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Euro qualifiers PIX: Big wins for Spain, Poland

Last updated on: June 11, 2019 12:57 IST

Spain beat Sweden to lead Group F

Mikel Oyarzabal scores their third goal in their Group F match Sweden at Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, on Monday

IMAGE: Mikel Oyarzabal scores their third goal in their Group F match Sweden at Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, on Monday. Photograph: Sergio Perez/Reuters

Spain made it four wins out of four and took control of their Euro 2020 qualifying group by beating closest rivals Sweden 3-0 on Monday after overpowering the visitors in the second half with two penalties and a late strike from Mikel Oyarzabal.

Captain Sergio Ramos scored for the seventh time in eight internationals to give his side the lead with a penalty in the 64th minute and Alvaro Morata also converted from the spot to double the home side's advantage in the 85th.

 

Substitute Oyarzabal completed the victory at Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium two minutes later after coming off the bench to make his competitive debut, curling the ball into the bottom corner from just inside the area.

The win took Spain to 12 points at the top of Group F after four games. Sweden are second, level on seven points with third-placed Romania, who thrashed Malta 4-0 away.

Spain thought they had taken the lead in the first half when striker Rodrigo converted a cross by Valencia team mate Dani Parejo from close range but the goal was wrongly ruled out for offside as video technology is not used in the qualifiers.

Spain coach Luis Enrique was absent for the third game in a row for personal reasons but they always looked in control without truly sparkling until Oyarzabal's moment of brilliance.

The hosts continued to wear the dogged Swedes down and they got their breakthrough when visiting defender Sebastian Larsson's outstretched arm blocked the ball and Ramos calmly deceived keeper Robin Olsen to convert from the spot.

Sweden barely managed to trouble Spain goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who kept his place again at the expense of David de Gea, and the visitors conceded another penalty when substitute Morata was tripped by Filip Helander.

Ramos passed up the opportunity to score again and offered the ball to Morata, who also made no mistake from the spot, although Real Sociedad forward Oyarzabal got the biggest cheer of the evening for his impressive strike.

"We struggled a bit at first but in the second half we tried to break them down more and we've taken another step towards the Euros," said goalscorer Ramos, who dedicated the win and Friday's 4-1 victory over the Faroe Islands to Luis Enrique.

"This is an abnormal situation but at least we've managed to give a win to our coach. It was very important to get these six points and hopefully after the holidays everything will return to normal and we can all restart this journey again together."

Romania took charge against Malta with an early double from George Puscas and a 34th minute goal from Alexandru Chipciu, who was sent off late in the game before Dennis Man completed the rout in stoppage time to leave the Maltese on three points.

Fourth-placed Norway have five points following a 2-0 win away to the Faroe Islands who are bottom with no points.

Poland extend Group G lead after fourth clean sheet

Poland thrashed Israel 4-0 at home on Monday, strengthening their lead in Euro 2020 qualifying Group G thanks to a fourth consecutive win without conceding a goal.

Krzysztof Piatek opened the scoring in the 35th minute after a cross from Tomasz Kedziora.

The hosts dominated the second half as they scored three more goals. Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski converted a penalty in the 56th minute after Sheran Yeini touched the ball with his arm.

Kamil Grosicki made it 3-0 two minutes later after latching onto Piotr Zielinski's pass. Damian Kadzior scored his first international goal to complete the rout in the 84th minute.

Poland are on 12 points, five ahead of second-placed Israel. Third placed Austria are on six points.

The Austrians beat North Macedonia 4-1 for their second win of the qualifying campaign.

North Macedonia grabbed the lead after Austria's Martin Hinteregger scored an own goal. But a brace from Marko Arnautovic, a strike from Valentino Lazaro and an own goal from Egzon Bejtulai completed the 4-1 win for Austria.

Slovenia are fourth on five points after defeating Latvia 5-0 with Domen Crnigoj and Josip Ilicic both scoring twice and Miha Zajc sealing the result.

Poland honours national soccer player murdered in Holocaust

Jozef Klotz, a Polish Jewish soccer player who scored the national team's first ever goal in an international match but was later murdered by the Nazis, was honoured by Poland's football association on Monday.

The commemoration took place hours before Poland's Euro 2020 qualifier match against Israel in Warsaw.

In May 1922, Klotz, born in Krakow, southern Poland, put away a penalty kick in the 27th minute of the team's third international match, against Sweden in Stockholm. Poland went on to win the game 2-1.

Polish-Israeli relations have deteriorated in recent months over accusations that Warsaw's nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) government has failed to counter anti-Semitic incidents forcefully enough.

On Monday the player's nephew, Yoav Dekel, received a jersey bearing Klotz's name and number, signed by all the current members of the Polish national team, as well as a photo book showing the history of the national team from 1921 to 2018.

