Switzerland and Italy still in the hunt

Switzerland have reached the final play-off round of European Zone qualifying for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2011™. Beatrice von Siebenthal's side's goalless draw against Denmark in Aarau on Thursday evening ensured their surprise progression thanks to their 3-1 victory in the away leg in Vejle last weekend.

The Swiss, who have never qualified for a FIFA Women's World Cup, now face Italy, who reached the final play-off round with a 0-0 draw against Ukraine on Wednesday in Latina having won the first leg 3-0 in Chernihiv. Pietro Ghedin's charges are strong favourites for the two-legged clash having lost just one of their 18 previous encounters against the Swiss.

The winners of the tie, scheduled for 23/24 and 27/28 October, will go into a final qualification match against the third-placed team from the CONCACAF Zone to determine which nation will claim the last remaining spot at Germany 2011. The first and second legs will take place on 20 and 27 November respectively, with the European representatives playing at home first. Eight teams have already rubber-stamped their tickets to the FIFA Women's World Cup 2011.

Aside from hosts and defending champions Germany, fellow Europeans England, Sweden, Norway and France have also secured their places, while Australia, Japan and Korea DPR all qualified from the Asian Zone. On Friday, New Zealand hammered Papua New Guinea 11-0 in the final of the OFC Championship to book their passage to next year's tournament.