VALENCIA: Sergio Ramos scored for the fifth international in a row as Spain made a winning start to their Euro 2020 qualification campaign by defeating Norway 2-1 in Valencia in Group F.
Spain and Real Madrid’s captain scored the former European championms’ second goal with a ‘Panenka’ penalty after Rodrigo had opened the scoring. Bournemouth’s Josh King scored Norway’s equaliser from another penalty before Ramos responded with his 16th goal of the season for club and country.
Also in Group Sweden won their Group F tie 2-1 against Romania in Solna. Robin Quaison and Viktor Claesson put Sweden two up at the break and they held on despite substitute Claudiu Keseru’s reply.
Ten-man Malta beat the Faroe Islands by the same scoreline in a hard-fought encounter between the group’s two underdogs. Kyrian Nwoko put Malta ahead in the first half and Steve Borg’s penalty proved decisive.
Andrei Agius was sent off but Brandur Hendriksson missed from the spot for the Faroes, whose goal came eight minutes into stoppage time from Jakup Thomsen. Malta host Spain on Tuesday.
Group J . . .
Italy beat Finland 2-0 in their first game in Group J. Nicolo Barella gave the Azzurri an early lead in Udine, with Juventus forward Moise Kean’s first international goal securing victory.
Goals from Kostas Fortounis and Anastasios Donis gave Greece a 2-0 win over Liechtenstein, while Bosnia and Herzegovina beat Armenia 2-1.
Rade Krunic headed the opener and substitute Deni Milosevic made it 2-0 after good work by Edin Dzeko, on his 100th international appearance, and Edin Visca.
Arsenal playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan pulled one back from a stoppage-time penalty. Switzerland survived a difficult first half and overcame the absence of forwards Xherdan Shaqiri and Haris Seferovic to beat Georgia 2-0 away in their opening game. Second-half goals from Steven Zuber and Denis Zakaria ended Georgia’s unbeaten home run of eight matches