PARIS, BALIPOST.com – Spain took a step closer to qualification for Euro 2020 on Thursday after surviving a scare in Romania to win 2-1 and continue their 100 percent record, while Italy also kept their perfect start with a 3-1 win in Armenia.
A Sergio Ramos first half penalty and a beautiful team goal finished off by Paco Alcacer were just about enough for Spain in Bucharest, and made their record five wins from five to maintain their five-point lead at the top of Group F in their first match since Luis Enrique stepped down as coach in June to look after his daughter Xana, who died late last month of bone cancer.
Spain are followed by Sweden, who are on 10 points after thumping the Faroe Islands 4-0, and Norway a further two points back after their comfortable 2-0 over Malta.
“We had an excellent first half, creating a lot of opportunities that should have allowed us go into the break with a bigger lead,” said Ramos.
“We lost a bit of focus after the second goal and they were able to take advantage, they had nothing left to lose. We deserved the win but we have to learn how to manage these kind of matches.”
Ramos got the ball rolling for the away side from the spot after Dani Ceballos was brought down by Ciprian Deac, and the points looked secure two minutes after the break when Alcacer tapped home Jordi Alba’s cross following a sensational pass from Ceballos.
However substitute Florin Andone made an almost immediate impact when he nipped in front of Ramos to nod one back just before the hour mark, and the hosts soon had the wind in their sails.
They received a further boost 11 minutes from time when Diego Llorente clumsily took down George Puscas as he raced towards goal in search of a leveller. (AFP)