The 2023 World Cup is just around the corner, and one spot in this summer’s tournament remain up for grabs.
New Zealand is hosting a play-in tournament to determine the final three entrants to the World Cup. Ten teams from the six FIFA confederations participated, and just two remain in the running for the final World Cup berth.
U.S. women’s national team fans had reason to pay attention to the tournament, as the USWNT’s final group-stage opponent came out of these intercontinental playoffs. By winning Group A, Portugal moves into Group E for the World Cup, where it will go up against the USWNT, the Netherlands and Vietnam.
World Cup co-host New Zealand also will host these playoffs, with teams competing in two of the World Cup venues.
Teams that narrowly missed out on World Cup spots via their confederations’ qualifying tournaments join the intercontinental playoff field for one more chance at a trip to Australia and New Zealand.
The 2023 World Cup will feature a 32-team draw and will kick off in Australia and New Zealand on July 20.