AAP Soccer

Italy reach Euro 2020, Spain stumble

By AAP Newswire

Italy have qualified for Euro 2020 with a 2-0 win over Greece, with Jorginho and Federico Bernardeschi's goals leaving them nine points clear at the top of Group J.

Spain meanwhile lost their 100 per cent record in qualifying on Saturday, drawing 1-1 with Norway, but remain well placed to qualify from Group F.

Earlier Yurary Poulsen's late strike earned Denmark a 1-0 win over Switzerland which pulled them level on 12 points with Ireland at the top of Group D.

Jorginho's penalty gave Italy the lead after 63 minutes in Rome over Greece.

Andreas Bouchalakis blatantly blocked Lorenzo Insigne's shot with his arm and Italy moved ahead after the Chelsea midfielder slotted home from the spot.

The Azzurri dominated the ball in the first half but found few cracks in Greece's defence, Gianluigi Donnarumma pulled off a fine save to deny Dimitris Limnios at the end of the period.

After Jorginho broke the deadlock Insigne came close to adding the second but whipped a long shot wide.

Greece created openings at the other end but poor finishing hampered them before Bernadeschi drilled home the second from distance.

Italy have 21 points from seven matches, ahead of Finland (12) and Armenia (10) who drew 1-1 with Liechtenstein. Bosnia and Herzegovina are also on 10 after thrashing Finland 4-1.

Three-time Euros winners Spain were frustrated by a late Joshua King penalty in Oslo.

Captain Sergio Ramos set a record for La Roja, collecting his 168th international cap to surpass Iker Casillas' tally of 167.

The visitors nearly broke the deadlock when Jesus Navas crossed from the right but Rodrigo Moreno couldn't reach his low ball.

Norway battled their way into the match with Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Odegaard pulling the strings.

Spain took the lead immediately after the break, with Saul Niguez firing home from the edge of the box.

Norway got the equaliser they deserved when Spain Kepa Arrizabalaga clashed with Omar Elabdellaoui and conceded a penalty.

King rolled home from the spot to leave leaders Spain on 19 points from seven matches, while Norway are fourth on 10.

Sweden (14) moved ahead of Romania in second with a 4-0 win at Malta, Sebastian Larsson striking twice from the spot in the second half for the visitors.

Romania triumphed 3-0 at the Faroe Islands and are a point behind the Swedes.

Ireland missed the chance to move clear at the top of Group D as they drew 0-0 with Georgia in Tbilisi and were overtaken by Denmark.

The Danes had Leicester City keeper Kasper Schmeichel to thank, as he made several excellent saves.

Poulsen produced the winning goal after 84 minutes, running through on goal and finishing coolly to leave the Swiss four points off the pace with a game in hand.

Ireland face Switzerland on Tuesday in a crucial clash.