Women's World Cup draw: USWNT to face Dutch in rematch of last final

AUCKLAND - Four-times winners the United States will face the Netherlands in a rematch of the 2019 Women's World Cup Final after being drawn with the European side, debutants Vietnam and a playoff winner at Saturday's draw in Auckland for next year's showpiece.

European champions England will also take on a playoff winner, Denmark and China in Group D, while 2003 and 2007 World Cup winners Germany will play Morocco, Colombia and South Korea in Group H at the July 20-Aug. 20 tournament next year.

The U.S., champions of the last two editions of the tournament, will play all their Group E matches in New Zealand, facing Vietnam in Auckland on July 22 before a blockbuster clash against the Dutch in Wellington five days later.

"We've got a good but somewhat tough draw," said U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski. "I think it's going to be exciting (to play the Dutch) because it's a rematch of the last World Cup final, it was also the quarterfinal match of the Olympics so two quality teams playing against each other. It's going to be a good game."

2023 FIFA Women's World Cup Draw

2023 FIFA Women's World Cup draw

The full results of the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup draw. Photo: @FIFAWWC | Twitter

Sweden, ranked second in the world, will play South Africa, Italy and Argentina in Group G, while fifth-ranked France play Jamaica, Brazil and a playoff winner in Group F, and Spain face Costa Rica, Zambia and 2011 winners Japan in Group C.

England will be based in Australia for the opening round of the expanded 32-team tournament, kicking off against a playoff winner in Brisbane on July 22.

"I think we should absolutely get out of this group with the level we're on right now," said England manager Sarina Wiegman. "If we wouldn't get out of this group we wouldn't perform at our highest level."

New Zealand will kickoff the first World Cup to be held in the southern hemisphere against former champions Norway in Auckland on July 20 and will also face the Philippines and Switzerland in Group A. Their co-hosts Australia begin their campaign on the same day at the Sydney Football Stadium against Ireland before going on to play Nigeria and Olympic champions Canada in Group B.

"Ireland will be a tough opening game but we're looking forward to it, Nigeria have some amazing athletes and that is definitely going to be a tough challenge," Australia coach Tony Gustavsson told Optus Sport. "Canada are a world class team, top-ranked in our group and favorites to win it. We learned a lot from our two recent games against them, even though we lost both."

The 10-team inter-confederation playoffs take place in New Zealand from Feb. 18-23 next year. Portugal, Taiwan, Thailand, Cameroon, Senegal, Haiti, Panama, Chile, Paraguay and Papua New Guinea are all competing for the last three spots in the finals.

(Compiled by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bangalore; Editing by Nick Mulvenney)

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