Women's World Cup field set as trailblazing Panama become final team to qualify

Panama became the final team to book their ticket for the upcoming Women's World Cup after they defeated Paraguay 1-0 in the final qualifying playoff at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on Thursday.

Panama, who will play at the World Cup for the first time, will be in Group F with France, Jamaica and Brazil.

This year's World Cup, co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia from July 20 to Aug. 20, will be the first edition to feature 32 teams.

Substitute Lineth Cedeño secured a sensational victory for Panama with a 75th-minute goal after she headed home a free kick played into the box by captain Marta Cox. Cedeño, who came off the bench in the second half, collected a yellow card for taking off her shirt during the goal celebration.

Portugal and Haiti were the other two teams who booked their spots at the World Cup from the final qualifying playoffs that were held in Auckland and Hamilton.

World number one United States are the defending world champions after they beat the Netherlands in the 2019 World Cup Final in France.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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