Wales looking to make more ‘history’ by reaching Women’s World Cup finals

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Rachel Rowe insists Wales have not finished making history ahead of their first-ever Women’s World Cup play-off tie.

Wales host Bosnia and Herzegovina in Cardiff on Thursday, the first of three potential games needed to reach next summer’s World Cup finals in Australia and New Zealand.

“We’ve made history but we’re not finished,” said Reading midfielder Rowe, who will win her 50th cap against Bosnia.

“We know we’ve got a good draw because obviously Bosnia are beatable.

“I was watching the draw live and nearly screamed the roof down. I do not care who you play for, you’ll look at a draw and want certain teams. A home fixture to start with against Bosnia, the lowest ranked team in the play-offs, is what we wanted.”

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Wales are 30th in the women’s rankings, 33 places higher than Bosnia.

Switzerland, 21st in the world, will be at home to the winners in the second play-off round on October 11.

If Wales overcome those two hurdles, they would probably have to play an inter-continental play-off in February to make the World Cup.

“We watched Switzerland at the recent tournament (they were eliminated at the group stage of Euro 2022),” said 30-year-old Rowe.

“I think it’s the best draw we could get, apart from not being at home in the second game.

“Bosnia is our biggest game so far and I don’t see it ending. It will put us in stead for the second game when there will be a quick turnaround.”

Wales’ men’s team have already brought football fever to the nation by qualifying for next month’s World Cup in Qatar, their first appearance at the tournament since 1958.

Rowe believes reaching next summer’s finals Down Under will have a similar impact on the women’s game in Wales. She said: “A few of us have been part of it when we were only getting a couple of hundred fans to what it is now. The trajectory has been massive.

“Qualifying will keep the women’s game growing and have a huge impact.”

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Another record attendance is expected for a Wales women’s home match at the Cardiff City Stadium. A crowd of 12,741 saw the goalless draw with Slovenia last month that booked Wales’ play-off place.

The Football Association of Wales has confirmed that VAR will be used in the play-offs, starting with the Bosnia game.

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