Panama reached the FIFA Women's World Cup for the first time with victory over Paraguay ©Getty Images

Panama became the final team to qualify for this year's FIFA Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, with substitute Lineth Cedeño their goal-scoring hero in the victory over Paraguay.

The Central American team are the eighth country set for their Women's World Cup debut later this year, with the tournament expanded from 24 to 32 teams.

Haiti and Portugal clinched historic victories over Chile and Cameroon respectively to reach the World Cup for the first time, and were joined by Panama as the third team to progress through the inter-confederation playoffs.

Panama had beaten Papua New Guinea 2-0 in the semi-finals of their tournament in Auckland on Sunday (February 19), while Paraguay fought back from 2-0 behind to draw 2-2 with Chinese Taipei and then triumphed on penalties in Hamilton.

Jessica Martínez's free-kick was just kept out by Panama goalkeeper Yenith Bailey in the first half, but the scores remained goalless after the midway point of the second half at the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton in New Zealand, where a crowd of 476 spectators watched on.

The only goal of the game came in the 75th minute, with Panamanian captain Marta Cox delivering a free-kick that was headed home by Cedeño.

Panama played out the match to clinch a place in Group F at the World Cup alongside France, Jamaica and Brazil.

Panamanian Football Association President Manuel Arias hailed the team's achievement.

"It is our first time at a FIFA Women’s World Cup so it is important for us," Arias said.

"The girls deserved it and they worked so hard for a long time to be here.

"I am so happy for them and for the effort they put in.

"FIFA’s efforts in contributing to growing the FIFA Women’s World Cup and women’s football in our country have been invaluable.

"We will make sure that we continue to make FIFA and our football fans back home proud later this year."

FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura said Portugal, Haiti and Panama would bring
FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura said Portugal, Haiti and Panama would bring "colour and excitement" to the Women's World Cup after qualifying through the inter-confederation playoffs ©Getty Images

FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura congratulated the three teams who progressed through the inter-confederation playoffs.

"I am delighted to welcome Haiti, Portugal, and Panama to the final line up of teams who will play at the ninth edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup," the Senegalese official said.

"All three teams will bring colour and excitement to the tournament which will capture the imagination of fans around the world as women's football goes beyond greatness in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand this July and August."

The Women's World Cup is scheduled for July 20 to August 20, with the United States the back-to-back defending champions.