UEFA Nations League: Finals, promotion and relegation decided

The group stage of the second edition of the UEFA Nations League comes to a close this week, with places in the semifinals and promotion and relegation at stake.

Countries in UEFA Nations League B will also be looking for good results to put them in pole position for a possible 2022 World Cup qualifying playoff, while FIFA World Ranking coefficient points will be vital for some countries, with this week's results decisive for seeding ahead of the World Cup qualifying draw on Dec. 7.

Here we take a look at what's still to play for in each group.

- What is the UEFA Nations League?
- UEFA Nations League: Stream LIVE on ESPN+ (U.S. only)

The ranking order for a World Cup playoff, as required, for Nations League group winners is: France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Wales, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Montenegro, Albania, Armenia, Gibraltar, Faroe Islands.


Group 1
Bosnia and Herzegovina 0-2 Italy; Poland 1-2 Netherlands

Italy eased to a victory away to Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was enough to secure their place in the Nations League finals for the first time.

Netherlands came from behind to beat Poland and the Dutch finish in second.

Bosnia and Herzegovina were relegated to League B, and defeat to Italy saw them drop into Pot 4 for the World Cup qualifying draw.

Group 2
Belgium 4-2 Denmark; England 4-0 Iceland

It was all about the clash in Leuven, with Belgium just needing to avoid defeat to top the group, but they did it in style by beating Denmark 4-2.

England were certain of finishing third even before their win over Iceland.

Iceland have been relegated and will be playing in League B in the next edition.

Group 3
Croatia 2-3 Portugal; France 4-2 Sweden

France qualified for the finals, with holders Portugal finishing second and unable to defend their crown.

In the final group games, Croatia lost 3-2 to Portugal and Sweden were beaten 4-2 by France, so both finished on three points. As the head to head between the two nations was equal, it went to goal difference with Sweden relegated on -8 to Croatia's -7.

Group 4
Spain 6-0 Germany
; Switzerland P-P Ukraine

The two heavyweights of the group went head-to-head in Seville, with Spain getting the win they needed to overtake Germany. But few would have predicted a 6-0 for the Spanish, with Ferran Torres scoring a hat trick.

Switzerland were due to play at home to Ukraine, but it was cancelled after the Swiss authorities refused to allow the game to go ahead due to positive COVID-19 cases in the Ukraine party. UEFA must now make a decision on the game. If it is not rescheduled and Switzerland are awarded a 3-0 forfeit win, they will avoid relegation and Ukraine go to League B. Regulations also give UEFA the options of drawing lots on the game (1-0, 0-0 or 0-1).

If the game is played at a later date, or lots are drawn, Switzerland must win 1-0 or by two or more goals to avoid relegation. If the Swiss win 2-1, they will be relegated on goal difference; if they win 3-2, 4-3, etc., they will finish bottom on head-to-head away goals.


Group 1
Austria 1-1 Norway
; Northern Ireland 1-1 Romania

This group was thrown into disarray after Romania vs. Norway was cancelled on Sunday due to the Norwegian squad not being allowed to travel following a positive coronavirus test. Romania were therefore handed a 3-0 forfeit win by UEFA.

Norway were forced to call up a brand-new squad of foreign-based players to fulfil their game in Austria. Most of the new Norwegian squad was uncapped, but they just couldn't manage to get the result they needed to top the group.

Northern Ireland were relegated after Norway were forced to forfeit, and that means Romania stay in League B. Romania managed to overtake Russia for a place in World Cup draw Pot 2.

Group 2
Czech Republic 2-0 Slovakia
; Israel 1-0 Scotland

Czech Republic picked up the win they needed to have a chance of winning the group and earning promotion, and that was confirmed when Scotland lost to Israel.

That result also meant Slovakia were doomed to relegation, with Israel in third.

Group 3
Hungary 2-0 Turkey
; Serbia 5-0 Russia

Russia had the group in their own hands and new victory would secure top spot, but they were thrashed 5-0 in Serbia.

That opened the door to Hungary, who scored two second-half goals to beat Turkey.

The results also saw Turkey, who could have won the group, relegated on head-to-head record away goals.

Group 4
Republic of Ireland 0-0 Bulgaria
; Wales 3-1 Finland

Wales only needed a point to be sure of top spot, but ran out 3-1 winners which ensured promotion and also made them the top-ranked nation in League B.

Bulgaria had to win to stay up, but Ireland were able to take a 0-0 draw to stave off the drop.


Group 1
Luxembourg 0-0 Azerbaijan
; Montenegro 4-0 Cyprus

Montenegro secured the win they needed to ensure promotion, as Aleksandar Boljevic scored twice in a 4-0 home victory over Cyprus.

The heavy defeat for Cyprus also consigned them to the relegation playouts, and also means they will be in Pot 5 for the World Cup qualifying draw.

Luxembourg could only muster a 0-0 draw at home to Azerbaijan, but it was still enough to seal a place in World Cup qualifying draw Pot 4..

Group 2
Armenia 1-0 North Macedonia
; Georgia 0-0 Estonia

Armenia stole promotion on the final day by winning 1-0 at home to North Macedonia, but they just miss out on World Cup draw Pot 4 in doing so.

Georgia finish third after drawing 0-0 at home to Estonia.

Estonia will be in the relegation playouts, which will see the four teams who finish bottom playing off to decide which two drop into League D.

Group 3
Greece 0-0 Slovenia
; Kosovo 1-0 Moldova

Greece had to win to overtake Slovenia at the top of the group. But Greece also had one eye on the World Cup qualifying draw and a point secured a place in Pot 4.

Kosovo beat Moldova to make sure they would definitely stay in League C.

Group 4
Albania 3-2 Belarus
; Kazakhstan 1-2 Lithuania

Albania beat Belarus in a five-goal thriller to earn promotion to League B.

Kazakhstan were beaten 1-2 at home by Lithuania.

That means it will be Kazakhstan who have to go into the relegation playouts


March 2021
Kazakhstan vs. Moldova
Cyprus vs. Estonia


Group 1
Andorra 0-5 Latvia
; Malta 1-1 Faroe Islands

Malta needed to beat Faroe Islands 1-0, 2-1 or by more than one goal to overtake them at the top. And they led until Ari Mohr Jonsson scored the goal 20 minutes from time which took the Faroes up to League C.

Andorra, who only scored once in the group, finishing at the foot of League D after being thrash 5-0 at home by Latvia.

Group 2
Gibraltar 1-1 Liechtenstein

Gibraltar will move up to League C after a 1-1 draw at home to Liechtenstein was enough to secure top spot, but tougher tests will lie ahead in the 2022 edition.

San Marino finished bottom of a group that saw only six goals in the six matches played.