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Haiti and Portugal qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time ever

The USWNT will take on Portugal in Group E of the 2023 FIFA Women’s Women Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

The USWNT will take on Portugal in Group E of the 2023 FIFA Women’s Women Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

We now know 31 of the 32 participants in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup after Haiti and Portugal won inter-confederation playoffs on Wednesday to qualify for the tournament for the first time in in their respective histories.

10 sides went into the playoffs in New Zealand looking to clinch the final three spots at the tournament, the last of which has still to be decided.

Haiti shock Chile

In the Group B playoff final, Haiti, who thrashed Senegal 4-0 in the semi-final, sprung a surprise to defeat Chile at North Harbour Stadium in Auckland. Christiane Endler, one of the world’s best goalkeepers, was unable to lead her side to a second successive World Cup as Melchie Dumornay, who will join serial Champions League winners Lyon in the summer, neted twice. The midfielder opened the scoring just before half-time and added a second goal deep into injury time at the end of the game after captain Nerilia Mondesir had missed a penalty in the 89th minute. Maria Rojas pulled a goal back for the Chileans moments later but it was too little, too late.

Late drama ends in Portugal victory

Later on Wednesday, a dramatic Group A final saw Portugal defeat Cameroon at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton to seal their first ever World Cup qualification. Diana Gomes’ first-half strike appeared likely to win the game for the Portuguese until Ajara Nchout levelled the match with a minute left on the clock. Heartbreak for Cameroon followed, however, as Carole Costa converted an injury-time penalty after a handball in the penalty box.

Haiti will join England, Denmark and China in Group D of the main tournament, while Portugal will take on the USWNT, Vietnam and the Netherlands in Group E.

The final place will be decided by the winner of the Group C playoff final between Paraguay and Panama, which will take place on Thursday in Hamilton.

When does the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup start?

Tournament proper, played in Australia and New Zealand, will get underway on 20 July and run for a month, with the final being played in Sydney on 20 August.