🇪🇺 France & Spain reach WNL finals; Sweden miss Olympics; Germany alive | OneFootball

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Emily Wilson·1 December 2023

🇪🇺 France & Spain reach WNL finals; Sweden miss Olympics; Germany alive

Article image:🇪🇺 France & Spain reach WNL finals; Sweden miss Olympics; Germany alive

More UEFA Women’s Nations League action took place on Friday with plenty of drama.

Here is what went down.

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England stun the Dutch at Wembley

Scorers: Stanway 58′, Hemp 60′, Toone 90+1′; Beerensteyn 12′, 35′

Fans were treated to a thriller at Wembley as England pulled off a comeback win over the Netherlands.

Two defensive miscues allowed the visitors to take an early lead via a Lineth Beerensteyn brace, and the pressure was on.

It looked like the Dutch national team might get the last laugh over their former manager Sarina Wiegman until England turned up in the second half.

Georgia Stanway’s header pulled one back for the hosts before Lauren Hemp equalised two minutes later with a curling effort at the edge of the box.

And then, in the dying moments in front of 71,000 fans, Ella Toone volleyed home Lauren James’ cross to win at the death.

The result means the Netherlands and England are tied on nine points heading into Matchday Six with an Olympic berth and Nations League finals on the line.

Whether Wiegman’s side will reach the next round remains out of their hands.

Spain through but Italy snap perfect run

Scorers: Del Castillo 12′, Gonzalez 76′; Giacintti 46′, Cambiaghi 57′, Linari 64′

Italy pulled off a stunning win over Women’s World Cup holders and Group A4 leaders Spain away from home.

Athenea del Castillo opened the scoring for the hosts after roughly 10 minutes, thanks to some slick solo moves, but the visitors found their clinical touch after the break.

Three goals from only four shots on target saw Ittaly turn things around in 18 minutes.

Valentina Giacinti curled a shot into the far right corner before Michela Cambiaghi and Elena Linari scored a header each.

Esther Gonzalez ensured things stayed interesting after a smart run into the box made things a one-goal game but it was too little too late for the hosts.

Despite their first loss, Spain secured a spot in the finals after Sweden’s earlier defeat. Italy are tied with Sweden on points both hoping to avoid a relegation playoff.

Sweden miss out on the Olympics

Scorer: Crnogorčević 6′

Switzerland upset top-ranked Sweden to keep Group A4 spicy.

An early header from Ana-Maria Crnogorčević was enough for the hosts to keep hold of three vital points despite the visitors registering a staggering 24 hots to seven.

It’s now back-to-back stumbles for Sweden (who only registered three shots on target) and the reigning silver medalists miss out on the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Meanwhile, Switzerland were relegated after Italy’s later win over Spain.

France reach WNL finals

Scorers: Henry 5′, Le Sommer 57′, Katoto 84′

France booked their spot in the Women’s Nations League finals after a comfortable win over Austria.

Amandine Henry kicked things off within less than 10 minutes when she thumped a header into the net.

And while things remained a one-goal game after the break, Austria couldn’t find a way back in (two shots on target) while France’s veterans turned up in comparison.

Eugenie Le Sommer doubled things with a shot from inside the penalty box before Marie Antoinette Katoto added a later third. It was the PSG star’s first goal in for France since July 2022.

Second place Austria now battle Norway on Matchday Six to decide who is in the relegation playoff.

Additionally, France will host the Olympics meaning two of the other three Women’s Nation’s League finalists will make the games next summer.

Germany keep hopes alive

Scorers: Popp 14′, Hegering 26′; Bühl 90+3′

Germany were able to keep their Olympic hopes alive after a statement win over Denmark.

The hosts displayed their determination right from the first whistle, as Alexandra Popp’s header opened the scoring before Marina Hegering doubled the lead with another header.

Denmark, however, failed to rally after the half-hour mark and will be frustrated not to have reached the finals over Germany.

Klara Bühl later added a third to wrap up the celebrations for the hosts.

The result means both countries are tied on points heading into Matchday Six.

Belgium relegate Scotland

Scorers: Detruyer 30′; Cuthbert 34′

Scotland fell just sort of survival as a draw in Belgium was not enough.

Marie Detruyer opened the scoring for the hosts at the half-hour mark, but Erin Cuthbert equalised for the visitors in the blink of an eye.

However, nobody else found the net and Scotland fell short in their must-win game and were relegated to Group B.

Belgium, meanwhile, can still close in on a spot in the finals depending on the result.

Ireland beat Hungary to help neighbours

Scorer: Csiszár 65′ (OG)

A tense contest was decided by one mistake as the Republic of Ireland marginally beat Hungary.

With only four efforts on target combined (split down the middle), it was an own goal after the break from Henrietta Csiszár that broke the deadlock.

Eileen Gleeson may have wanted the Group B1 winners to be a bit more cut-throat with their chances, but the win maintained Ireland’s perfect run.

It also helped neighbours Northern Ireland, as Hungary dropped down to third in Group B with the loss.

Iceland relegate Wales

Scorers: Hughes 90+4′; Ladd 29′ (OG), Zomers 79′

Iceland confirmed their place in the relegation playoffs, condemning Wales to the bottom of Group A3.

Despite the hosts having 20 shots to eight, an own goal from Hayley Ladd against the run of play handed the visitors the lead.

Wales needed a win in order to avoid automatic relegation to Group B but instead allowed Diljá Ýr Zomers to double Iceland’s lead with a goal from just outside the box.

Elise Hughes later added a goal off the bench in the dying moments, but it proved to be too late.

Hegerberg hands Norway hope

Scorers: Hegerberg 3′, 8′, (P), 50′, Román Haug 90+3′

The performance of Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerbeg proved the difference for Norway against Portugal.

The Lyon star secured a quick-fire brace with an effort off the post and then a penalty to put the hosts in control within 10 minutes.

And while Portugal managed more shots (12 to nine) and more possession of the ball (58%), nothing could kickstart a comeback.

Hegerberg secured her hat-trick after the restart by bundling a loose ball into an empty net from close range. Sophie Román Haug then added a fourth off the bench.

The result means Norway escaped the possibility of automatic relegation and will battle for survival on the final day.

NI take key step towards playoffs

Scorers: Magill 43′, 47′, Mazwell 58′, Bell 85′

An inspired performance from Simone Magill helped Northern Ireland cruise past Albania to move second in Group B1.

Before the match, the Aston Villa forward hoped her club confidence would transmit to the international stage and the visitors will be happy she rose to the occasion.

Magill stabbed home the opener before doubling the lead after the break with a header off the post for 24 international goals.

Danielle Maxwell then put the game to bed with a goal at the back post before Megan Bell added one off the bench with a looping header.

The result means Northern Ireland are in contention for a promotion play-off spot from League B.

Albania have been relegated from League B Group 1 to League C.

Some mouthwatering meetings!