Women's World Cup 2015: Wales can still qualify says England boss

Archive: England thrash Wales 4-0 in Cardiff

England manager Mark Sampson believes Wales can still qualify for the World Cup finals.

Sampson, who is Welsh, led England to Canada 2015 after his side thrashed Wales 4-0 in their Group 6 qualifier in Cardiff on Thursday.

Second-placed Wales will likely have to beat Ukraine away on 17 September to have any chance of making the play-offs and Sampson believes they will.

"I think Wales are better than the Ukraine," said Sampson.

"It would be great if they could get into second place, the play-offs and join us at the tournament."

Sampson's side were impressive as they eased to their ninth World Cup qualifying win in a row to book their spot in Canada.

Group Six table

First-half goals from Karen Carney, Eniola Aluko, Laura Bassett and Lianne Sanderson were enough to give England the point they needed to qualify.

In guiding his team to Canada, Sampson becomes the first Welshman to lead a team to a World Cup since Jimmy Murphy took Wales to the men's finals in 1958.

Sampson said Wales can take plenty of positives from their second-half performance going into their final qualifier.

"You've got to give huge credit to their spirit," said Sampson.

"To concede three goals in a short space of time before half-time was incredibly difficult, but their performance in the second half was absolutely gallant and full of hard work and courage.

"If they continue that with the players they've got a really good chance of joining us."

Third-placed Ukraine are currently three points behind Wales but face Turkey at home before their crunch qualifier against Wales.

The team which finishes behind England will then need to hope they are one of the four best runners-up out of the seven groups to be sure of taking part in October's play-offs.

"The Welsh team have got some fantastic players as we saw tonight," said Sampson.

"For large spells I thought they made it very difficult for us and always posed a threat on the counter-attack.

"I think they are going to be a team that can go to Ukraine with a lots of belief that they can win that game."