Barely a week after watching their senior women’s football team hoist the UEFA Women’s EURO trophy on home soil, the Netherlands have cause to celebrate again after their U-19 women just secured qualification for the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup to be staged in France.
It would be their first ever appearance at the global showpiece and this historic feat was achieved when they booked their place in the semi-finals of ongoing UEFA Women’s U-19 Championship alongside Germany, Spain, and France.
One of the semi-finals will see Group B winners the Netherlands take on Spain, who have finished runners-up for the last three seasons. They met at this stage last in Slovakia 2016 with Spain emerging 4-3 winners.
Meanwhile, France will face record six-time winners Germany, who topped Group A with a match to spare. Germany are three-time champions of the U-20 Women’s World Cup and they will be making their ninth appearance at the global event next year. Their target in the meantime will be to claim the European crown for the first time since 2011.
For France, they still succeeded in reaching the last four despite their opening day defeat against the Netherlands. But since their place at the Mundial is already assured, Europe’s fourth and final qualification spot will be contested by England and arch-rivals Scotland in a place playoff on Thursday. Both teams finished third in their respective groups.
The semi-finals will also take center stage on Thursday at Windsor Park in Belfast, while the final will be decided on Sunday at the same venue.
The 2018 U-20 Women’s World Cup will be played in France from 7 to 26 August 2018 and North Korea are the reigning champions.