World Cup 2023: Scotland learn qualifying opponents
Who Scotland will face, and what you need to know about qualifying
Scotland will face Spain, Ukraine, Hungary and Faroe Islands in their bid to reach the 2023 World Cup.
The tournament, being hosted jointly by Australia and New Zealand, would be the second time Scotland have reached the World Cup after their debut in France in 2019.
The nine group winners qualify automatically. The nine runners up play two knockout rounds of single-leg matches, with the best three runners-up entering in the second round.
Two additional teams qualify, and one will go into the inter-continental play-offs - based on combined records in both the group stage and play-offs.
A look at the teams
Spain: Scotland last faced them at Euro 2017, winning 1-0 through a Caroline Weir goal. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to qualify Scotland for the knockout stage.
Memories of playing Spain in a qualifying context bring back difficult ones from 2012 in one of the most incredible finishes to a match involving any Scottish side.
Scotland drew 1-1 at Hampden with Spain in the Euro 2013 play-off. Away from home, the Scots led twice in Madrid through goals from Emma Mitchell in normal time, and then Kim Little in extra-time.
Scotland were heading through on away goals when Spain were awarded a penalty right at the death. Gemma Fay saved it and Scotland cleared the ball thinking they had survived.
But Vero, who had missed the penalty, scored with the final kick of the ball to break Scottish hearts.
The reached the last 16 of the last World Cup.
Ukraine: Scotland face them last year in the Pinatar Cup, winning 3-0 through a Martha Thomas double and a Claire Emslie goal.
Before that, Scotland had actually lost the last three games they had played against Ukraine, though the most recent of those was 2008.
They have never qualified for the World Cup, their only major finals qualification coming in 2009 when they were knocked out in the group stage of the European Championships.
Hungary: The last game between the two was 2017, where Scotland won a friendly 3-0 away from home. Lana Clelland, Claire Emslie and Jane Ross were the scorers. And that appears to be the only meeting to date between the two sides.
They have yet to qualify for the major finals
Faroe Islands: Scotland last faced them in 2014, thumping them 9-0 at Fir Park in a 2015 World Cup qualifier, with Jane Ross netting a hat-trick. They also beat them 7-2 away from home.
Group A: Sweden, Finland, Republic of Ireland, Slovakia, Georgia
Group B: Spain, Scotland, Ukraine, Hungary, Faroe Islands
Group C Netherlands, Iceland, Czech Republic, Belarus, Cyprus
Group D: England, Austria, Northern Ireland, North Macedonia, Latvia, Luxembourg
Group E Denmark, Russia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Azerbaijan, Malta, Montenegro
Group F Norway, Belgium, Poland, Albania, Kosovo, Armenia
Group G Italy, Switzerland, Romania, Croatia, Moldova, Lithuania
Group H Germany, Portugal, Serbia, Israel, Turkey, Bulgaria
Group I France, Wales, Slovenia, Greece, Kazakhstan, Estonia
What do you need to know?
The World Cup takes place from 10 July until 20 August, which is later than usual but summer in Australia tends to be winter here, so it’s designed to try and get some decent weather.
There will be nine host cities with 10 venues.
There will be 32 teams qualifying, the biggest women’s World Cup yet, up on the 24 that were in France.
Qualifying begins in September and lasts until October 2022.