The paths of Spain and France to victory were contrasting, however, both teams continued their winning ways in Sunday’s EURO 2020 qualifying.
[ MORE: EURO qualifying wrap ]
Spain 4-0 Faroe Islands
Who knows if it was planned, but Spain put on a lively celebration for Sergio Ramos, who equalled Iker Casillas’ international caps on Sunday night in Gijon, in their 4-0 drubbing of Faroe Islands.
Even then, the scoreline isn’t a clear reflection of Spain’s dominance over a vastly inferior visiting side, who registered less than 30 percent possession and took two shots throughout 90 minutes.
La Roja, comfortable as ever, had time to experiment and put together well-orchestrated attacks.
Rodrigo started the scoring frenzy in the 13th minute with a tap-in, before adding a second in the second half after his left-footed strike wad deflected into the back of the net.
Substituted in the 61st minute for Real Sociedad’s Mikel Oyarzabal, Paco Alcacer added his own brace over the span of three minutes to seal the night for Spain, who stay unbeaten after six qualifying matches and atop of Group F.
Finland 1-2 Italy
Italy’s victory in Finland was controversial, to the say very the least.
Norwhich City’s man of the hour, Teemu Pukki, scored a penalty in the 72nd minute, only to be nulled by Chelsea’s Jorginho, who converted one of his own, which turned out to be the Italian’s match-winning goal.
The call that led to the penalty, however, was worthy of video review.
Finland’s Sauli Väisänen, with his arm attached to his torso as he turned away, made contact with Nicolò Barella’s shot. The official, who was on the opposite of the box, instantly deemed it a penalty and showed a yellow to the defender, despite the heavy petitioning from the Finish players.
With the victory, Italy, who like Spain have yet to lose, remains ahead of second-place Finland in Group H by six points.
VAR is not used in the qualifying process, but will be implemented in the 2020 European Championship, according to UEFA.
Switzerland 4-0 Gibraltar
Georgia 0-0 Denmark
Sweden 1-1 Norway
Greece 1-1 Liechtenstein