Latin American Teams Fight for the Last Places in the Women's World Cup

Conmebol and Concacaf teams will seek the last opportunity to qualify for the highest planetary event in women's soccer. Three quotas that are in dispute for ten teams will be defined between February 18 and 23.

Panamanian women's soccer team

Photo: IG-fepafut

LatinAmerican Post | Nicolás Donoso Álvarez

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Leer en español: Selecciones latinoamericanas luchan por los últimos cupos al Mundial Femenino

The wait is finally over, between February 18 and 23, ten teams will compete for the last three places for the Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand 2023, an appointment that already has 29 qualified teams. The tournament for the most important women's soccer teams will take place between July 20 and August 20 of this year, and it promises to be an unforgettable event.

In this Repechage Tournament for the Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand 2023, the ten teams are divided into three groups : Cameroon, Thailand and Portugal make up group A (the winning Cameroon-Thailand team will face Portugal in the final); Senegal, Haiti, and Chile are in group B (whoever wins in Senegal-Haiti will face Chile in the decisive match); and Chinese Taipei, Paraguay, Papua New Guinea, Panama and are in group C (those who win the Chinese Taipei-Paraguay and Papua New Guinea-Panama matches will meet in the last match).

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For both Conmebol and Concacaf, obtaining these quotas is presented as a task of the utmost importance, since it would mean ratifying that Latin America continues to grow in women's soccer. Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, the United States, Canada, Jamaica, and Costa Rica are the teams that, for the moment, will represent the continent in the tournament.

Chile Seeks to Return to the World Cup After a Complicated Copa América

In 2019 Chile made history after qualifying for the World Cup in France, after being runner-up in the Copa América Femenina played in 2018 on national soil. That allowed him to make himself known on the world stage and play the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, also for the first time. However, in the 2022 Copa América, those led by José Letelier did not achieve direct qualification for the World Cup nor a place in Paris 2024. They were left with fifth place in the competition, the product of two wins, one draw and two losses (in the game for fifth place they drew 1-1 against Venezuela, defeating them on penalties 4-2 and securing a place in the playoffs).

Fifth place led to questioning the continuity of José Letelier, the coach who has led Chile since 2015 and who has achieved the most relevant achievements in the history of the Chilean women's team. However, with an interesting mix between experience and youth, with players like Carla Guerrero, Karen Araya, Yessenia López, María José Rojas, Rosario Balmaceda, Yenny Acuña, Sonya Keefe and the experienced goalkeeper for French Olympique de Lyon, Christiane Endler . , -finalist for The Best FIFA 2022 award for the best goalkeeper-Chile dreams of qualifying for the second World Cup in its history.

Chile's rival in the Repechage Tournament will be Senegal or Haiti. The African team, which seeks to play its first women's World Cup, had a good Africa Cup, with 2-0 and 1-0 victories against Uganda and Burkina Faso respectively, a 0-1 defeat against Morocco to close the group stage. In the quarterfinals they lost to Zambia on penalties (4-2) after drawing 1-1 and in the playoffs they drew 0-0 against Tunisia and beat them 4-2 on penalties.

For its part, Haiti also wants to play a Women World Cup for the first time. In the 2022 Concacaf Women's Championship, they were eliminated in the group stage, but after leaving a good impression. Despite losing 3-0 to the United States and 4-0 to Jamaica, they surprised the continent after beating Mexico 3-0, the hosts of the tournament and the great disappointment. Chile is the favorite of this zone that will be defined on February 22, but it should not be neglected against either of these two teams.

Paraguay and Panama Want to Leave their Mark on History

For Paraguay and Panama, these days will also be first times, as both teams dream of making their debut in the Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Paraguay, which finished fourth in the last Copa América played in Colombia, will face Chinese Taipei on February 19. This team reached the quarterfinals in the Asian Cup after two wins, one draw and one loss. If they win, they will face Papua New Guinea or Panama in the final on February 23.

Precisely, Panama, a team led by the Mexican Ignacio Quintana, will have to overcome the oceanic team of Papua New Guinea if they want to fight for their place in the World Cup against Paraguay. The task will not be easy for the Panamanian team, but they can be excited about playing a good role. In the 2022 CONCACAF Women's Championship, they managed to recover from the defeats against Costa Rica (0-3) and Canada (0-1) to defeat Trinidad and Tobago 1-0 and certify their presence in this play-off. Latin America wants to have the largest number of places for a World Cup that is expected to be a historic event.