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Women's Nations League Matchday 5: France and Spain into finals

France and Spain booked finals slots as Germany gained a crucial 3-0 win against Denmark and England produced a stirring comeback to beat the Netherlands.

Amandine Henry's early goal set France on the way to victory, and the finals
Amandine Henry's early goal set France on the way to victory, and the finals AFP via Getty Images

France and Spain have booked their places in February's UEFA Women's Nations League finals but the two other slots are still up for grabs ahead of the group deciders on Tuesday.

Confirmed so far

Through to finals (League A group winners): France, Spain

Relegated from League A: Scotland, Switzerland, Wales

Promoted from League B: Finland, Poland, Republic of Ireland

Confirmed in League A/B play-offs: Iceland, Serbia

Relegated from League B: Albania, Belarus, Romania

Promoted from League C: Azerbaijan, Kosovo, Türkiye

France clinched their spot by defeating Austria 3-0 while Spain could afford a home loss to Italy as Sweden were beaten in Switzerland. The Netherlands missed their chance as England came back from two down to win 3-2 at Wembley in a group where Belgium are also in contention, while Germany secured a crucial 3-0 victory against Denmark to edge ahead of their visitors.

Finland and Poland are both confirmed as promoted from League B, emulating the Republic of Ireland, who clinched their group on Matchday 4. Finland defeated Romania 6-0 on Thursday in Group B2, relegating their visitors. Poland edged a 1-0 Group B3 win against Ukraine, meaning that despite a 2-0 win in Greece, Serbia must settle for a play-off with a third-placed League A side.

Slovenia kept their promotion hopes alive with a 2-1 win against Bosnia and Herzegovina, who were overtaken for the Group B4 lead by Czechia with their 1-0 win that relegated Belarus. Albania are relegated from Group B1 after their 4-0 home loss to Northern Ireland, who overtook Hungary for second place, as the Republic of Ireland stayed perfect with a 1-0 victory.

In League C, two more teams joined Türkiye (who made it five perfect Group C2 wins by defeating Lithuania 4-0) in clinching promotion. Azerbaijan won 1-0 in Cyprus to ensure first place in Group C3 and Kosovo beat Bulgaria 5-1 to wrap up Group C5.

Malta were held 0-0 by Moldova in Group C1, meaning Latvia were able to set up a last-day decider by defeating Andorra 4-0. In Group C4, Israel are three points clear of Estonia ahead of their Tuesday decider.

Fixtures and results

While teams in League A compete to win their groups and progress to February's finals, which will also act as UEFA's 2024 women's Olympic football tournament qualifiers, promotion and relegation is also at stake. The leagues that emerge at the end of this first edition will then be used for the European Qualifiers leading to UEFA Women's EURO 2025 in Switzerland.

League A

Group A1

England 3-2 Netherlands
A competition-record 71,632 crowd at Wembley were thrilled as England overturned a 2-0 half-time deficit to join their visitors on nine points, although the Netherlands remain top on overall goal difference. Lilian Beerensteyn looked like being the hero for the Netherlands as she first was played through by Victoria Pelova to make it 1-0 and then her low shot caught out Mary Earps.

At that point the Netherlands were potentially heading for the finals but between the 59th and 61st minutes, England wiped out the deficit, Georgia Stanway flicking in Lauren James's sumptuous cross and then a superb team move allowing Lauren Hemp to equalise on her 50th cap.

With Beth Mead already off the bench for her international injury comeback, Sarina Wiegman then introduced Alessia Russo and Ella Toone. And it was Toone in added time who turned in another James cross to match the feat of the Netherlands, who beat England 2-1 with a last-minute goal, though the European champions could not get another to go top on head-to-head reckoning.

Ella Toone striker the winner for England
Ella Toone striker the winner for EnglandAFP via Getty Images

Belgium 1-1 Scotland
Belgium could have gone top thanks to the Wembley result but instead trail by a point after Erin Cuthbert's superb long-range equaliser, though it was not enough to save Scotland from relegation.

The Red Flames had led when Tessa Wullaert set up Marie Detruyer on 31 minutes but Cuthbert soon levelled. Still Belgium could still reach the finals by winning against the Netherlands in Tilburg on Tuesday, provided England do not beat Scotland at Hampden Park.

Tuesday
Netherlands vs Belgium
Scotland vs England

Group A2

France 3-0 Austria
France will aim to go into next summer's home Olympics as Nations League group winners after sealing their finals spot. Amandine Henry headed an early opener from Selma Bacha's free-kick on a night when France knew a draw was enough.

Eugénie Le Sommer got the second just before the hour and, making her first international appearance since her injury at UEFA Women's EURO 2022, substitute Marie-Antoinette Katoto headed the third. France are now the only unbeaten team in League A.

Norway 4-0 Portugal
Norway moved off the bottom and two points clear of Portugal as Ada Hegerberg scored a hat-trick to warm the fans in freezing Oslo. Hegerberg missed the first four games due to injury but within eight minutes tonight had two goals, heading in Marit Bratberg Lund's cross then converting a penalty after Carole Costa's handball.

