Germany and England lose; Hungary is on the cusp of the finals

Friday night saw more excitement at every level of the Nations League as the 2022/23 group stage drew to a close. Some promotions and relegations have already been confirmed, while others are gearing up for the final round of matches next week.

Here is a summary of everything that happened…

Nations League A, Group 3

England were relegated from the First Division for the first time after the defeat in Milan by Italy left them far away at the bottom of their group with one match remaining. Giacomo Raspadori scored the only goal in a low-quality match in the second half.

19-year-old Judd Bellingham shined for the England squad, but Harry Kane, Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling were all too quiet. Declan Rice also failed to put his stamp on the proceedings.

From being in danger of being relegated if they lose, Italy could reach the finals if they can beat group leaders Hungary on Monday.

The group leader Hungary unexpectedly put his foot in the finals with another win. Adam Szalay scored only in the 17th minute of the match and despite Germany completely controlling the ball, both sides created a similar number of chances.

Hungary will reach the finals as long as they avoid defeat to Italy at home in three days.

Nations League B, Group 3

There was no difference between Finland and Romania as both continued to battle the threat of relegation to the third division. Teemu Pukki scored an early goal in the competition, with a equalizer from Florin Tanase shortly after the first half to leave things in a delicate position ahead of the sixth round.

Finland has a one point advantage over Romania in the standings, but one will go down.

Meanwhile, Bosnia secured promotion to the top flight for the next edition of the Nations League thanks to a narrow victory over its Balkan neighbors.

Ermdin Demirovic scored the only goal of the match in stoppage time in the first half.

Nations League C, Group 4

Bulgaria targeted any fading threat of a surprise relegation to League D by defeating Gibraltar with their first victory in the Nations League campaign. They can’t be caught and Gibraltar goes down instead.

Valentin Antov opened the scoring, although Gibraltar caused a panic with an instant equalizer – which proved to be the only shot on target. Kirill Despodov regained the lead before the break and Bulgaria eventually pulled away after the break.

Georgia booked its next B-League spot by beating rising rival Macedonia to take a six-point lead with only one game left.

Bojan Miewski netted an own goal in the first half, with in-form Napoli winger Khafisha Kvaratskhelia winning just an hour later.

Nations League D, Group 2

The winner of the 86th minute from Estonia, Henri Aner, secured the victory over Malta. A first-half injury time penalty had put the Baltic nation ahead, with a Malta penalty making it 1-1 at the start of the second half. The result makes Estonia three points ahead of Malta in the standings.

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