The women’s World Cup is yet to be played but UEFA have already drawn the groups for the Euro qualifiers that will kickoff this fall. Representatives from football federations all over the world gathered in Swiss Nyon on Monday to witness the draw.
Albania ended up in group three as lowest seeded team. France, Ukraine, Romania and Greece are the teams that our women will have to fight against. The favorites here are without a doubt France. Last time Le Bleus, as they are called, made it to the quarter-finals was at the Euro Cup 2013 held in Sweden but France failed to clinch a semi-final spot since Denmark won after a penalty shoot-out. France is the only country in Albania’s group that will participate in the World Cup this summer where Canada are the hosters.
Ukraine on the other hand barely missed a ticket to the WC in Canada, Italy beat them (4-3) in the play-off semi-final. Romania also participating in this WC qualification managed to win three games while losing five during the group stage. However Greece is the only country which Albania has played against. They were put in the same group for this WC qualification and just like Albania they noted one win and nine losses. Their only wins were against each other where Furtuna Velaj scored Albania’s only goal in the 1-0 win. Altin Rraklli’s team finished bottom while Greece were second from the bottom.
Note on thing, Albania’s women introduced themselves to the world stage just last qualification which was the one for the World Cup in Canada. Even though they finished bottom they were glad to have made their debut playing in their first qualification ever. And this is a team that has only been around since 2011! Now they’re adding their first Euro Cup qualification to the history books.
The group stage for the Euro Cup will begin this September and the final games are played on September 2016. The final tournament is going to take place in the Netherlands during the summer of 2017. It is only one team who recieve a ticket to the EC whereas the runner-up will have to fight their way through the playoff first.