup qualifying marketing campaign was actually flawless: Eight video games, eight wins, 53 targets scored, zero conceded. Alexia Putellas ‘ return from an ACL damage ought to be the most important fear for the Spanish group, however the background discontent may threaten to derail this golden era.

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France are one other group that consistently appears to play effectively regardless of tensions off the pitch; divisions inside the group, an unhealthy surroundings, and the pressure between gamers and coach Corinne Diacre, are well-known and effectively documented.

Euro 2022 noticed the group break via the quarterfinals barrier, solely to lose to Germany within the semifinals. They went via World Cup qualifying with a 10-0 file, however in a bunch the place Wales have been Les Bleues‘ stiffest competitors. France have misplaced just one sport this 12 months, their Euros semifinal, and but the extent of angst and concern across the group is as excessive as ever. There’s presently no indication that any of this shall be resolved to ensure that the group to make a tilt on the trophy in 2023.

Sweden topped Group A of European qualifying, dropping factors solely once they drew with Republic of Eire in April 2022, and this shall be their ninth look on the pinnacle of ladies’s soccer. Hopes have been excessive for Blågult on the Euros in the course of the 12 months, once they have been coming off a silver medal on the Olympics, and Adidas’ advertising and marketing marketing campaign for the Swedish package included a “Learn how to Beat Sweden” information on the tags of the jersey. However it may be argued that the group by no means actually hit the heights anticipated, they usually misplaced 4-0 to eventual champions England within the semifinals.

Peter Gerhardsson’s facet are all the time a risk on the world stage, however they need to present they don’t seem to be perennial bridesmaids. Stern exams towards France and Spain await the group within the October window, whereas a visit to Australia in November will provide supreme preparation for subsequent 12 months.



Lindsey Horan credit Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn and Kelley O’Hara’s expertise in serving to her develop as a pacesetter with the USWNT.

Denmark certified for his or her first World Cup since 2007 by topping Group E of the European qualifiers. Eight wins from eight video games, 40 targets scored and solely two conceded, each towards Montenegro, made it a flawless marketing campaign for De rød-hvide.

Some pundits anticipated the Danes to construct on their Euros 2017 runners-up end by progressing deep into the 2022 match, however the group exited within the group stage; it was all the time going to be a troublesome job with Spain and Germany within the group. Denmark have undeniably gifted gamers however their Euros marketing campaign seems like an correct indicator of the place they’re at globally; good however not nice.

Was there ever a doubt the two-time reigning world champions would qualify for a ninth straight World Cup? The USWNT progressed via the CONCACAF W Championship with out dropping some extent or conceding a purpose on the best way to a ninth continental title. However the ease with which they certified for the World Cup is not the story. This group goes via a rebuild after a decade of success constructed on the backs of gamers who’re now not a part of the set-up.

Issues are not at all excellent for the USWNT — with regeneration comes rising pains — however they’re sustaining a near-flawless file of outcomes. Friendlies towards England, Spain, and Germany shut out the 12 months, and people video games shall be a incredible barometer of the place groups stand globally lower than a 12 months out from the World Cup.



Sebastian Salazar and Herculez Gomez debate whether or not expectations should be excessive for the USWNT towards England and Spain.

Costa Rica return to the worldwide stage for the primary time since Canada 2015, making their second look at a World Cup. Las Ticas defeated Trinidad & Tobago and Panama, however misplaced to Canada, the USWNT and Jamaica to complete fourth within the CONCACAF W Championship.

Costa Rica will come up a gainst the Philippines within the October worldwide window, in what ought to be a pair of attention-grabbing clashes, however they’re on a five-game dropping streak that has prolonged past the continental match with two defeats by Colombia. Again in 2015, Costa Rica provided different groups a shock, nabbing factors off Spain and South Korea. With an expanded match they will hope to shock much more nations and progress out of the group.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold medallists, Canada proved final 12 months that they might win on the world stage. They may not repeat their efforts from Japan on this 12 months’s CONCACAF W Championship in Mexico, however Canada have continued to evolve beneath Bev Priestman. With qualification secured, the purpose is now to change into a group that scores as simply as they maintain groups out.

Their two-game pleasant sequence towards Australia confirmed they have been nonetheless completely able to producing a 1-0 win however may additionally come from behind. It additionally offered invaluable minutes to the gamers of tomorrow. Glimpses of the extra attacking, free-scoring Canada have been proven on the continental match, and there’s nonetheless time for the group to make {that a} extra outlined pillar of their play. You do not wish to be peaking 9 months out from the World Cup.

The story of ladies’s soccer has so usually been a story of accomplishment regardless of the environment, and Jamaica are among the many prime examples. A second consecutive third-placed end on the CONCACAF W Championship secured a second consecutive qualification to a World Cup — one thing no Caribbean group had performed within the males’s or girls’s sport — however this success comes regardless of the Jamaican Soccer Federation not due to it.

