Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 May 2020

Euro 2020 qualifiers: Sergio Ramos would 'happily trade' record Spain cap for victory after Norway snatch draw

Joshua King's injury-time penalty in Oslo cancels out Saul Niguez's opener

Sergio Ramos said he would have happily swapped his record 168th international cap for a victory over Norway on Saturday after Spain were held to a 1-1 draw following Joshua King's injury-time penalty in Oslo.

Spain top Euro 2020 qualifying Group F with 19 points after seven games, Sweden are second on 14 after thrashing Malta 4-0 away and Romania are third on 13, having beaten the Faroe Islands 3-0 earlier on Saturday. Norway have 10 points.

Saul Niguez had given Robert Moreno's side the lead with a strike from outside the area early in the second half but goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga gave away a penalty late in the game by clattering into captain Omar Elabdellaoui.

King, who had missed a clear chance to level a few moments earlier as the hosts piled on the pressure, sent Kepa the wrong way to level the game and give his side a fighting chance of qualifying.

Ramos made history by overtaking Iker Casillas to become Spain's most-capped player of all time with 168 appearances but picked up a yellow card which means he is suspended from Tuesday's game away to Sweden.

"All that is personal is a little secondary," Ramos said after the game. "I would have happily traded this 168th cap for a victory. It was not the case. But this record is a great reward after so many years and it's a great source of huge pride.

"I am emotional every time I put on this shirt. That will not change and I hope to continue doing so for many years.

"It's a real shame we couldn't win the game but it's very difficult to play against a team that knew they were almost out of contention if they lost.

"They played to their strengths in the final stages, putting their biggest players in the area."

Sweden went ahead in the 11th minute in their game in Malta thanks to a deft volley from defender Marcus Danielson, who was making his international debut at the age of 30.

Sebastian Larsson scored their second from the penalty spot in the 58th minute, his first goal in more than seven years for the national side.

Andrei Agius then turned Robin Quaison's ball into his own net to make it 3-0, and Quaison was pulled down for a second penalty that Larsson again slotted home to round out the scoring in a one-sided encounter.

Romania were in danger of being held to an embarrassing draw against the Faroe Islands, who had lost all of their previous six games, as they missed a flurry of chances despite dominating the play.

They finally got off the mark when George Puscas scored in the 74th minute and sealed victory with further goals from Alexandru Mitrita and Claudiu Keseru.

Updated: October 13, 2019 10:30 AM



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