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Euro Qualifiers round-up: Spain and Italy survive scares to uphold perfect records

Spain edge past Romania and Italy fight back to beat Armenia

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Highlights from the Group F European Qualifier between Romania and Spain

Spain made it five wins out of five in their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign by earning a scrappy 2-1 victory in Romania on Thursday despite playing the final stages with 10 men after defender Diego Llorente was sent off.

Captain Sergio Ramos gave Spain a deserved lead in the 27th minute by converting a penalty to score a fourth goal in five European Qualifiers, his third from the spot.

Paco Alcacer put Spain further at ease by scoring early in the second half after missing three clear chances in the first, but substitute Florin Andone brought Romania back into contention with a close-range strike in the 59th minute.

Paco Alcacer
Image: Paco Alcacer scored Spain's second in Romania

The goal galvanised the vociferous home crowd and they grew more determined after Llorente was shown a straight red card with 11 minutes left for denying a clear scoring opportunity with a foul.

Spain were let off the hook when George Puscas blazed over the bar in stoppage time after an outstanding save from goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and they clung on to earn a first win away to Romania at the seventh attempt.

Moreno's side top Group F with 15 points from five games, Sweden are second with 10 after thrashing the Faroe Islands 4-0 away from home, while Norway are third on eight after beating Malta 2-0. Romania slipped down to fourth place on seven.

Italy scored twice in the final 15 minutes to beat 10-man Armenia 3-1 and maintain their 100 per cent record in Euro 2020 qualifying.

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Roberto Mancini's side came from behind to make it five wins from as many games at the top of Group J thanks to Andrea Belotti, Lorenzo Pellegrini and an own goal from Armenia goalkeeper Aram Hayrapetyan.

Andrea Belotti of Italy celebrates with team-mates after scoring
Image: Andrea Belotti celebrates with team-mates after scoring for Italy

Alexander Karapetian claimed a surprise 11th-minute opener in Yerevan but the home side's hopes of an upset were dealt a blow when the striker was sent off in first-half stoppage time.

Italy also struck the woodwork through Federico Bernardeschi immediately after equalising, while Belotti had two goals disallowed for offside, one incorrectly.

Elsewhere in Group J, Bosnia and Herzegovina beat Liechtenstein 6-0, while Teemu Pukki continued his fine form with the only goal from the spot as Finland beat Greece 1-0. His side are in control in the group alongside the Italians.

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Highlights of the European Qualifier Group D clash between Republic of Ireland and Switzerland

In Group D Republic of Ireland drew 1-1 with Switzerland in Dublin, while Christian Eriksen scored two penalties as Denmark thrashed Gibraltar 6-0 away from home. Ireland lead the group, with Denmark three points behind but with a game in hand.

In Group G, Israel and North Macedonia played out a 1-1 draw, with most of this group's games being played on Friday.

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