The Women's World Cup sets the stage for next year's 32-team tournament

The Women’s World Cup sets the stage for next year’s 32-team tournament

Canada will learn their path to next year’s Women’s World Cup on Saturday morning with coach Bev Priestman and Soccer Canada general secretary Earl Cochran in attendance for the draw in Auckland, New Zealand.

Former players Carli Lloyd, Alexi Lalas, Gilberto Silva and Ian Wright are among those taking part in the ceremony, which will decide the eight groups for the expanded 32-team field for football’s showpiece from July 20. From August 20th will start in Australia. new zealand.

The top two in each pool will advance to the round of 16.

Ranked seventh in the latest FIFA World Rankings, the Canadians will be eliminated from Pot 2, which includes eighth-ranked Netherlands, ninth-ranked Brazil, No. 11 Japan, No. 12 Norway, No. 14 Italy, No. 14. 15th China and 17th South Korea.

Pot 1 hosts No. 13 Australia and No. 22 New Zealand, as well as No. 1 United States, No. 2 Sweden, No. 3 Germany, No. 4 England, No. 5 France and No. 6 Spain.

Pot 3 is No. 18 Denmark, No. 21 Switzerland, No. 24 Ireland, No. 27 Colombia, No. 29 Argentina, No. 34 Vietnam, No. 37 Costa Rica and No. 43 Jamaica.

Pot 4 is made up of No. 45 Nigeria, No. 53 Philippines, No. 54 South Africa, No. 76 Morocco, No. 81 Zambia and three yet-to-be-decided teams in the inter-confederation play-off tournament.

The 10-team playoff tournament in Auckland from February 18-23 features two teams from Asia (Chinese Taipei and Thailand), two from Africa (Cameroon and Senegal), two from CONCACAF (Haiti and Panama), two from South America ( Chile and ) are participating. Paraguay, one from Oceania (Papua New Guinea) and one from Europe (Portugal).

Ireland, Philippines, Morocco, Vietnam and Zambia will be making their debut in the Women’s World Cup.

FIFA’s “general rule” is to ensure, where possible, that no group has more than one team from the same confederation, meaning Canada will not face the Americans in its opening pool.

But this does not apply in Europe, because the number of possible entries – 11 or possibly 12 depends on the playoff tournament. So each group will have at least one but no more than two European teams in it.

That means Canada will avoid fellow CONCACAF teams Costa Rica and Jamaica, the two lowest-ranked teams in Pot 3, as well as the U.S.

But if No. 56 Haiti or No. 57 Panama exit the playoff tournament, they could end up in the same group as Canada because the final qualifying match is played after the playoffs.

At the 2019 World Cup in France, Canada was drawn in a pool with the Netherlands, Cameroon and New Zealand. Canada finished second to the Netherlands in the group and lost to Sweden 1-0 in the round of 16.

Canada finished fifth in the tournament, so was drawn in Pot 1 with hosts France and other heavyweights.

This time around, the Olympic champion Canadians will likely stick with one of the host nations when it comes to Pot 1.

Canada beat Australia twice in September, 1-0 and 2-1 in Brisbane and Sydney, respectively, and is 6-2-2 against the Matildas this century.

The Canadians are 10-1-4 all-time against New Zealand, with the only loss coming in their first game in December 1987. Canada won 2-0 when they met at the 2019 World Cup in Grenoble.

FIFA says around 800 guests will attend the Iota Center, including New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The draw will also mark the live debut of mascot Tazoni, billed as a “fun, soccer-loving penguin.”

The Women’s World Cup will have two host countries for the first time. The 64 matches will be played at 10 different venues in nine different cities – five cities in Australia and four in New Zealand.

Group A, C, E and G will play their group stage matches in New Zealand and Group B, D, F and H will play in Australia.

The knockout stage matches will be split between the two countries via the semi-finals, the third-place match (August 19 in Brisbane) and the final (August 20 in Sydney) both in Australia.

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