Germany booked their place at the Women’s Nations League finals, where they will also fight for their spot at the 2024 Olympic Games, after grinding out a 0-0 draw in Wales on Tuesday.
The Germans were level on 12 points with Denmark in Group A3 going into the game although their better head-to-head record meant they simply needed to match the Danes’ result against Iceland.
In the end, the Danish fell short with Karolina Vilhjalmsdottir, who plays in the Bundesliga for Bayer Leverkusen, where she is on loan from Bayern Munich, striking in the 77th minute in Viborg to give Iceland a 1-0 win.
The Germans struggled to get a grip on their game against Wales and in the end were fortunate to come away with a point.
“I thought we were the better team. We had the better chances and hit the post so, overall, I’m very pleased,” Wales manager Gemma Grainger told the BBC.
“It’s a real moment when you say we had the better chances against Germany.”
Wales, however, finished bottom of the group with this single point and are relegated to Group B.
World champions Spain had already qualified for the finals as Group A4 winners and were missing the injured Alexia Putellas, which may account for their sleepy start against Sweden.
Julia Zigiotti Olme put the visitors ahead in the first minute after non-existent defending at a corner.
Salma Paralluelo levelled 10 minutes later but more slack defence allowed Kosovare Asllani and Stina Blackstenius to put Sweden 3-1 up after half an hour.
Athenea del Castillo pulled one back for Spain who then turned the game around with three goals in the last 12 minutes, two from Mariona Caldentey, the other from Fiamma Benitez, to win 5-3.
Group A2 winners France, who had also booked their place in the finals, earned a hard-fought 1-0 win in Portugal, Grace Geyoro with the winner in the third minute of additional time at the end of the game.
The final place will go to either Netherlands or England, who are both in action in later matches against Belgium and Scotland respectively.
The two finalists in February will qualify for the 2024 Olympics. If France, who have already qualified as hosts of Paris 2024, reach the final, the team winning the third-place play-off will also progress.