Nations League women's recap: England lose, Spain hit seven

How Wiegman's England have lost their 'spark' since winning the Euros (1:49)

Sophie Lawson reacts to England's loss vs. Belgium in the Nations League and analyses what's next for the Lionesses under Sarina Wiegman's management. (1:49)

With over half of the women's Nations League group-stage games in the can, the wider picture is slowly coming together as some teams already have their fate decided. Here are some of the talking points from Matchday Four.

Belgium get fired up to beat England

The last time England found themselves at Den Dreef in Leuven, they were forced to battle back with a late penalty to save face in a post-2019 World Cup friendly that ended 3-3. On Tuesday night, they fell to a 3-2 defeat thanks to a late spot kick.

After Laura De Neve's sublime free kick in the ninth minute, England were on the back foot, but they responded thanks to goals from Lucy Bronze and Fran Kirby. Tessa Wullaert then levelled things just before half-time and the Belgian veteran was the one to decide the game from the spot, after Georgia Stanway was penalised for handball, with five minutes to go.

For third-placed England, the immediate worry is Olympic qualification which will require two convincing wins and help from another League A Group 1 team along the way given they are three points behind Netherlands. Yet there is the wider concern of the way England lost in Leuven and how they looked short of ideas and inspiration. It's not a new story for the Lionesses under Sarina Wiegman but, more often than not over the course of the last year or so, England have found the slice of luck or piece of individual brilliance to dig out a win.

Still, credit should go to Belgium for their marked improved from Friday -- when they lost 1-0 to England in Leicester -- and how clinical they were to claim a memorable win. There are questions about how expansive the hosts can be moving forward and how pragmatic they have to be, playing their third-highest goal scorer at the heart of a back five.

For England, the questions about where the team go from here remain.

Brugts lights up Hampden to save Netherlands

Things haven't been going well for Scotland in this Nations League campaign, and after a miserable 4-0 defeat against the Dutch in League A Group 1 on Friday, they at least came out stronger on Tuesday night in Glasgow.

The hosts showed some good signs breaking forward but had few answers as the Dutch stirred to life after the break. But rather than cave in as they did last week, the Scots stood up to the pressure as best they could until Esmee Brugts picked out Sandy MacIver's far bottom corner with a stunner from outside the box on the hour mark.

Winless from their four games, the Scots are out of it but the three points are enough to keep Netherlands in contention to finish top of the group.

Kosovo and Malta in form

Having only been around for six years, Kosovo are a relative newcomer when it comes to world football. But the young team have been on a steady path of growth and, 10 games in, are yet to be defeated in 2023. Their winning streak, which started in February, was stretched further with a confident 3-1 win over a North Macedonia side struggling for form in Pristina.

Although there is still a lot of debate around the Nations League, Kosovo's placement in League C Group 5 has given them more room to grow and they now sit in a strong position for promotion into League B.

Malta are also a team on the up after a strong run of form, despite the polarised ages in the senior squad and with a sizable drop-off from the more experienced players to young stars like Maria Farrugia and Haley Bugeja.

Bugeja has been catching the eye since the start of the decade as she began to make a name for herself at 16. The scorer of all three goals for Malta in their 3-0 win away in Andorra, Malta remain a different proposition with the 19-year-old Inter Milan forward on the pitch.

Republic of Ireland and Turkey already up

First and foremost, the weather in Shkodër, where Albania hosted Ireland in League B Group 1, was clearly not conducive for good football as the rain that lashed down onto the pitch at the Loro Boriçi Stadium left heavy puddles for the ball to stick in. Sometimes pitches struggle to cope with the weather but play can continue, and sometimes a pitch is just unplayable. And the one in Shkodër was absolutely unplayable.

Incredibly, the match did go ahead and was completed. Denise O'Sullivan's 88th-minute winner continued Ireland's perfect record in the Nations League and confirmed promotion to League A with two matches spare. The Girls in Green weren't the only ones celebrating promotion on Tuesday night as Turkey's 1-0 win over Luxembourg was enough to see them open up a wide enough gap in League C Group 2 to settle their promotion to League B.

Guilty of wasting their chances either side of Birgül Sadıkoğlu's winner, the Crescent Stars are yet to be defeated in 2023. And, with 10 goals scored and none conceded, there can be no question that they are simply too good for the level they were assigned.

Spain hammer Switzerland again

With memories of their 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Spain in the quarterfinals of the World Cup, as well as their first Nations League meeting (5-0) still fresh in the minds, Switzerland again fell to heavy defeat against the world champions: this time 7-1.

La Roja -- including starters Aitana Bonmatí and Salma Paralluelo, who had spent the previous evening in Paris at the Ballon d'Or ceremony -- were simply too good for their opposition, showing little restraint while piling on the goals and scoring from seven of their eight shots on target.

With Spain unable to field their desired XI thanks to an issue with how their squad was uploaded to the UEFA app, it's probably a good thing they didn't need to call upon experienced defender Irene Paredes.

Moldova and Latvia claim the chaos award of the round

Latvia doled out a 5-0 thrashing to Moldova in Jelgava last week so it was something of a shock that, with just one win in their last 27 games, Moldova were cruising in the 78th minute against the same opposition in Chişinău on Tuesday.

Veronica Cojuhari had just struck to make it 3-1, as the hosts made their numerical advantage count after Sofija Garanča's straight red card three minutes earlier, and things were looking good.

But it all went rapidly downhill as Moldova's Daniela Mardari was shown a second yellow card on 81 minutes, then Karlīna Miksone reduced the deficit from the spot and second-half substitute Sandra Voitāne struck in the seventh minute of stoppage time to deny the hosts a rare win. A 3-3 draw keeps them dead last of League C Group 1, while Latvia are five points off Malta at the top.