Three nations with Chelsea Women players have booked their places at the 2023 World Cup in recent days and one has made his debut for one of our Blues stars…
First on Thursday, Denmark secured their place at next year’s tournament in Australia and New Zealand with a comfortable 5-1 win over Montenegro.
Midway through the first half, the visitors scored a shock equalizer with their lone shot on target all night, but a Pernille Harder penalty three minutes later calmed Danish nerves. It was awarded for a handball stopping a Harder free-kick in its tracks, and Denmark went wild in the second half to claim eight out of eight qualifying wins. Harder completed the 90 minutes.
One day later, Maren Mjelde (top photo) and Gouro Reiten played the full match as Norway automatically booked their World Cup spot by winning 1-0 away. The goal came on the hour mark from defender Tuva Hansen, her first at international level, beating Belgium in what was a top-flight clash.
Norway will qualify with a qualifier to spare, guaranteeing they will have played in all nine World Cup tournaments held.
On Saturday, England sealed their place in the World Cup final by also winning their qualifying group with one more game to play. Needing only a point against the second-placed side, a 2-0 victory in Austria did the job for the recently crowned European champions with goals from Alessia Russo and Nikita Parris.
From Chelsea’s perspective, the game was also notable for his senior international debut for lauren james, who played the last 10 minutes. Also off the bench in the second half were Jess Carter and Bethany England while Millie Bright played the full match. She was part of a Lionesses defense that didn’t concede in nine qualifying matches.
Finishing second in a group is rewarded with a place in the October qualifying play-offs. Friday Sophie Ingle and Wales picked up a memorable win in Greece where they won 1-0, leaving them just one point in their final qualifying game to qualify for the first time.
The goal came from Carrie Jones, on loan to Leicester from Manchester United, when the ball came from a free kick. Ingle and his colleagues have their chance to secure second place on Tuesday in Cardiff, when they face third-placed Slovenia.
New signing from Chelsea Jelena Cankovic remained on the bench as Serbia lost 2-1 in Portugal. In a group already won by Germany, Serbia must now beat Israel on Tuesday and rely on Portugal not to beat Turkey if they qualify for the play-offs.
Katerina Svitkova came on as a substitute in the final half-hour of the Czech Republic’s 6-0 win in Cyprus and scored his country’s fifth goal in the 78th minute, a well-placed finish from 12 yards out. The Czechs, who cannot qualify for the World Cup, end their campaign with a home game against Belarus on Tuesday.
It was Aniek Nouwen who was happiest when his Dutch side and Scotland, with Erin Cuthbert on board, met in friendly Friday evening. Playing at home, Vivianne Miedema put the Netherlands ahead early on with an assist from former Arsenal team-mate Danielle van de Donk, but that lead only lasted two minutes. Claire Emslie equalized.
Cuthbert was the closest to adding his name to the scoresheet in the second half when his hard shot was saved. Nouwen entered the action just after the hour mark and after the Dutch hit the post they won the game 2-1 with a minute to play when after the ball hit the woodwork again, this time via one stop, it was grouped. line.
The Netherlands can still win their World Cup qualifying group when they return to competition on Tuesday. Scotland have already secured a place in the play-off.
The big winners in this group are France who won by a big 9-0 scoreline on Friday when they visit Estonia. Eve Perisset stayed on the bench for that one. Ouleymata Sarr of Paris FC scored four.
Sam Kerr and Jessie Fleming clashed when future World Cup hosts Australia met Canada for a friendly match in Brisbane. Despite the chances for Kerr and his colleagues, a good performance from the Canadian goalkeeper and a goal that originated in a Fleming free kick that was not cleared spelled victory for the visitors.
There is a chance to see our international players in action at Stamford Bridge next Sunday when the WSL campaign begins there with a London derby against West Ham. Click for ticket information