Portugal will be at home in the first leg of their UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 play-off with Romania after the draw was made today in Nyon.
Both sides are seeking a major tournament debut after finishing second in their qualifying groups but not ending among the six runners-up with the best record against the top four in their respective sections.
The play-off will be held over two legs between 17 and 25 October, with the final tournament draw taking place in Rotterdam on 8 November. The finals in the Netherlands run from 16 July to 6 August.
Already qualified: Netherlands (hosts), Germany (holders), Austria, Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland
- Both these teams upset the odds to reach the play-offs, the only countries from outside the top two seeding tiers to earn a top-two finish in their groups (Romania were in Pot 3, ranking 22nd, and Portugal in Pot 4, ranking 26th).
- The key result for Portugal (who lost three of their first four Group 2 fixtures) was a 3-2 win over Finland on 16 September, with Cláudia Neto’s hat-trick overturning a 2-0 deficit. That took them within three points of second spot and they snatched it on head-to-head record after a 1-0 victory in the Republic of Ireland – secured by Neto’s 78th-minute goal – aligned with Finland (veteran of every final tournament since 2005) losing 5-0 in Spain.
- Romania made sure of the runners-up slot in Group 3 by beating Ukraine 2-1 in their penultimate game; although they then signed off with a 4-0 thrashing of Greece, they were pipped to automatic qualification by Russia after the latter’s 5-0 success against Croatia.
- Whoever qualifies will make it five debutants in the expanded 16-team finals alongside Austria, Belgium, Scotland and Switzerland.
- Portugal previously contested the play-off for the finals of 2001 (losing 3-0 in Italy before winning the home second leg 1-0) and 1997 (succumbing 12-1 on aggregate to Denmark).
- Romania are within a play-off of a women’s final tournament for the first time.
- The two nations have met twice before, both times at the Algarve Cup in Parchal – drawing 0-0 in 2010 and 1-1 the following year, Edite Fernandes’s 41st-minute opener cancelled out five minutes from time by Ştefania Vătafu.
- Portugal have qualified for two female youth tournaments – the 2011/12 UEFA European Women’s Under-19 Championship, where they got to the semi-finals, and the 2013/14 UEFA European Women’s U17 Championship.
- Romania have played in just one women’s final tournament at any level – the 2012 WU19 EURO, where they lost 1-0 in the group stage to Portugal, who pipped them to the last four.
- That is the only victory for any Portugal team in a women’s final tournament, Micas scoring the goal.
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