Soccer: Japan drawn vs. Spain, Costa Rica, Zambia at Women's World Cup

Japan will play Spain, Costa Rica and Zambia in Group C of the 2023 Women's World Cup soccer finals to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, following Saturday's draw in Auckland.

All Group C matches will be played in New Zealand. Japan, currently 11th in the FIFA rankings, will open their campaign in Hamilton on July 22 against No. 81 Zambia before taking on No. 37 Costa Rica four days later in Dunedin. They will face sixth-ranked Spain on July 31 in Wellington.

The Women's World Cup will be hosted by more than one country for the first time at the July 20-Aug. 20 tournament.

The number of participating teams has risen to 32 from 24 at previous editions.

Japan won the 2011 Women's World Cup in Germany and will make their ninth consecutive appearance in the tournament.

© Kyodo News