Italy qualifies for 1st Women's World Cup in 20 years

FLORENCE, Italy — Italy has qualified for the Women's World Cup for the first time in two decades following a 3-0 win over Portugal.

The Azzurre have won all seven of their qualifiers in Group 6, securing a spot at next year's tournament in France with one match to spare.

Cristian Girelli, Cecilia Salvai and Barbara Bonansea scored for Italy.

The achievement is magnified by the fact the men's World Cup begins next week without Italy participating for the first time in six decades.

The women's team previously played in the 1991 and 1999 World Cups.

Also Friday, Spain qualified for its second consecutive World Cup.

After defeating Israel 2-0 on Thursday, a 2-0 win by Austria in Finland on Friday ensured Spain can't be caught in Group 7.

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