Panama are the 32nd and final team to book their ticket for the upcoming Women’s World Cup after defeating 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 Cedeno secured victory for Panama with a 75th-minute goal, heading home a free-kick played into the box by captain Marta Cox at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton.

Cedeno, 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 held in Auckland and Hamilton.

Haiti beat Chile 2-1 on Wednesday, in an historic match it hoped will bring joy and “a breath of fresh air” to a strife-torn homeland.

Recent Lyon signing Melchie Dumornay scored twice to ensure the 55th-ranked nation will take the last spot in Group D alongside European champions England, China and Denmark.

Portugal, meanwhile, will make their first appearance in the finals after Wednesday’s 2-1 defeat of Cameroon, who reached the round of 16 at the last two World Cups.

In July they will have a tough assignment in Group E against defending champions the United States, Vietnam and the Netherlands.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *