Scotland have been drawn in Group B for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifiers, alongside Spain, Ukraine, Hungary and Faroe Islands.
All four nations are familiar foes for Scotland, most notably the top seed Spain, ranked 13 in the world, who they faced most recently at EURO 2017, winning 1-0 with a Caroline Weir strike.
Ukraine were pulled out as the third seeded team, after recently losing out to Northern Ireland in the EURO play-offs. Scotland defeated them 3-0 last March in the Pinatar Cup with a Martha Thomas brace and Claire Emslie goal sealing the win.
Scotland are also joined by Hungary alongside the Faroe Islands, who are ranked 93 in the world.
The nine group winners qualify directly for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The nine group runners-up will then contest play-off matches in October 2022 to determine the two remaining direct spots, as well as the spot for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup play-off tournament.
Fixture dates will be confirmed in due course.
After the draw, Scotland captain Rachel Corsie said: “I think it’s an exciting draw. After the last campaign there was a lot of disappointment within the group so it’s great to know what’s ahead and who we have to face. The draw has definitely produced games we feel more than capable of getting positive results in, so we can put ourselves in a good position to reach the next World Cup.
“Spain are now considered one of the top teams in the world and they’ve improved a lot recently as they have talented young players who are becoming more experienced. I think that’s reflected in how well teams like Barcelona are doing in the Champions League.
“It’s certainly a tough team to be drawn against but it’s one to look forward to as we have top players who are playing at a high level and we need to show what we can do. We’ll relish those games I’m sure.
In the last 10 years, Scotland have played all of the teams they've been drawn against in the wualifying groups and Corsie believes international women's teams are constantly improving.
She said: “Over the years we’ve seen the pot 3 and pot 4 teams really improve so there are no easy games in our group.
“Over the years we’ve seen the pot 3 and pot 4 teams really improve so there are no easy games in our group. We have to focus on ourselves though and we have a squad of players who are at their peak so now it’s time to show what we’re capable of again.
“For those of us who have had a taste of those major tournaments we absolutely want to get back there for the country as a whole. We saw the huge impact being at the World Cup in 2019 had, and how much the country got behind us. We are all Scotland fans at heart too and we want to be back at on the big stage, competing against the best. We have a great chance to do that with the squad of players we have.”
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