Sunday 19 February 2023, 10:00

Fans bring colour & passion to Play-Off Tournament

  • Chilean and Thai fans were out in force to watch their national teams in action

  • The Play-Off Tournament will decide the final three qualifiers for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™.

  • The second sales phase of ticketing concludes on 3 March

The Play-Off Tournament for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 kicked off with ten teams vying for the final three places for the Tournament in July and August this year. Haiti progressed with a 4-0 victory over Senegal in the historic first match in Auckland / Tāmaki Makaurau, while Cameroon moved one step closer to qualification by beating Thailand 2-0 in Hamilton / Kirikiriroa.

 Milan Pierre-Jerome of Haiti and Roseline Éloissaint of Haiti celebrate after winning the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup Play Off Tournament match between Senegal and Haiti

Paraguay and Panama also advanced on Sunday after defeating Chinese Taipei and Papua New Guinea in entertaining matches, the former after a nail-biting penalty shoot-out. Off the field, local fans have provided a taste of what’s to come when the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ will be held in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia in July and August. Kicking off their campaign in Aotearoa New Zealand, Chile went up against South American rivals Argentina in a friendly match at North Harbour Stadium. A sea of red gathered in the stands, with local Chilean fans enjoying a rare opportunity to see their team in the Land of the Long White Cloud.

Argentina v Chile - 2023 FIFA World Cup Play Off Tournament

Although the result wasn’t in their favour, the match provided an exciting opportunity for the local Chilean community to come together and celebrate their national team. Post-match the players – including captain Christiane Endler – posed for photos and signed autographs for the fans in attendance. Local Chilean fan Cath Reyes was one supporter among the crowd who promised to be back even louder for the team’s deciding match against Haiti. “Our community here in Auckland isn’t big, but we are loud and proud, and it was awesome to be here, sing, cheer and celebrate football and our culture. It was like every Chilean in Auckland was here. We’ll be back here on Wednesday for our final match!” Chilean community member, Dante Olivares was equally enthused. “The atmosphere was amazing. There were so many red shirts! It felt like a Chilean party” she added.

Cameroon v Thailand - 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup Play Off Tournament

The following day, more local fans took advantage of the opportunity to see their nations in action, with the Thai community making plenty of noise when their national women’s team met Cameroon at Hamilton’s Waikato Stadium. Thai cheers rang around the stadium throughout the entire match. Nancy, a local Thai fan, was excited to see her national team battle it out for a place in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, “It was very fun, and the first time we could make a big group of fans who came from Rotorua, Auckland and Tauranga. All to see the Thai team play. The ambassador of Thailand even came over to sit with us to join the supporters which was very cool.” In the final ten minutes, Cameroon spoiled the party and scored two goals to defeat Thailand 2-0 and progress to the next match in the Play-Off Tournament.

Rayleen Bauelua of Papua New Guinea thanks fans after the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup Play Off Tournament match between Papua New Guinea and Panama

The world’s best footballers and their devoted supporters will arrive on the shores of Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia in July. Friday 3 March will see the Second Sales Phase of tickets conclude, with the Last-Minute Sales Phase commencing on Tuesday 11 April – 100 days prior to the opening matchday. In the meantime, additional single match passes for Australia’s showpiece opening Group B match against Republic of Ireland will go on sale on Friday 24 February 2023 at Sales will commence at midday AEDT. For further ticketing information and updates on the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, please visit regularly.