The group’s story is effectively documented: The help of Bob Marley’s daughter, Cedella, has taken them from non-existent to consecutive World Cups within the house of six years. However a scarcity of funding and care from the federation continues to hamper and hinder the Reggae Girlz; most lately, they have been stranded in the USA on the best way house from the CONCACAF W Championship. The group’s unity has been a saving grace they usually’ll hope to channel that right into a maiden World Cup win in 2023.

Zambia adopted their first Olympic marketing campaign in 2021 by ending third on the Girls’s Africa Cup of Nations to say their maiden World Cup berth — albeit victory towards perennial African champions Nigeria within the third-place playoff was a formidable feat in itself. Furthermore, the girl who grew to become the face of the Copper Queens on the Olympics, Barbra Banda, was unable to proceed scoring for enjoyable after she, amongst quite a lot of gamers, was controversially prevented from competing at WAFCON because of excessive testosterone ranges.

Zambia’s bronze medal in Morocco was their greatest WAFCON end, and it completely encapsulated the duality of the group. They’re enjoyable to look at and might rating for enjoyable, however will be scored towards simply as simply. This rollercoaster vibe is bound to win them followers in 2023 however possibly not as many video games.



Gab Marcotti and Julien Laurens talk about the expansion of ladies’s soccer after a massively profitable Euro 2022 match.

17. Morocco

South Africa are the Girls’s Africa Cup of Nations champions, however Morocco are equally on the forefront of the brand new brigade in girls’s soccer in Africa. The Moroccan federation’s funding in girls’s soccer seems to be paying speedy dividends, and whereas the Atlas Lionesses in the end fell quick towards Banyana Banyana on house soil they registered their first look in a ultimate at their first WAFCON in 22 years. The group was undoubtedly buoyed by the house crowds — 51,000 individuals watched the ultimate alone — however the Atlas Lionesses confirmed they might compete on the continental stage.

With their second-place end, Morocco grew to become the primary group from the Arab world to qualify for the World Cup, and they are going to be considered one of a handful of debutants participating in Australia and New Zealand. Whether or not the nation’s funding in girls’s soccer is sufficient to have them making an influence on the world stage is a query to be answered in 2023.

South Africa are making themselves comfy on the world stage having certified for the 2012 and 2016 Olympics and securing back-to-back World Cup {qualifications} after debuting on the match in France in 2019. Banyana Banyana have been constructing inside Africa as effectively, and their qualification for 2023 was achieved with their first Girls’s Africa Cup of Nations title.

5 instances runners-up within the continental showpiece, they lastly earned the title of champions beneath the management of former participant Desiree Ellis — who had skilled a few of these losses as each participant and coach. South Africa’s emergence as a frontrunner in African girls’s soccer has been constructed on gifted gamers and many exhausting work. Their subsequent purpose shall be to earn their very first factors at a World Cup.

Not the unbeatable power of African girls’s soccer, Nigeria completed fourth at this 12 months’s WAFCON — their equal-lowest rating on the continental match. Fourth does not appear that unhealthy, but it surely’s fairly the drop given the Tremendous Falcons received 11 of the earlier 13 tournaments. Whereas they have been undoubtedly dissatisfied with their inserting, Morocco wanted penalties to defeat them within the semifinals whereas they misplaced the bronze ultimate by a single purpose from Zambia.

Nigeria’s expertise, together with the likes of Barcelona star Asisat Oshoala, is such that the group should not be down for lengthy, having continued their file of qualifying for each World Cup.

Colombia return to the world stage for the primary time since 2015 after reaching the Copa America Femenina ultimate on house soil. Nonetheless, the group couldn’t discover a well beyond Brazil to say an elusive continental title; Las Cafeteras have completed second in three of the previous 4 Copas. Colombia have impressed on the continental stage for a while whereas created historical past internationally, too: Their win towards France within the 2015 group stage is considered one of solely two South American victories on the World Cup not achieved by Brazil.

Like many South American groups, Colombia are exhausting to gauge. The group does effectively towards fellow CONMEBOL sides and might maintain their very own towards neighbouring CONCACAF groups; two wins towards Costa Rica and 3-0 and 2-0 defeats by the USWNT are circumstances in level. However they play few matches past these areas.

The perennial South American champions have by no means missed an version of the Girls’s World Cup, and Pia Sundhage’s facet coasted via the Copa America Femenina with out dropping some extent or conceding a purpose. The story in South America could be very a lot As Canarinhas and the remaining, however that narrative does not give the most effective image as to the place Brazil are globally.

The Brazilians are present process a regeneration, and their Copa victory with out Marta, Formiga or Cristiane marked the primary time the group had contested a significant match with none of the massive thee since1995. It could seem the following era is able to proceed Brazil’s dominance on the continent however are they able to tackle the remainder of the world?



England striker Alessia Russo speaks forward of England’s pleasant at Wembley towards the USWNT concerning the problem of dealing with the World Cup winners.

Argentina have certified for back-to-back World Cups, replicating their feat from 2003 and 2007, after they completed third on the 2022 Copa America Femenina. This inserting cemented the group as the most effective of the remaining in South America, they usually haven’t completed decrease than fourth for the reason that inaugural Copa America Femenina in 1991 — which they didn’t enter.

