Netherlands grab edge, Switzerland hold Belgium

The Netherlands beat Denmark 2-0 and Switzerland drew 2-2 in Belgium in Friday’s FIFA Women’s World Cup play-off semi-final first legs.

The play-offs, involving the four qualifying group runners-up with the best record against the sides first, third and fourth in their sections, will decide the last of Europe’s nine berths (including hosts France) for next summer’s tournament.


Women’s EURO 2017 final highlights

Netherlands v Denmark

First leg: Netherlands 2-0 Denmark (Breda)
Second leg: Tuesday (Viborg)

  • First-half goals from Lineth Beerensteyn and Shanice van de Sanden gave the European champions the advantage after the first leg though they hit the woodwork twice.
  • The Netherlands beat Denmark twice at UEFA Women’s EURO 2017, including 4-2 in the final.
  • In all, the Netherlands are on a run of seven straight wins against Denmark, most recently at the 2018 Algarve Cup.
  • The Netherlands qualified for their first World Cup in 2015 via the play-offs; Denmark missed out in 2003 and 2011 via that method, having last made it in 2007, directly via their group.

Belgium v Switzerland

First leg: Belgium 2-2 Switzerland (Leuven)
Second leg: Tuesday (Biel/Bienne)

  • Janice Cayman gave Belgium an early lead in the first leg. Substitute Alisha Lehmann equalised in the 55th minute, the 19-year-old’s first senior international goal, but Laura Deneve made it 2-1 on the hour. However, with three minutes left, West Ham United’s Lehmann struck again.
  • Belgium are aiming to emulate Scotland in earning a World Cup debut next year, and are in their first play-off.
  • Switzerland lost in the 2011 play-offs but qualified via their group four years later. 
  • The play-offs will be the last games in charge of Switzerland for Martina Voss-Tecklenberg, who will go on to coach her native Germany. Nils Nielsen, who led Denmark to the UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 final, will take over on 1 December.

Final draw (two legs, 5–13 November)

Netherlands/Denmark v Belgium/Switzerland

Already qualified from UEFA: France (hosts), England, Germany, Norway, Italy, Scotland, Spain, Sweden
Other qualifiers: Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand
Places to be filled
3 from Africa
1 from Europe
3 from North/Central America
1 from Oceania
1 from play-off between Argentina and 4th-placed North/Central American side
Finals draw: 8 December 2018, Paris
Finals: 7 June–7 July 2019, France

Article source:,+Switzerland+hold+Belgium

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