Italy became the second group to qualify for Euro 2020 following a 2-0 win over Greece on Saturday, while three-time champions Spain edged closer to the finals despite having a stoppage-time equalizer off to Norway. Chelsea midfielder Jorginho discharged a second-half punishment as Italy, sporting green kits for only the second time ever, enrolled a seventh consecutive win in Group J.
Roberto Mancini’s side combined Belgium at the draw for the next year’s finals, where Italy will perform their first two group games at the Stadio Olimpico.
“We were able to make a group in a brief period. It was not simple but you need to thank the players, that have rapidly developed an understanding between those,” said Mancini, who took over as Italy trainer 18 weeks ago.
“It is a group with character that combats and plays the ball one which has to also improve. Today we’ve got a year to attempt to get much better.
“We’ve got a great deal of work but we are not quite far from the very best European teams. I am happy and pleased to have assisted the national team develop a difficult patch”
Spain dropped their first points in Group F since Joshua King transformed a 94th-minute spot-kick to save a 1-1 draw for Norway after a foul by goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga on Omar Elabdellaoui.
The traffic led when Saul Niguez maintained home from 20 yards minutes after half-time however Spain was denied that a seventh win in a row since King’s equalizer retained Norway from the running.
“It is a real pain to lose points in the last seconds. It is complex to play with a group who understood that should they lost they had been pretty much out,” explained Spain captain Ramos.
Norway last qualified for a significant championship in the 2000 European Championship and are in the team, four points adrift of acquaintances Sweden with three matches to play with.
Marcus Danielson struck the deadlock about 11 moments in Ta’ Qali and house skipper Andrei Agius also scored an own aim.
Romania stays a point behind Sweden after a 3-0 triumph at the Faroe Islands ensured by second-half targets from George Puscas, Ionut Mitrita, and Claudiu Keseru.
- Schmeichel Requires Switzerland –
Leicester City goalkeeper Schmeichel pulled superb cease to deny Granit Xhaka, Admir Mehmedi, and Ricardo Rodriguez until Yussuf Poulsen seized an 84th-minute winner for Denmark at Copenhagen.
The Danes transferred up to 12 points alongside team leaders Ireland, who drew 0-0 away to Georgia, while Switzerland are just four points off the pace but with a match in hand.
“We fought for the entire match, there was a huge atmosphere. I believe that has been one of my greatest performances for Denmark,” explained Schmeichel.
Mick McCarthy’s Ireland could not set any momentum earlier in the afternoon in Tbilisi and so were left frustrated with wayward ending from their few chances to break the deadlock.
Bosnia and Herzegovina reignited their eligibility hopes in Italy’s set using a 4-1 triumph over second-placed Finland.
Armenia blew the Opportunity to transfer-level with all the Finns as Liechtenstein replacement Yanik Frick canceled out Tigran Barseghyan’s attempt at a 1-1 draw in Vaduz.