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Dublin: 3 °C Wednesday 11 December, 2019
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Spain hammer seven past Malta, Italy score 10th straight win and Sweden book Euro spot

There was plenty of qualification action across the groups on Friday.

Santi Cazorla celebrates his goal for Spain.
Santi Cazorla celebrates his goal for Spain.
Image: AP/PA Images

SANTI CAZORLA SCORED his first Spain goal for four years as as Spain inflicted a 7-0 win over Malta in Euro 2020 qualifying.

Italy earned a record 10th consecutive victory in their qualifier against Bosnia-Herzegovina while Sweden clinched a spot at the Euro finals following a 2-0 victory over Romania.

Spain 7-0 Malta

The Villarreal veteran Cazorla struck 41 minutes in after Alvaro Morata had put Robert Moreno’s men ahead, before the floodgates opened in the second half at Estadio Ramon de Carranza.

Moreno made seven changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Sweden last time out and handed debuts to Pau Torres and Dani Olmo in the second half, each of whom repaid him with a goal.

A fine strike from Pablo Sarabia, a simple finish for the impressive Gerard Moreno and a late Jesus Navas effort secured a resounding victory in Cadiz for a Spain side who were already assured of their place at next year’s finals.

Morata scored his seventh goal in as many games for club and country with 23 minutes gone, bundling a finish beyond goalkeeper Henry Bonello after Gerard Moreno turned a loose ball goalwards.

It was Morata who prevented Spain doubling their lead 27 minutes in, the striker judged to be interfering with play from an offside position when Moreno blasted home the rebound after a brilliant Bonello save denied Sergio Ramos.

Moreno somehow failed to turn Sarabia’s cross into an unguarded net, but the second goal did come – and in some style – four minutes before the break. Cazorla gathered Moreno’s first-time pass and slotted the ball in off the left-hand post for his first international goal since 2015.

Cazorla went off to a standing ovation eight minutes after the restart as Spain set about securing the result, with only a brilliant clearance off the line from Jonathan Caruana denying Sarabia.

Spain ended the match as a contest with two goals in the space of a minute, Torres chesting the ball in from Paco Alcacer’s flick-on from a corner before Sarabia arrowed a left-footed finish into the top-right corner from Moreno’s lay-off.

Bosnia-Herzegovina 0-3 Italy

Italy earned a record 10th consecutive victory with a convincing 3-0 win at Bosnia-Herzegovina in Friday’s Euro 2020 qualifier.

The Azzurri were already assured of top spot in Group J and were in control at the break in Zenica thanks to Francesco Acerbi’s first Italy goal and Lorenzo Insigne’s effort.

bosnia-italy-euro-2020-soccer Italy players rejoice after Francesco Acerbi's goal. Source: AP/PA Images

Andrea Belotti’s fine strike early in the second half ensured Italy retained their 100 per cent record, while Bosnia-Herzegovina already knew they were destined for the play-offs.

Italy will look to make it 10 wins from 10 in Group J when they host Armenia in their final qualifier on Monday, while Bosnia-Herzegovina’s last group game is at Liechtenstein on the same day.

Sweden 2-0 Romania

Sweden qualified for a sixth straight European Championships after a 2-0 success in Bucharest over Romania.

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 play-off 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. 

Additional reporting by © – AFP, 2019

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