"This is a great opportunity for us to remember that Poland has always been a country of many cultures, many religions, of great tolerance, in which Jozef Klotz, coming from the chosen people, played for Poland's national team and scored the first goal," Janusz Basalaj, a director of Poland's football association, told Reuters.

"I think that soccer should bring people, religions, groups and of course Jews and Poles, closer together, since Jewish culture was very widespread in Poland before the Holocaust... we hope Jozef's story and the game tonight will make this happen," said Dekel, who attended the event with his son Ethan.

Klotz was murdered in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1941.

Ahead of Monday's Euro 2020 qualifier, Poland leads Group G with three wins in three games, putting it two points ahead of Israel.

Czechs beat Montenegro 3-0 for second straight win

Montenegro's Igor Vujacic is shown a yellow card by referee Vladislav Bezborodov, awarding Czech Republic a penalty during their Group A match at Andruv Stadion in Olomouc, Czech Republic, on Monday

IMAGE: Montenegro's Igor Vujacic is shown a yellow card by referee Vladislav Bezborodov, awarding Czech Republic a penalty during their Group A match at Andruv Stadion in Olomouc, Czech Republic, on Monday. Photograph: David W Cerny/Reuters

Czech Republic eased to a 3-0 win over Montenegro helped by an own goal and a penalty in the second half on Monday as they claimed a second consecutive win in Euro 2020 qualifying.

The victory moved the Czechs level on six points with Group A leaders England, who beat them 5-0 at Wembley in their opening match and have a game in hand having played only twice.

Kosovo are third with five points after claiming their first ever win in a qualifier as they fought back to beat Bulgaria 3-2 thanks to an added time goal by substitute Elba Rashani.

The Czechs opened the scoring against Montenegro in the 18th minute when Jakub Jankto slammed a left-foot volley into the net from a tight angle after Pavel Kaderabek sent over a deep cross.

Their lead was doubled just after the break when Boris Kopitovic deflected Patrik Schick's cross into his own goal after the forward had rounded a defender.

Schick got the third with a penalty in the 82nd which he smashed home after being sent sprawling in the area.

Montenegro -- who fired Serbian coach Ljubisa Tumbakovic on Saturday after he pulled out of Friday's qualifier against Kosovo which they drew 1-1 -- have two points.

Own goal helps Ireland edge Gibraltar 2-0

Republic of Ireland's Robbie Brady scores their second goal against Gibraltar during their Group D match at Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Monday

IMAGE: Republic of Ireland's Robbie Brady scores their second goal against Gibraltar during their Group D match at Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Monday. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Ireland had an own goal by Joseph Chipolina and an injury-time header by substitute Robbie Brady to thank for a 2-0 win over Gibraltar in their Euro 2020 Group D qualifier on Monday.

The Irish came into the game unbeaten at the top of the group following a 1-1 draw away to Denmark on Friday and, though they dominated possession throughout the match, they had a hard time hitting the target at the Aviva Stadium.

Striker David McGoldrick caused the visiting defence all sorts of problems and it was his 27th minute shot that Chipolina deflected into his own net to give Ireland the lead.

The home side created plenty of chances, with McGoldrick coming closest to doubling their advantage with a shot that hit the post before Brady stooped to head home in stoppage time.

Denmark had no such problems in Copenhagen, with Kasper Dolberg netting either side of a Christian Eriksen penalty and Yussuf Poulsen and substitute Martin Braithwaite also getting on the scoresheet in a resounding 5-1 win over Georgia.

Ireland have 10 points after four games with Denmark second on five from three. Switzerland, who finished fourth at the weekend's Nations League finals, are third on four points after two games with Georgia on three and Gibraltar bottom with none.

Serbia bounce back as Ukraine edge Luxembourg

Serbia got their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign back on track with a 4-1 home win over Lithuania while Ukraine tightened their grip on the top spot in Group B with a 1-0 victory at home to Luxembourg on Monday.

Ukraine are in pole position with 10 points from four games, followed by Luxembourg who have four points from as many matches. Third-placed Serbia are on four points from three games and trail Luxembourg on goal difference.

European champions Portugal, who won the Nations League on Sunday with a 1-0 win over Netherlands, have two points from two games and Lithuania prop the group with one from three.

Having suffered a 5-0 drubbing in Ukraine on Friday, Serbia celebrated their first win of the campaign behind closed doors as they served a one-match crowd ban for fan misbehaviour in their Nations League match against Montenegro in November.

Two clinical goals by Aleksandar Mitrovic and a superb strike by Real Madrid's new signing Luka Jovic gave Serbia a 3-0 first-half lead and Adem Ljajic sealed the rout after Arvydas Novikovas had netted a 71st-minute penalty for Lithuania.

Ukraine were made to work hard for their win against Luxembourg and endured several scary moments after striker Roman Yaremchuk scored the game's solitary goal with a sixth-minute header from Ruslan Malinovskyi's cross.

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