Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 June 2019

Euro 2020: Fabio Quagliarella makes history in Italy rout, Alvaro Morata on target for Spain, Denmark claim remarkable draw

Sampdoria striker becomes Italy's oldest goalscorer in 6-0 win, while Denmark fought back from 3-0 down to draw against Switzerland

Fabio Quagliarella scored two first-half penalties in Italy's win over Liechtenstein. AFP
Fabio Quagliarella scored two first-half penalties in Italy's win over Liechtenstein. AFP

Fabio Quagliarella became Italy's oldest goalscorer as his double helped Roberto Mancini's rejuvenated side thrash 10-man Liechtenstein 6-0 in their second Euro 2020 qualifier on Tuesday.

Quagliarella, 36, netted two first-half penalties, while 19-year-old Moise Kean scored his second goal in his third appearance. Stefano Sensi, Marco Verratti and Leonardo Pavoletti also found the net.

Liechtenstein were reduced to 10 men on the stroke of halftime when Daniel Kaufmann was sent off for a handball on his goalline.

Italy, who have a maximum six points in Group J after a 2-0 win against Finland on Saturday, controlled the midfield through Verratti while Quagliarella set an example with his aggression.

The Azzurri, who are rebuilding under Mancini after missing out on the 2018 World Cup, broke the deadlock after 17 minutes as the 23-year-old Sensi's header from Leonardo Spinazzola's cross from the left found the roof of the net.

Verratti doubled the tally with a fine curled shot into the far side of the goal on 32 minutes.

Quagliarella scored his first goal from the penalty spot after a Nicolas Hasler handball, and his second after Kaufmann also used his arm and was shown a straight red card.

Christian Panucci was Italy's previous oldest goalscorer at 35 years 62 days.

Kean, who had endured a frustrating first half, headed home the fifth on 70 minutes with second-half substitute Pavoletti adding the sixth on his international debut, tapping in after Benjamin Buechel had parried the 30-year-old's header into his path.

Italy next travel to Greece on June 8.

Morata double leads Spain past Malta

Alvaro Morata scored both goals for Spain against Malta. Reuters
Alvaro Morata scored both goals for Spain against Malta. Reuters

Spain beat a highly defensive Malta side 2-0 away from home with a goal in each half from Alvaro Morata to move top of their Euro 2020 qualifying group as Luis Enrique's side made it two wins out of two games.

Malta were happy to sit back on the edge of their area and defend for most of the game, but the visitors found a way through in the 31st minute when Morata latched onto a long ball and sent his shot squirming under goalkeeper Henry Bonello.

The Atletico Madrid striker then drifted free of his marker to comfortably nod in a perfectly-weighted cross from Jesus Navas in the 73rd, sealing Spain's second consecutive victory after seeing off visiting Norway 2-1 in their last outing.

Luis Enrique made eight changes to his starting lineup and whilst his side struggled to play free-flowing football, they never looked like conceding against a Malta side who showed little ambition in attack, only mustering two shots on goal.

After two games Spain lead Group F with six points, while Sweden are second on four after drawing 3-3 away to Norway, who have one point. Malta are level on three points with third-placed Romania, while the pointless Faroe islands are bottom.

Denmark claim remarkable comeback draw

Henrik Dalsgaard, centre, scored to seal a 3-3 draw for Denmark. Reuters
Henrik Dalsgaard, centre, scored to seal a 3-3 draw for Denmark. Reuters

Denmark’s Henrik Dalsgaard scored a 93rd-minute equaliser to complete an incredible comeback from three goals down to draw 3-3 away against Switzerland on Tuesday in a pulsating Euro 2020 qualifier in Basel.

Switzerland were on the verge of making it two wins out of two at the start of their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign but Dalsgaard outjumped goalkeeper Yann Sommer to head home and earn Denmark an astonishing and unlikely point.

The home team broke the deadlock in the 19th minute when Remo Freuler beat Denmark keeper Kasper Schmeichel with a cool finish for his first international goal.

Swiss captain Granit Xhaka hammered home a 20-metre shot in the 66th minute and Breel Embolo made it 3-0 from close range after Manuel Akanji jumped highest to head across goal.

Yet Denmark came back from the dead in the dying moments of the match with goals by Mathias Jorgensen, substitute Christian Gytkjaer and Dalsgaard in less than 10 minutes.

In the other game in Group D, Ireland produced a dominant display to beat Georgia 1-0 after Conor Hourihane gave keeper Giorgi Loria no chance with a brilliant free kick in Mick McCarthy's first home game since he returned for his second spell as Ireland coach.

Ireland, who battled to a 1-0 win away to rank outsiders Gibraltar in blustery conditions in their opening match on Saturday, lead the way with six points from two games. Switzerland, who beat Georgia 2-0 in Tbilisi in their opener, are second with four points.

Switzerland visit Ireland on Sept. 5 in their next match in the group while Ireland are away to Denmark on June 7.

Updated: March 27, 2019 11:38 AM

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