Nations League overview: Friday, February 23rd

SEVILLE, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 23: Ona Batlle of Spain scores her team's third goal during the UEFA Women's Nations League 2024 semifinal match between Spain and Netherlands at Estadio de La Cartuja on February 23, 2024 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

The inaugural UEFA Women’s Nations League reaches its climax this week with plenty to play for across the continent. We had a look at the matches and the consequences of the results.

There’s silverware, Olympic qualification, and promotion and relegation to and from all three Nations Leagues on the line. On top of that, this all goes towards deciding the qualifying groups for Euro 2025 and World Cup 2027. So all in all, a lot to play for.

How the decision makers at UEFA have dreamt this all up is a mystery even to them, with exciting match-ups all over the place.

Nations League A

France 2-1 Germany

Spain 3-0 Netherlands

World Champions Spain will host France in the Nations League Final after both came through their Semi-Finals.

Olympic hosts France beat Germany 2-1 courtesy of first-half goals from Kadidiatou Diani and Sakina Karchaoui late in the first half in Lyon. A Giulia Gwinn penalty in the 82nd minute only proved to be a consolation for Germany who will face the Netherlands in the Third Place playoff on Wednesday.

That comes after Spain swept aside the Dutch in Sevilla through goals from Jenni Hermoso, Aitana Bonmatí, and Ona Batlle. Victory for Spain also guarantees them qualification for the Olympics this summer. France’s presence in the Final means the winner of the Netherlands-Germany game — which will be hosted by the Dutch — will also seal a place in Paris this summer.

League A/B – Relegation/Promotion Play-offs 1st Leg

League A teams in bold

Serbia 1-1 Iceland

Hungary 1-5 Belgium 

Bosnia & Herzegovina 0-5 Sweden

Croatia 0-3 Norway 

Embed from Getty Images

Comfortable wins for Belgium, Sweden, and Norway have all but secured their League A status barring a miracle in the return legs on Wednesday. But as ever, nothing is certain in football.

Belgium had to come from behind to eventually dispatch Hungary, helped by a brace from Tessa Wullaert who now plays for Fortuna Sittard.

Iceland still have work to do if they’re to remain in the top tier as they drew in Serbia — the hosts finishing the game with 10 players after Dina Blagojevic was shown a late red card.

League B/C – Relegation/Promotion Play-offs 1st Leg

League B teams in bold

Latvia 0-3 Slovakia

Montenegro 0-2 Northern Ireland

Bulgaria 0-4 Ukraine 

Tanya Oxtoby made a winning start to life as Northern Ireland manager thanks to second-half goals from Lauren Wade and Demi Vance.The Montenegrin resistance lasted until 20 minutes from time in Podgorica, but it’s the Irish that will take a two-goal advantage back to Windsor Park on Wednesday. 

Elsewhere, Slovakia and Ukraine recorded big wins over their League C counterparts in their bid to remain in the second tier.

The Final and Third Place playoff will happen on Wednesday, February 28, as will the return legs of the promotion/relegation matches.

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