·1 December 2023
·1 December 2023
England kept their bid to secure Olympics qualification for Great Britain alive in dramatic fashion as Ella Toone’s stoppage-time goal completed a fightback from two goals down to beat the Netherlands 3-2 at Wembley.
Needing a win to remain in contention to finish top in Nations League Group A1, the final position required for them to have a chance of obtaining a place for GB at next summer’s Games in Paris, the Lionesses were on course for a third defeat in the pool as Lineth Beerensteyn notched a first-half brace for the Dutch.
But Sarina Wiegman’s side battled back with two goals in quick succession from Georgia Stanway and Lauren Hemp around the hour mark, before substitute Toone capped the turnaround in the first minute of time added on to bring a huge roar from the 71,632 crowd in attendance.
It leaves England in second place, level on points with the Netherlands and one in front of Belgium, ahead of concluding their group matches by playing Scotland at Hampden Park on Tuesday. Belgium drew 1-1 with Scotland in Friday’s other Group A1 contest.
But England’s fate is still in their hands, however, and things could get complicated as they look to top their Nations League group. Here’s everything you need to know.
How can England finish top of Group A1?
After five games played, England and the Netherlands are level on nine points: with three wins and two defeats. The teams have identical head-to-head records after the Netherlands won 2-1 in their home fixture and England won 3-2 at Wembley.
Therefore, the Netherlands have the advantage because of their greater goal difference across the group. The Netherlands have scored 10 goals and conceded six, giving the Dutch a goal difference of +4, while England have scored nine and conceded eight, giving the Lionesses a goal difference of +1.
Ahead of their final fixtures, England need to win by three goals more than the Netherlands, if both sides win, otherwise they will qualify if the Dutch drop points against Belgium and the Lionesses beat Scotland.
What would the Lionesses then need to do to qualify for the Olympics?
England must reach the Nations League final to be sure of their place at the Olympics next summer, as the nominated side for Team GB. England will go through to the semi-finals if they top Group A1.
Both Nations League finalists will qualify for the Paris Games - unless one of those teams is France, who qualify automatically.
If France reach the Nations final, the automatic qualification spot will go to the winner of the third place playoff in the Nations League finals.
France, Denmark and Spain are top of Groups A2, A3 and A4 ahead of the final two rounds of fixtures.