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USWNT World Cup group set as Portugal qualifies via play-in tournament

(Erick W. Rasco/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

The U.S. women’s national team knows its final World Cup group-stage opponent.

Three spots in the 32-team summer tournament remained up for grabs entering this week, all to be decided via a 10-team play-in tournament featuring teams from all six FIFA confederations.

Portugal won its playoff group to secure the final spot in Group E for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. The group also features the USWNT as well as the Netherlands and Vietnam.

A nail-biting 2-1 win against Cameroon sealed Portugal’s World Cup spot.

As the top seed in its section of the playoff, Portugal had earned a bye into the second and final round. And the team took a 1-0 lead in the first half. But Cameroon equalized in the 89th minute, requiring a 94th-minute penalty conversion from Carole Costa to send Portugal to the World Cup.

With the win, Portugal rounds out what USWNT legend Julie Foudy has described as a “very winnable group” for the reigning World Cup champions. The USWNT will face Vietnam on July 21 and then the Netherlands on July 26 before ending the group stage against Portugal on Aug. 1.

World Cup co-host New Zealand hosted the intercontinental playoffs, with teams competing in two of the World Cup venues, and New Zealand also host all the matches for Group E.

Haiti won its own section of the play-in tournament to clinch one of the last World Cup spots. Haiti and Portugal will be appearing in the World Cup for the first time. The final berth will be decided when Panama takes on Paraguay at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday.