Nigeria’s senior women’s national football team, the Super Falcons, will open their 2015 Fifa World Cup campaign against Sweden in Winnipeg, Canada, on June 8, as 22 other teams realised their fate following Saturday’s draw in Ottawa.
The Final Draw for the 2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup took place at the Canadian Museum of History on Saturday, December 6, to decide the destiny of all 24 qualified teams. Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke and Tatjana Haenni, Fifa Deputy Director of the Competition Division and Head of Women’s Football, were adjudicators of the proceedings.
Lending a helping hand in the deciding process were wheelchair racer Chantal Petitclerc, former Canada internationals Kara Lang and Jason de Vos, and the international women’s ice hockey team captain Hayley Wickenheiser.
Hosts, Canada, will open the tournament, which runs from June 6 to July 5, against China at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton.
All 24 teams were drawn into six groups of four. The top two teams in each group will be accompanied by the four best third-placed sides into the last 16. Then, the tournament will shape into straight knockout format, culminating in the final in Vancouver.
The six top seed, namely: Brazil, Canada (host nation), Germany, Japan (defending world champions), France and the United States of America (USA), were all placed in pot one of their respective groups, with the rest of the qualified teams divided into the other three pots on the basis of their continental governing body.
No group can have more than one team from the same geographical zone, but given that there were eight representatives from the Uefa zone for the 2015 finals, a second European team was allowed in pools featuring Germany and France.
Nigeria- picked out of hat No. 2- was drawn in Group D alongside the USA, Australian and Sweden. The Falcons, fresh from winning a record-Extending 7th African Women’s Championship Trophy in Namibia, will be looking to better their quarter-finals appearance at the 1999 tournament in the USA.
But will come against stern test against group opponents, all rated in Top 10 of the Fifa Women’s Ranking. Group D is considered the most unpredictable, fielding 35th-ranked Nigeria and Africa’s No. 1, plotting to outwit top-ranked USA, 5th-ranked Sweden or world number ten Australia.
Aside Winnipeg, other host cities for the 52 scheduled matches are Ottawa, Moncton, Montreal, Edmonton and Vancouver.
The full draw