Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland had memorable nights in their last World Cup qualifiers and secured their place in the play-off table, while Northern Ireland n failed to qualify despite winning.
Wales and the Republic of Ireland are on the verge of reaching the World Cup finals for the first time in their history and for Wales it would be their first tournament appearance major. As for Scotland, they made their World Cup debut at France 2019.
In Group I, Wales held third-placed Slovenia to a 0-0 draw at Cardiff City Stadium as they battled to cross the line and qualify for the play-offs. Never before have they been one point away from qualifying for the play-offs. The evening was excellent in the Welsh capital, where the Dragons doubled their attendance record with 12,741 spectators.
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In Group A, the Republic of Ireland beat Slovakia 1-0 in Senec. Denise O’Sullivan’s 37th-minute goal (the fifth of the campaign) put her side through to the play-off draw after their impressive victory over Finland last week. Ireland knew a win against Slovakia would see them qualify as one of the top three teams out of the nine that reached the play-offs, earning them a bye into the second stage of the qualifiers. .
In Group B, Scotland recorded a comfortable 6-0 victory over the Faroe Islands thanks to a goal and an assist from Caroline Weir, the former Manchester City star, who gave her team a step forward more towards qualification for two consecutive World Cups for the first time in its history. Unlike Ireland, she and Wales will feature in the draw for the first stage of the play-offs.
Ireland, Iceland and Switzerland are among the teams that have been exempted from the second phase, and they will participate in the draw along with the teams that qualified from the first phase of the play-offs.
The play-off draw will take place on Friday September 9 at 12:30 BST. The meetings themselves will take place on October 6 and 11.