The UEFA women's Nations League has reached its final matchday, with plenty to play for as the top teams look to seal qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
But what's left and what happened in the penultimate group-stage games?
Who has qualified for the playoff finals already?
League A group winners: France, Spain
Who could still qualify and who is out?
In contention in League A: Netherlands, England, Belgium, Germany, Denmark.
Relegated from League A: Scotland, Switzerland, Wales.
What are the main tiebreakers in the groups?
- Highest number of points obtained by the teams in question.
- Higher goal difference in matches played among the teams in question.
- Higher number of goals scored in the matches played among the teams in question.
How does the Nations League finals playoff work?
The four best-ranked countries from the groups in Nations League A will compete in a mini-tournament -- two semifinals, a third-place game and a final -- with the two finalists sealing qualification for the 2024 Olympics.
If France, who have already qualified for the Olympics as hosts, reach the final then the winner of the third-place playoff will go to the Olympics.
The draw for the finals playoffs will be made on Dec. 11 and the matches played between Feb. 21-28, 2024.
There will also be playoffs for eight teams as League B's second-placed sides take on those who finished third in League A.
And the same for six teams (decided in a mini-table) as League C's runners-up face League B's third place.
Things to know from the group stage
England comeback makes things interesting
England needed to beat Netherlands by two clear goals on Friday to better them on all the head-to-head tiebreakers. But, 2-0 down by half-time, the plan changed to one of salvation and in the end Ella Toone's stunning stoppage-time winning goal (following efforts from Georgia Stanway and Lauren Hemp either side of the hour mark) was only enough to take them level with the Dutch on points.
The thrilling 3-2 win was enough to ensure England are still in with a chance of reaching the semifinals, but they will have to beat Scotland by three goals more than the Dutch beat Belgium. If Netherlands lose or draw, any win for England in Glasgow will be enough to top the group. But if they fail to win, Belgium could yet sneak top spot with a win themselves -- likely needed anyway to avoid a relegation playoff spot.
Will Scotland tank the game?
If England seal qualification then the Great Britain team will have a spot at the Olympics. That means Team GB coach Sarina Wiegman is free to pick any Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland players, as well as those from England.
So that presents an interesting quandary: if any Scotland player facing England on the pitch on Tuesday night has a hope of playing at the Olympics next summer, it would be in their best interests to lose by a comfortable margin. Yet, there is little chance we're heading for another "Disgrace of Gijón." Scotland are bottom of the group and will be relegated to League B despite a decent 1-1 draw with Belgium on Friday, so all that's left on the line is pride. It's Scotland versus England at Hampden Park and there will be no greater tonic for their Nations League maladies than sticking it to their southern rivals.
Yes, there should have been a stipulation in the Nations League draw that England couldn't be drawn into the same group as either Wales or Scotland, but the likelihood of these specific circumstances lining up was very low. Indeed, had Toone not found a stoppage-time winner at Wembley, it would be a moot point as Netherlands would have been through by now.
Katoto returns for France
France sealed their progress with a comfortable 3-0 win over against Austria and, 505 days after suffering a torn AC against Belgium, striker Marie-Antoinette Katoto returned to action. Amandine Henry and Eugénie Le Sommer's goals set the stage and, coming off the bench at half-time, Katoto made sure of all three points with a thumping header in the 84th minute to net her 27th senior goal for Les Bleues.
Norway roll back the years
With no chance of progress, it's been a forgettable few years for Norway. The once-great team have struggled and, with just two points from four games coming into the last camp of the year, something needed to change under interim manager Leif Gunnar Smerud. In a 4-0 win over bottom side Portugal, superstars Ada Hegerberg and Caroline Graham Hansen ultimately made the difference, with Hegerberg firing in a brace in the opening eight minutes before completing her hat trick after the break.
A win against Austria will see them finish second and avoid a relegation playoff, while a point would be enough to see them avoid automatic relegation -- should Portugal spring a shock to beat France, which they have to do to avoid relegation themselves.
