WWC 2023 draw creates US vs Netherlands rematch; Aussie hosts get tough start

October 23 – The 2023 Women’s World Cup will kick off the way the previous tournament ended – with reigning champions the United States taking on the Netherlands.

At the draw in Auckland, European champions England were drawn alongside Denmark, China, and one of Senegal, Haiti, or Chile.

The United States vs Netherlands is a rematch of the 2019 Women’s World Cup final when the Americans prevailed 2-0 in Lyon to become a record fourth-time champion. The Dutch were the European champions at the time and while they no longer retain that status, the match-up will be a standout fixture in the first round.

The Americans will also face Vietnam and the winner of a playoff between Cameroon, Thailand, and Portugal in group E.

‘It will keep us sharp in the preparation,” said US coach Vlatko Andonovski. “Obviously, we are coming to this tournament with the hope to win it all. It is not going to be easy. There are so many good teams around. Small details are going to decide the winner in the end.”

The Americans have been placed on the other side of the draw and can’t meet European champions England before the final. The Americans have veterans like Alex Morgan, Rose Lavelle, Horan and Becky Sauerbrunn, but Sophia Smith, Trinity Rodman and Naomi Girma are among the new talents leading the next generation. However, for the first time in years, the US suffered back-to-back defeats, losing to England and Spain recently.

In group D, the English will play Denmark, China, and the winner of a playoff between Senegal, Haiti, and Chile.

“It’s an exciting group,” said England coach Sarina Wiegman.  “We know Denmark very well; China is a very good opponent too. They are in transition a little bit, or they were in transition.

“At the Olympics, they were struggling, they have a new coach and won the Asian Cup. We don’t know the other one yet. Three very different opponents with a different style of play.”

On July 20, co-hosts New Zealand will stage the opening match of the tournament against European heavyweights Norway. Switzerland and the Philippines complete Group A. The draw wasn’t kind to Australia, who will face Olympic champions Canada, African powerhouse Nigeria and debutants Ireland. Stadium Australia will host the final on August 20.

“Someone texted me and said we drew the top-ranked opponent in Pot 2, the third-ranked opponent in Pot 3 and the top-ranked opponent in Pot 4, so yes it is a tough draw,” said Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson. “But if you look at the bracket and tournament, there is no easy game. It is all about knowing whom you are facing and preparing in the best way possible.”


Group A: New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Switzerland

Group B: Australia, Ireland, Nigeria, Canada

Group C: Spain, Costa Rica, Zambia, Japan

Group D: England, Denmark, China, winner of a playoff between Senegal, Haiti and Chile,

Group E: U.S., Vietnam, Netherlands, winner of a playoff between Cameroon, Thailand and Portugal

Group F: France, Jamaica, Brazil, winner of a playoff between Taiwan, Paraguay, Papua-New Guinea and Panama

Group G: Sweden, South Africa, Italy, Argentina

Group H: Germany, Morocco, Colombia, South Korea

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