Finland on Friday qualified for the first major tournament in their history with a 3-0 win over Liechtenstein, while Sweden sealed their place at the UEFA 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 winners Italy.
Roberto Mancini’s Italy registered a record 10th straight win as they eased past Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-0 in Zenica.
Francesco Acerbi, Lorenzo Insigne and Andrea Belotti scored for Italy, who have 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 10 consecutive wins, but our objectives and our dreams are honestly others,” Belotti said.
Bosnia are guaranteed a place in the playoffs after finishing top of their 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, who 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 players were on target for already-qualified Spain in a 7-0 thrashing of 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 reaching the top of the table.
Spanish fans honored 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. “The joy is twofold, on both a personal and group level.”
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 are to head into the playoffs.
Denmark require a draw from their final game against the Republic of Ireland, after a 6-0 demolition of Gibraltar. Christian Eriksen and Robert Skov both hit a brace in Copenhagen, with Martin Braithwaite and Christian Gytkjaer also on the scoresheet.
Switzerland occupy second place in Group D behind Denmark, after a nervy 1-0 win over Georgia courtesy of a late header from debutant Cedric Itten.
“I’m still in a bit of shock,” Itten said. “To score on my debut here in St Gallen is a dream come true. It’s still going to take a while to sink in.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
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Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there