Malta to face Denmark, Iceland in FIFA Women's World Cup qualifiers

women-malta-luxembourg130406Malta was drawn in Group 3 together with Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Serbia and Israel in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying round. The draws were held on Tuesday in Nyon.

Denmark and Iceland are ranked 13th and 15th respectively in the FIFA Women’s World Ranking and are among the finalists for this summer’s UEFA Women’s EURO which will be played in Sweden in July.

Matches will be played from 20/21 September 2013 to 17 September 2014 on a home-and-away basis.

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Malta coach Pierre Brincat was under no illusion regarding the tough customers in our group. “This is a tough group for us, with two Nordic teams both of whom participating in the Euro Finals in July. Serbia are another tough team and their coefficient is high compared to the average in pot D.”

“We once drew against Switzerland here in Malta but now they have a big advantage as they exported a lot of players to the German league and so they moved ahead in female football. As for Israel they are a new team for us but we won against them with our Under 16’s recently in Greece.”

“Nevertheless, we will prepare and do our best when facing these teams and we will never give up,” concluded Brincat.

The forty-two contenders, including the four teams which qualified from the Preliminary Round mini-tournaments, were drawn into seven groups of six sides, with every section containing one nation from each of Pots A-F.

Group 1: Germany, Russia, Republic of Ireland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia.
Group 2: Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, Romania, Estonia, FYR Macedonia.
Group 3: Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Serbia, Israel, Malta.
Group 4: Sweden, Scotland, Poland, Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Faroe Islands.
Group 5: Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Greece, Albania.
Group 6: England, Ukraine, Belarus, Wales, Turkey, Montenegro.
Group 7: France, Finland, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan.

women-malta-latvia130409The seven group winners qualify automatically for the finals.

The four runners-ups with the best record against the sides first, third, fourth and fifth in their groups go into the play-offs for the remaining UEFA berth in Canada. The finals, with an increased entry of 24 nations, take place from 6 June to 5 July 2015 in Edmonton, Moncton, Montreal, Ottowa and Vancouver.