Japan will play Spain, Costa Rica and Zambia in Group C of the 2023 Women's World Cup, 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.

Japan's men were also drawn to play Costa Rica and Spain in the upcoming World Cup in Qatar.

"I feel there is a curious connection," said manager Futoshi Ikeda after the women were drawn against two of the same countries. Nadeshiko Japan are scheduled to play Spain on Nov. 15 in Seville in what will be a valuable opportunity to check on their World Cup rivals.

"We, like them, get to find out many things by playing each other once. I'm looking forward to the match in November," Ikeda added.

The Women's World Cup, running from July 20 to Aug. 20, will be hosted by more than one country for the first time.

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.

Four-time winners the United States will open their World Cup title defense against Vietnam after being grouped with the Asian nation, the Netherlands and a playoff winner.

European champions England will face a playoff winner, Denmark and China in Group D, while 2003 and 2007 World Cup winners Germany will play Morocco, Colombia and South Korea in Group H.

Defending Olympic champion Canada drew Nigeria, Ireland and co-host Australia.