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Posted 12th April 2017, 08:58 in
Rest of the World

Five Progress On Road To France 2019

Albania, Faroe Islands, Israel, Kazakhstan and Moldova have progressed through the World Cup preliminary round.

The preliminary round mini-tournaments for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup have been completed, with five sides progressing to the qualifying group stage, joining the 30 top-ranked entrants in the draw at 12:30pm (UK time) on 25th April.

Kazakhstan and Latvia had four points after two games in Group A, with Estonia already out of contention but home nation Georgia still holding out hope. Yuliya Nikolayenko got the only goal as Kazakhstan edged Estonia to win the group and Latvia's draw with Georgia was insufficient for them to also go through.

Group B was played in Albania and they kicked-off against Kosovo, who were playing their first ever competitive fixture. The newcomers came from behind to lead 2-1 but were then pegged back and eventually cruelly undone by a 96th-minute own-goal. Greece beat Malta by the only goal and then hit the Kosovans for six. The Albanians defeated the Greeks 2-1 to take the group, with each having a player red-carded. Furtuna Velaj missed a penalty after one such incident but scored a stoppage-time winner. Despite gaining six points, Greece missed out on the best runners-up spot.

Israel and Moldova met in the Group C decider after winning both their first two matches against hosts Lithuania and competition debutants Andorra. A goalless game suited Israel best as they finished top but it was also good enough to send their opponents into the qualifying group stage.

Faroe Islands hosted Group D and faced Turkey in their last game to determine the winner, after both had defeated Montenegro and Luxembourg. A 2-1 victory for the Faroes left them as the only side with a 100% record in the preliminaries but they had to come from behind and also missed a penalty.

The Qualifying group stage games for France 2019 will commence on 11th September 2017, with the draw for the finals in late 2018 and the tournament itself in summer 2019.

Pictured - Albania celebrate after their dramatic 2-1 win.




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Wilf Frith
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