Argentina have persistently fought for bare-minimum recognition and funding from their federation — like many groups throughout the globe — and their journey to the 2019 World Cup got here after two years of inactivity between 2015 and 2017. La Albiceleste haven’t been dormant, nor are the situations as unhealthy as they as soon as have been, however progress is gradual, notably in contrast with the degrees of funding elsewhere.

It was completely unsurprising when Norway parted methods with Martin Sjögren following Euro 2022, at which the group didn’t progress after an entirely unimpressive marketing campaign that featured an 8-0 loss to England. World Cup qualifying, nevertheless, was extra simple, with solely a scoreless draw towards Poland marring an in any other case complete show.

Norway have oodles of expertise however they they haven’t translated that into something significant of late; a quarterfinals look on the 2019 Girls’s World Cup is the exception. Norwegian legend Hege Riise has been tasked with turning issues round; with World Cup qualification ticked off the to-do listing, subsequent comes a pleasant towards the Netherlands, one other group hoping {that a} new coach will provide up higher fortunes.

Concern and confusion reigned when Germany misplaced to Serbia in World Cup qualifying after pleasant defeats by Canada and England and a draw with Spain; therefore Die Nationalelf did not charge a point out among the many match favourites heading into Euro 2022. This wasn’t to counsel they’d do poorly, simply that they would not win the match.

They flew delightfully beneath the radar, and solely England on house soil prevented Germany from claiming one more European crown. However within the course of, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s facet confirmed the following era of German expertise was able to tackle the world. Germany have been wonderful in World Cup qualifying, bar the blip towards Serbia, and coming friendlies towards the USWNT will affect how their likelihood is considered within the lead as much as 2023.

There has arguably by no means been extra hype or extra pleasure surrounding the Lionesses, and with good purpose. Their historic Euros victory on house soil felt like a crowning glory, and it put to mattress at the very least a number of the disappointment attributable to many years of almosts. The Euros win completely stands as a mighty achievement, but it surely additionally seems like a really obligatory step on the highway to potential world champion standing.

Sarina Wiegman is getting the most effective out of her gamers, a press release justified not solely by the Euros win but additionally by England’s file in World Cup qualifying: the Lionesses received all 10 qualifying video games, scoring 80 targets with out reply. England’s coming pleasant towards the USA at Wembley might be the best indicator but as to the place the world order in girls’s soccer sits: With the reigning world champions or with the champions of Europe?



Alessia Russo is offered with an invitation for the Lionesses to Disneyland Paris following their Euro 2022 win.

The Netherlands have hit reset on their hopes for 2023 after a lacklustre Euro 2022. Mark Parsons was the coach for almost all of qualifying, however he won’t lead them down beneath after the group underperformed in England. The 2017 Euro champions had excessive hopes however didn’t put issues collectively throughout the continental match.

Whereas the gamers and the federation now not trusted Parsons to get them the place they wished to go, he did play a job in blooding the following era of Oranje Leeuwinnen. Andries Jonker is now tasked with getting the Netherlands again into main match finals, and he has efficiently accomplished the job Parsons began. Will he have sufficient time to develop the group additional?

The battle between Italy and Switzerland to qualify straight out of Group G was determined by the best margins. Italy topped the group by two factors solely after Switzerland have been held to a draw by Romania..

The Italians reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup in 2019 and there was some hope they might replicate that effort within the European Championship. The group disappointing on the Euros, nevertheless, and didn’t make it past the group stage. An expanded match means Italy may match their efforts from France in Australia and New Zealand, however they could have to reset forward of 2023.

28 and 29. Spots 28 and 29 shall be determined by way of the UEFA playoffs, which sees the second-placed groups from the qualifying teams ranked in a sequence of one-off matches. The underside six sides have been drawn towards one another — Portugal vs. Belgium, Scotland vs. Austria, and Wales vs. Bosnia & Herzegovina — with the winners heading to spherical two. There they are going to meet one of many three greatest second-placed groups: Iceland, Eire and Switzerland. The 2 best-ranked groups from these winners, considering the group stage and second-round play-off outcomes, qualify straight for the World Cup whereas the third group heads to the intercontinental playoff.

30, 31 and 32. The boys’s sport has lengthy been acquainted with intercontinental playoffs however it is a first for Girls’s World Cup qualifying. The match will happen over 5 days in Auckland, New Zealand.

Europe could have one consultant, as famous above; OFC Girls’s Cup winners Papua New Guinea will signify Oceania; Paraguay and Chile, respectively the fourth and fifth-placed finishes on the Copa America Femenina, signify South America; Haiti and Panama compete for North and Central America having completed third of their respective teams on the CONCACAF W Championship; and Chinese language Taipei, Thailand, Cameroon and Senegal play after successful via repechages on the Girls’s Asian Cup and Girls’s African Cup of Nations.

Of the 9 groups already certified for the playoff match, 4 have certified for the World Cup earlier than. Chinese language Taipei will look to return to the world stage for the primary time since 1991, and Thailand, Cameroon and Chile will look to increase their runs of consecutive Phrase Cup appearances. Everybody else shall be dreaming of a really first Girls’s World Cup.

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