Ireland drawn to play away to Scotland or Austria in the World Cup play-off

The Girls in Green celebrating their goal against Finland in Tallaght last week

The Girls in Green celebrating their goal against Finland in Tallaght last week Credit: Eddie Lennon (ETPhotos)

The Republic of Ireland have been drawn in the 2023 World Cup play-off away to the winner of the Scotland v Austria play-off semi-final.

Ireland’s win in Slovakia this week earned them one of the three best three runners-up spots from the European qualification groups for the 2023 Women’s World Cup and entry into the second round of the play-offs.

Switzerland and Iceland are ranked top and second in the qualification rankings.

The remaining six runners-up were paired off in play-off semi-finals (round one) to provide the three teams to progress into play-off finals. 

Round One (semi-final) one-legged ties (with FIFA rankings)

Scotland (23) -v- Austria (20)

Wales (30) -v- Bosnia and Herzegovina (63)

Portugal (27) -v- Belgium (19)

Ties to be played 6 October

Round Two (final) one-legged ties:

Portugal/Belgium -v- Iceland (14)

Scotland/Austria -v- Republic of Ireland (26)

Switzerland (21) -v- Wales/- Bosnia and Herzegovina

Those matches are set for October 11 and will produce three play-off winners.

The two play-off winners with the highest ranking based on results in the qualifying group stage against the sides ranked first, third, fourth and fifth in their qualification group and the play-off final (the play-off semi final does not form part of the ranking) will qualify automatically for the World Cup due to take place next year in Australia and New Zealand.

Matches level after 90 minutes go to extra-time and penalties if required. A shoot-out win is classed as a draw for the rankings.

The lowest ranked play-off winner will compete as UEFA’s single representative in an inter-confederation FIFA play-off mini-tournament in February 2023 in New Zealand.

To be ranked in the top two, Ireland need to win their play-off in 90 or 120 minutes and hope either Switzerland lose (or go through on penalties) or Iceland lose (or go through on penalties).

Those results would see Ireland jump into the top two in the rankings and avoid a trip to the New Zealand for the FIFA play-offs early next year.

Otherwise an Ireland win would see them have to go through the FIFA play-off.

How does the FIFA play-off work?

The team from UEFA will compete with nine others for the final three qualifying spots for the tournament at a mini-tournament held at the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton/Kirikiriroa and the North Harbour Stadium in Auckland/Timaki Makaurau.

The nine teams who will make up the tournament with the European side are listed here along with their world ranking: Thailand (41), Chinese Taipei (38), Cameroon (59), Senegal (84), Haiti (56), Paraguay (51), Panama (57), Chile (39) and Papua New Guinea (49) 

Four teams will be seeded in the tournament based on the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking prior to the play-off draw, with a maximum of one seeded team per confederation.

The European team is likely to be seeded in the tournament based on the current world rankings. The Republic of Ireland are currently 26 in the FIFA rankings.