Mon, Oct 14, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Norway end Spain’s perfect record, Italy qualify for Euros


Norway’s Markus Henriksen, left, and Spain’s Sergio Ramos vie for the ball during their Euro 2020 Group F qualifier at the Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo on Saturday.

Photo: AP

Sergio Ramos was seconds away from celebrating his record for most appearances for Spain with a victory that would have ensured his country a spot at next year’s European Championship, but Norway’s last-gasp push for an equalizer paid off in their evenly fought qualifier on Saturday, which finished 1-1.

That ended Spain’s perfect run of six wins in six matches. Italy did stay perfect by overcoming Greece’s defensive tactics in a 2-0 victory and qualified for next year’s continent-wide tournament.

Spain slipped up after goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga gave away a penalty by fouling Omar Elabdellaoui, allowing Joshua King to step up and equalize from the spot just before the final whistle in Oslo.

Spain have another chance to advance on Tuesday against Sweden, but they will do so without Ramos, who will be suspended for an accumulation of yellow cards.

Saul Niguez had put Spain ahead with a long-range goal only two minutes after halftime, while Fabian Ruiz went close to sealing the win when he hit the post on two occasions.

The 33-year-old Ramos surpassed Casillas’ mark with his 168th appearance for La Roja.

“I would trade [the record] for a win, but it is a reward for all these years of sacrifice,” Ramos said. “It is an honor. Every time I put on this shirt I am moved with emotion.”

In other games on Saturday, Armenia drew 1-1 with Liechtenstein, Denmark beat Switzerland 1-0, Ireland were held to a 0-0 draw against Georgia, Romania beat the Faroe Islands 3-0, Bosnia and Herzegovina defeated Finland 4-1 and Sweden beat Malta 4-0.

In Rome, UEFA said that it would “examine” reports that Turkey players performed a military salute on Friday in their qualifier against Albania to mark their country’s armed offensive against Kurds in Syria.

“Personally, I have not seen this gesture, which could be considered a provocation,” UEFA press chief Philip Townsend told the Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata. “Does the regulation prohibit references to politics and religion? Yes, and I can guarantee you that we will look at this situation.”

Additional reporting by AFP

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top