World Cup Qualification: Play-off between Wales and Bosnia-Herzegovina to be held in Cardiff

World Cup Qualification: Play-off between Wales and Bosnia-Herzegovina to be held in Cardiff

Wales got the point they needed to qualify for the play-offs thanks to a tense goalless draw with Slovenia.

The World Cup play-off semi-final Wales against Bosnia and Herzegovina will be played at the Cardiff City Stadium.

The game will take place on Thursday, October 6 (19:15 Moscow time).

The winners will face Switzerland away in one of three European play-off finals on 11 October.

The top two winners of the playoff finals will earn spots in the 2023 World Cup, while the other winning team will advance to the Intercontinental Playoffs to be held next February.

Manager Gemma Granger is delighted to learn about Wales’ potential path to their first major tournament. after Friday draw.

“I think we see this as an auspicious draw for several reasons,” Grainger said.

“Knowing who we have in Game 1 and Game 2, there are some countries that have come out of the draw and that could be either/or in Game 2.

“So we have a really clear itinerary, we are focused on two teams and that starts with Bosnia at home.

“I think the home draw was the best possible draw we could have in terms of first round play.”

According to the FIFA rankings, Bosnia and Herzegovina were the weakest side of Friday’s draw.

They are ranked 63rd in the world, 33 places behind Wales, which came second out of nine nations in the draw. Switzerland ranks 20th.

Wales qualified for the knockout stages of the World Cup for the first time thanks to last Tuesday’s goalless draw with Slovenia in front of 12,741 fans.

This attendance was more than double the previous record for a Wales women’s home game.

“We always want to play at home,” Grainger added. “This is what we wanted, especially after the game against Slovenia and the fans, and now we want to make sure we build on that.

“Bosnia, being the lowest ranked team, creates its own problems. On the surface, I can see why a draw against the lowest-ranked team could be seen as a competitive advantage, but in reality, they will provide us with a tough matchup for various reasons.”

The Intercontinental Play-offs, which will be held in New Zealand, will feature 10 teams divided into three paths, with three places in the World Cup.

The winner of the European playoffs, who finished third, will play in the same final with Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Cameroon, Senegal, Haiti, Panama, Chile, Paraguay and Papua New Guinea.

“This is one of the toughest qualifying processes I’ve ever been in,” Grainger said.

“It’s one of the most difficult ways to qualify for the World Cup in terms of how the qualification process looks like, how long it takes, and also the quality of the teams we have in Europe.”

Wales didn’t have their best player, Jess Fishlock, in the group deciders against Greece and Slovenia due to a hamstring problem, but Grainger is hopeful the midfielder will return for the playoffs.

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