Ramos hon­oured by Spain fans

Muscat Daily - - SPORTS -

Paris, France - Finland qual­i­fied for the first ma­jor tour­na­ment in its his­tory on Fri­day with a 3-0 win over Liecht­en­stein while Swe­den sealed its place at the Euro 2020 fi­nals fol­low­ing a vic­tory in Ro­ma­nia.

Nor­wich City for­ward Teemu Pukki scored twice in Helsinki and Jasse Tuomi­nen also net­ted to bring the home crowd pour­ing onto the pitch at the fi­nal whis­tle as Finland wrapped up sec­ond place be­hind Group J win­ner Italy.

Roberto Mancini's Italy reg­is­tered a record tenth straight win as it eased past Bos­nia and Herze­gov­ina 3-0 in Zenica.

Francesco Acerbi, Lorenzo In­signe and Andrea Belotti scored for Italy, which has bounced back im­pres­sively after fail­ing to qual­ify for last year's World Cup year for the first time since 1958.

"Mancini has done a great job, he has given us clear ideas in a short pe­riod of time. We are proud of the record of ten con­sec­u­tive wins but our ob­jec­tives and our dreams are hon­estly oth­ers," said Belotti.

Bos­nia is guar­an­teed a place in the play­offs after fin­ish­ing top of its UEFA Na­tions League group last year.

Swe­den qual­i­fied for a sixth straight Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships after a 2-0 suc­cess in Bucharest that elim­i­nated Ro­ma­nia from con­tention.

Mar­cus Berg and Robin Quai­son scored first-half goals for Swe­den which se­cured sec­ond place be­hind Group F win­ners Spain, leav­ing Ro­ma­nia hop­ing for a play­off berth.

Berg headed in an invit­ing cross from Emil Fors­berg as Swe­den surged ahead on 18 min­utes and then turned provider as he cush­ioned the ball off for Quai­son to dou­ble the lead.

Seven dif­fer­ent play­ers were on tar­get for al­ready-qual­i­fied Spain in a 7-0 thrash­ing of lowly Malta in Cadiz.

Al­varo Mo­rata opened the scor­ing on 23 min­utes be­fore for­mer Ar­se­nal mid­fielder Santi Ca­zorla bagged his first in­ter­na­tional goal in four years.

Pau Tor­res, sub­sti­tutes Pablo Sara­bia and Dani Olmo, Ger­ard Moreno and Je­sus Navas com­pleted the rout as Spain made sure of top spot.

Span­ish fans hon­oured Ser­gio Ramos with a huge mo­saic of the de­fender who last month broke the record pre­vi­ously held by Iker Casil­las for most na­tional team ap­pear­ances.

"I'm very happy. What bet­ter way for me to toast this tribute than with a vic­tory of such au­thor­ity and play­ing such good foot­ball?" said Ramos, who earned his 169th cap on Fri­day.

Alexan­der Sor­loth struck twice for Nor­way in a 4-0 win over the Faroe Is­lands. Tore Reginiusse­n and Iver Fos­sum got the other goals in Oslo for the hosts who will head into the play­offs.

Den­mark re­quires a draw from its fi­nal game against the Repub­lic of Ire­land after a 6-0 de­mo­li­tion of Gi­bral­tar.

Switzer­land oc­cu­pies sec­ond place in Group D be­hind Den­mark after a nervy 1-0 win over Ge­or­gia cour­tesy of late header from debu­tant Cedric It­ten.

(AFP)

Finland's cap­tain Tim Sparv (cen­tre) and goal­keeper Lukas Hradecky cel­e­brate with their team­mates after qual­i­fy­ing for the UEFA Euro 2020 with a win over Liecht­en­stein on Fri­day

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