Germany put themselves in pole position
Germany needed to beat Denmark by three goals to put qualification in their own hands and delivered with a complete performance in a 3-0 win. Although Denmark have improved under new coach Andrée Jeglertz they struggled to contain the hosts and succumbed to goals from Alex Popp, Marina Hegering and Klara Bühl as the hosts started to look more like their old selves following some turbulent times behind the scenes.
Germany still need to beat bottom side Wales -- assuming Denmark overcome Iceland (who are guaranteed third spot and a relegation playoff) -- in their last game but, as it stands, Horst Hrubesch's side are top of the group for the first time and ahead of Denmark on the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Spain stunned by Italy
At half-time in Pontevedra everything was going to plan for the world champions: 1-0 up and comfortably controlling the game. But three goals in 18 second-half minutes from Italy handed them their first loss since their group-stage clash with Japan at the World Cup.
Valentina Giacinti got things started a minute after half-time, before Michela Cambiaghi and Elena Linari added goals from poorly defended corners. A late conciliation from Esther González not enough to undo the damage done for Spain, who looked increasingly frantic after going behind, and though they ended up going through despite the 3-2 defeat, the match should serve as a reminder that they need to do more than just show up to win.
Italy now need to better Sweden's result to climb above them into second and avoid the relegation playoff.
Switzerland shock Sweden
While that Italy win was unexpected, it would have given Sweden a hope going into the final matchday if they hadn't contrived to lose 1-0 in snowy Switzerland.
They should have won easily. The numbers were heavily skewed in favour of the visitors, who had 19 shots to three, and seven on target, with three different efforts striking the woodwork in Luzern. Yet, it was Ana-Maria Crnogorčević's sixth-minute header that separated the two teams when the final whistle blew.
Sweden, after reaching the final in both Tokyo (2020) and Rio (2016), will now not be at the Olympics at all next summer. And they'll either need to beat Spain, or hope that Switzerland can do them a favour against Italy to avoid a relegation playoff.
Things of note from other groups
Confirmed in League A/B play-offs: Iceland, Serbia.
The lights go out in Tbilisi
The biggest comeback of the round also saw one of the strangest moments. Two goals to the good away from home, Luxembourg were cruising against Georgia in Group C2 before the lights went out at the Mikheil Meskhi I Stadium just before half-time. The problem was soon righted and it clearly made a difference as Georgia came back to win 4-2 with goals from Teona Bakradze, Khatia Chkonia, Nino Bukhrikidze and Natia Danelia. The win keeps Georgia in the hunt for a possible playoff to gain promotion to League B, although they face group winners Turkey in their last match.
Slovenia break their duck
Heading into their last home game of 2023, Slovenia were without a win in their last eight outings. Although Saša Kolman's side had only lost two of those eight, the team had consistently struggled to convert draws into wins. And, into the final quarter of the game against Group B4 leaders Bosnia and Herzegovina, the hosts trailed 1-0 and were heading for another disappointing result. However, a three-minute brace from Zala Kuštrin helped by some questionable defending from the visitors, ensured Slovenia banked their first home win of the year.
Slovenia now need a win over Czechia in their last game to have a chance of finishing second for a promotion playoff spot, but will also need Bosnia and Herzegovina to lose or draw against last-placed Belarus. Bosnia, meanwhile, must win and hope Czechia lose or draw if they are to win the group.
Ševcova steals the show in Riga
Battling away for top spot in Group C1, Latvia made light work of Andorra thanks to Olga Ševcova's five-minute hat trick in wintery Riga. The 31-year-old opened the scoring in the 42nd minute before adding a second from a devastating counterattack on the stoke of half-time. Ševcova needed just two second-half minutes to complete her hat trick when she poked Karlīna Miksone's square ball home at the back post. The midfielder even had time to bag an assist, teeing up Anastasija Poļuhoviča from a corner.
Latvia sit second in the group, three points behind leaders Malta, and can seal promotion with a win over them in Ta' Qali on Tuesday.