Patrick Kelechi, Lagos
DAILY COURIER – Super Falcons of Nigeria have been drawn in Group B with co-hosts Australia, Canada and debutants Republic of Ireland, ahead of the 2023 FIFA women’s World Cup.
The draw took place at the Aotea Centre in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday.
The Falcons will open their campaign against reigning women’s Olympic champions Canada on 21 July 2023 before facing co-hosts Australia 27 July.
And on 31 July the Falcons will take on debutants Republic of Ireland in their last group game.
Recall Canada hosted the Falcons in a two-legged friendly in April this year.
The Canadians won the first meeting 2-0 before forcing the former African champions to a 2-2 draw in the second friendly game.
And the only time the Falcons faced Australia was in the group stage of the 2015 women’s World Cup which the Australians won 2-0.
Meanwhile, Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) champions, Banyana Banyana of South Africa, are in Group G with Sweden, Argentina and Italy.
Zambia, who beat the Falcons 1-0 in the third-place match at this year’s women’s Cup of Nations in Morocco are in Group C alongside Costa Rica, Japan and Spain.
While hosts of this year’s WAFCON, Morocco, will battle Germany, South Korea and Colombia in Group H.
The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup is scheduled to be the 9th edition of the quadrennial tournament.
Next year’s edition will be jointly hosted by Australiaand New Zealand, the first time that the FIFA Women’s World Cup will have two host nations,
It is scheduled to take place from 20 July to 20 August 2023 and will see the Women’s World Cup expanded from 24 to 32 teams.
The United States are the defending champions, having won the previous two tournaments in 2015and 2019. The Philippines, Vietnam, the Republic of Ireland, Morocco and Zambia will make their Women’s World Cup debut.
The top two teams from each group will progress to the round of 16.