Football: Tough Group for Norway in 2019 World Cup
Norway was drawn in a group with France, South Korea, and Nigeria for the World Championships Football for Women, which is held in France in the summer of 2019.
“It’s a challenging group, we have to say,” stated national team coach, Martin Sjögren to NTB news after the World Cup squads were drawn in Paris on Saturday.
He naturally holds France as favourites in the group.
“But the other three teams are quite even. We do not know much about South Korea and Nigeria now, but we’re going to start that job,” said Sjögren.
Before the draw, Sjögren hoped to avoid playing the opening match against France. He had that wish, but Norway was nevertheless drawn against the World Cup hosts from level one.
“It will be ‘hot’ to meet France,” he said.
“I wanted a couple of days to prepare for us. Now there was an extra day, as we start on day two. The days of preparation are important. But from group one, it was just good teams.”
From level three, South Korea joined the same group as the Norwegian players. South Korea is behind Norway in world rankings in place number 14. From level four, Nigeria was drawn. They recently won the African Championship.
The football World Championships for Women is played between the 7th of June and 7th of July. Norway opens against Nigeria on June 8th.
Here’s how the groups were drawn:
Group A: France (host country), Norway, South Korea and Nigeria.
Group B: Germany, Spain, China and South Africa.
Group C: Australia, Brazil, Italy and Jamaica.
Group D: England, Scotland, Japan and Argentina
Group E: Canada, The Netherlands, New Zealand and Cameroon.
Group F: USA, Sweden, Thailand and Chile.
Norway was seeded at level two after retaining the 13th place at the last FIFA ranking for women.
Norway has lost both of their matches after the World Championship squad was secured in November and would fall to third seed level if any of the other World Cup nations passed them in the rankings, but neither South Korea nor China improved their score at this year’s rankings as they were published on Friday.
13th place on the rankings held to level two because one of the nations on the list, (North Korea), is not eligible for the World Cup.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today