The third arrived early in the second half as Elisabeth Terland's effort was blocked and the ball fell for Hegerberg to tap in. Haug made it four late on, heading home Thea Bjelde's cross.

Tuesday
Austria vs Norway
Portugal vs France

Group A3

Germany 3-0 Denmark
Germany moved to the top of the group on head-to-head record, their margin of victory outdoing the 2-0 defeat they suffered in Denmark at the start of the competition. Alex Popp nodded in Sarai Linder's cross on 14 minutes and before the half-hour Marina Hegering's header doubled the lead from Klara Bühl's corner.

At that point Germany were provisionally top on overall goal difference, but Bühl gave them the head-to-head edge in added time from a deflected shot.

Germany celebrate their crucial third goal
Germany celebrate their crucial third goalGetty Images

Wales 1-2 Iceland
Wales will compete in League B for Women's European Qualifiers after their home defeat by Iceland. Victory was needed by Wales, and they had the better of the first half, but they trailed on 29 minutes when a combination of the home team's Hayley Ladd and the visitors' Hildur Antonsdottir turned in Saedis Heidarsdottir's cross.

Iceland doubled their lead with 11 minutes left when substitute Dila Zomers produced a fine finish. Elise Hughes headed a late consolation but Wales are down, and Iceland face a play-off against a League B runner-up in an attempt to avoid joining them.

Tuesday
Denmark vs Iceland
Wales vs Germany

Group A4

Spain 2-3 Italy
Spain's finals spot was confirmed even while their game was in the first half when Sweden's match ended. At that point the world champions led through Athenea del Castillo's neat feint and finish but the game changed after half-time.

Goals in a 19-minute burst by Valentina Giacinti, Michela Cambiaghi and Elena Linari turned the game but although Esther González pulled one back, Italy inflicted Spain's first home competitive defeat since a UEFA Women's EURO play-off against the Netherlands in October 2008. Italy still trail Sweden on head-to-head record but could still avoid a relegation play-off if on Tuesday they pick up more points at home to Switzerland than the current second-placed team do in Spain.

Spain reached the finals but Italy had a win to enjoy
Spain reached the finals but Italy had a win to enjoyAFP via Getty Images

Switzerland 1-0 Sweden
Women's EURO 2025 hosts Switzerland ended Sweden's bid to reach the finals, meaning that for the first time in the eight Olympic women's football tournaments, they will be absent. However, Italy's victory in Spain means Switzerland, despite getting off the mark in the group, are relegated.

Under interim coach Reto Gertschen, who took over from Inka Grings a fortnight ago, Switzerland won the game with a goal in the sixth minute, Ana-Maria Crnogorčević heading in Géraldine Reuteler's cross.

Tuesday
Spain vs Sweden
Italy vs Switzerland

League B

Group B1

Friday's results
Republic of Ireland 1-0 Hungary
Albania 0-4 Northern Ireland

Tuesday's fixtures
Hungary vs Albania
Northern Ireland vs Republic of Ireland

Group B2 

Thursday's result
Finland 6-0 Romania

Friday's result
Croatia 2-0 Slovakia

Tuesday's fixtures
Romania vs Croatia
Slovakia vs Finland

Group B3

Friday's results
Ukraine 0-1 Poland
Greece 0-2 Serbia

Tuesday's fixtures
Poland vs Greece
Serbia vs Ukraine

Group B4 

Friday's result
Slovenia 2-1 Bosnia and Herzegovina

Saturday's fixture
Belarus 0-1 Czechia*
*postponed from Friday

Tuesday's fixtures
Czechia vs Slovenia
Bosnia and Herzegovina vs Belarus

League C

Group C1 

Friday's result
Moldova 0-0 Malta
Latvia 4-0 Andorra

Tuesday's fixtures
Malta vs Latvia
Andorra vs Moldova

Group C2 

Friday's results
Lithuania 0-4 Türkiye
Georgia 4-2 Luxembourg

Tuesday's fixtures 
Türkiye vs Georgia
Luxembourg vs Lithuania

Group C3 

Friday's results
Montenegro 9-0 Faroe Islands
Cyprus 0-1 Azerbaijan

Tuesday's fixtures
Azerbaijan vs Faroe Islands
Montenegro vs Cyprus

Group C4 

Wednesday 23 November
Kazakhstan 0-2 Israel*
*postponed from Matchday 3

Sunday 26 November
Israel 0-0 Kazakhstan*
*postponed from Matchday 4

Wednesday's result
Armenia 0-4 Israel

Friday's result
Kazakhstan 0-1 Estonia

Saturday's fixture
Israel 6-1 Armenia*
*postponed from Matchday 1

Tuesday's fixtures
Israel vs Estonia
Kazakhstan vs Armenia

Group C5 

Friday's result
Kosovo 5-1 Bulgaria

Tuesday's fixture
Bulgaria vs North Macedonia

Introducing the UEFA Women's Nations League

Women's Nations League: How it works