Italians, Spainiards win over Faroe Islands and Finland
Italians beat Finland 2-1, while Spaniards romp to 4-0 win over Faroe Islands to virtually seal Euro 2020 spots
Paris: Spain and Italy moved to within touching distance of Euro 2020 on Sunday after respective wins over the Faroe Islands and Finland saw them maintain their perfect qualifying records for next year's tournament.
Rodrigo, Alcacer too good
Rodrigo and Paco Alcacer both scored twice in an easy 4-0 victory over the Faroes in Gijon. It was their sixth win from six in Group F and put them on a perfect 18 points, seven clear of Sweden, who drew 1-1 with Scandinavian rivals Norway.
With two teams qualifying from the group, they are also a further point ahead of third-placed Romania following their 1-0 win over Malta. "Yes, it's almost done, but not yet mathematically," said Spain coach Robert Moreno when asked if his team had all, but qualified with four games to spare. "We must grow as a team by winning all our matches. Of course, the final goal is qualification, but what matters is that the team has the feeling of doing things well."
Jorginho nets winner
Meanwhile, Italy also kept their 100 percent record thanks to Jorginho's late penalty, which fired Italy their own sixth straight win, 2-1 at nearest rivals Finland. Chelsea midfielder Jorginho's 79th-minute winner in Tampere sent Roberto Mancini's side six points clear of the second-placed Finns in Group J, after in-form Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki had levelled Ciro Immobile's first Italy goal in two years with a penalty of his own six minutes before.
Italy are flying high with a maximum 18 points with four qualifying games to play, nine points ahead of third-placed Armenia. They could now secure qualification for the tournament, which kicks off in Rome next June, against Greece or Liechtenstein.
Ramos equals Casillas's 167-cap record
Gijon (Spain): Sergio Ramos equalled Iker Casillas's record of 167 international appearances for Spain on Sunday as he started their Euro 2020 qualifier against the Faroe Islands here. The Real Madrid defender made his international debut 14 years ago against China. "It's a difficult challenge to have matched him [Casillas]," said Ramos. "It's a prize and a joy. It's years of effort," Ramos added. "Congratulations on those 167 matches my friend," Casillas wrote on social media. "I hope there are many more. We have experienced great moments with the Spanish team."
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