Canada’s women’s soccer team has drawn Australia, Ireland and Nigeria to the World Cup

L’équipe canadienne de soccer féminin tire l’Australie, l’Irlande et le Nigéria pour la Coupe du monde

Canada has been drawn for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup alongside co-hosts Australia, Ireland and Nigeria.

Saturday’s draw was relatively favorable for the seventh-seeded Canadians, who missed out on several heavyweights when they were drawn in Group B with Australia. The 13th-ranked Matildas were the second lowest-ranked team they could have faced in Pot 1. Co-hosts New Zealand had a low ranking of 22nd in a pot consisting of co-hosts and top seeds.

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

Ireland, ranked 24th, will make their World Cup debut. The Canadians won the only meeting with Ireland in 2014, 2-1.

First game against Nigeria

The highest seed in Pot 4 was a tie for 45th place Nigeria. The Super Falcons have never lost a World Cup and reached the quarter-finals in 1999. Canada is 2-1-2 against Nigeria.

The Canadian Olympic champions will play their first round matches in Australia, starting with Nigeria.

This is the first Women’s World Cup to be held in two countries, the first with an expanded field of 32 nations from 24, and the first in the Southern Hemisphere.

LED screens show the final draw for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 draw in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday. (Alan Lee/Photosport/Associated Press)

The 64-match tournament will be played from July 20 to August 20 at 10 different venues in nine different cities – five in Australia and four in New Zealand.

Canada coach Bev Priestman and Canada Soccer General Secretary Earl Cochrane were in the audience for the draw, along with FIFA President Gianni Infantino, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden and Federal Minister for Australian Sport Anika Wells. CONCACAF President and FIFA Vice President Canadian Victor Montagliani also attended.

There was also a trophy brought by former USA coach Jill Ellis, who won it in 2015 and 2019.

“This is where the excitement begins”

Former stars Carli Lloyd, Alexi Lalas, Gilberto Silva and Ian Wright were also in attendance at the ceremony at the Otea Center in Auckland on Saturday.

“This is where the excitement starts and we see it all over the world. It is a movement. “Women’s soccer is here and it’s going to get bigger and better,” said Lloyd, who scored 134 goals in 316 appearances for the US.

The 29 teams that have qualified for the draw and the three spots still to be filled have been divided into four pots per seed.

Tazuni features the penguin mascot at Saturday’s draw in Auckland. (Alan Lee/Photosport/Associated Press)

Canada was placed in Pot 2, which also included 8th-ranked Netherlands, 9th-ranked Brazil, No. 11 Japan, No. 12 Norway, No. 14 Italy and China, No. 15 and No. 17 South Korea.

In addition to the tournament co-hosts, Pot 1 includes No. 1 USA, No. 2 Sweden, No. 3 Germany, No. 4 England, No. 5 France and #6 Spain.

Canada has been excluded from the USA and Costa Rica and Jamaica in accordance with FIFA’s ‘general principle’ that no group has more than one team from the same confederation.

This does not apply to Europe due to the number of possible participants – 11 or possibly 12, depending on the playoff tournament.

The Philippines, Morocco, Vietnam and Zambia will also make their debut in the Women’s World Cup.

Vietnam, ranked 34th, went deep with an opener against four-time champions the United States.

Canada’s best finish at the World Cup is fourth

The top two teams from each group will qualify for the Round of 16.

The Canadians are 10-2-3 on the year and have won four straight since losing 1-0 to the USA in the CONCACAF W Championship final in Mexico in July. The top four teams from this tournament qualified for the World Cup, with No. 56 Haiti and No. 57 Panama joining them for the playoff tournament.

Canada’s best success in the World Cup was in 2003 when they finished fourth.

The remaining three teams for the 2023 competition will come from the 10-team inter-confederation playoff tournament in Auckland from February 17-23.

The field consists of 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 Paraguay) and one from Oceania (Papua New Guinea). One from Europe (Portugal).

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