BARCELONA: Sergio Ramos equaled the record for the most appearances for Spain as his team continued its march toward qualifying for the 2020 European Championship by beating Faroe Islands 4-0 on Sunday.
The 33-year-old Ramos matched goalkeeper Iker Casillas’ milestone with his 167th game for La Roja. The Real Madrid defender, who received a standing ovation at Gijón’s El Molinón stadium when substituted late in the game, will establish a new mark if he plays against Norway on October 12.
“To equal the best goalkeeper in the history of football was a very important goal for me,” Ramos said. “It was complicated, but I had the good fortune to debut very young and to stay in favor of all the coaches I have had, and be blessed with not suffering injuries.
“I hope I can defend these colors for many more years.”
Ramos has a record of 125 wins, 22 draws and 20 losses with Spain since his debut in 2005. He has helped Spain win a World Cup and two European Championships.
Italy joined Spain in also winning its sixth match in as many qualifiers for next summer’s tournament, keeping both on pace to win their respective groups.
But while Spain eased past the modest Faroe Islands, Italy struggled to win 2-1 at Finland.
Spain and Italy are ranked 1st and 4th in UEFA’s ranking of European teams, respectively. The Faroe Islands are ranked 53rd and Finland 43rd.
Spain leads Group F with 18 points, well ahead of Sweden in second place with 11.
Italy took a big step to winning Group J by taking its total to 18 points. Finland is second with 12.
Coach Robert Moreno might have wanted an even bigger win over Spain’s lowly opponent, but he must have liked seeing both of his strikers in fine form.
Rodrigo Moreno scored the first two goals before substitute Paco Alcácer added a late brace.
Alcácer is building up some superb numbers with Spain, netting 11 goals in 16 appearances. Rodrigo is also producing goals while he and Alcácer both fight for playing times with Álvaro Morata. Rodrigo and Morata have netted four goals each in six qualifiers.
“Our goal of qualifying is almost achieved,” coach Moreno said. “All my players want to play and today was a game to show that they are motivated to play for the national side. They were all locked in and focused.”
Rodrigo put Spain ahead in the 13th when he tapped into an open net after Thiago Alcantara pressured to recover the ball and knocked it to Mikel Oyarzabal, who lured in the goalkeeper before laying off to his attack partner.
Rodrigo doubled the advantage five minutes after the restart with a deflected shot when the Valencia striker received the ball and cut back across the area.
Alcacer got Spain’s third goal in the 90th — slicing in Thiago’s low pass — before he headed in a final goal.
Also in Group F, Sweden’s Emil Forsberg canceled out Stefan Johansen’s goal for Norway in a 1-1 draw, a fourth consecutive stalemate between the Scandinavian rivals.
Romania forward George Puscas headed in a goal just after halftime to beat Malta 1-0 and leave his team in third place in the group with 10 points.
HAND BALL DISPUTE
Italy needed a questionable hand ball decision to convert a penalty and eke out a win in Finland.
Sauli Väisänen appeared to have his arm across his chest when he stopped a shot from Andrea Belotti, but the referee immediately pointed to the penalty spot and Jorginho quickly converted the winner in the 79th.
Teemu Pukki had earned and scored a penalty for Finland seven minutes earlier after Ciro Immobile opened the scoring for Italy.
Bosnia and Herzegovina coach Robert Prosinecki resigned after his team lost 4-2 at Armenia, which was led by two goals from Roma midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Armenia moved ahead of Bosnia and into third place in Group J with nine points.
Bottom sides Greece and Liechtenstein drew 1-1.
Denmark missed a chance to move into the lead of Group D ahead of Ireland after being held 0-0 at Georgia.
Switzerland brushed aside Gibraltar 4-0.
Switzerland is a point behind Denmark with a game in hand.
POKHARA: After failing to deposit the loan installment in the wake of extended lockdown, transport entrepreneurs handed-over vehicle keys to bank officials in Pokhara, on Monday. As many as ninety entrepreneurs associated with Prithvi Highway Bus Association handed over the keys to officials Read More...
Kathmandu, July 7 What started as a health crisis in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic has now unfolded into a global economic and livelihood crisis. While the ubiquitous quarantines and lockdowns may have saved many lives and provided an additional benefit of environmental improvement, their e Read More...
Keane own goal gives Spurs win Mourinho secures 200th Premier League win Son and Lloris have halftime bust-up LONDON: An own goal by Michael Keane proved the difference as Tottenham Hotspur beat visitors Everton 1-0 in a dour clash on Monday to move up to eighth in the standings an Read More...
LONDON: Johnny Depp begins legal action against a British tabloid on Tuesday in a case that is likely to delve into the private lives of the Hollywood star, his ex-wife actress Amber Heard and a number of other well-known figures. Depp, the 57-year-old star of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" f Read More...
Kathmandu, July 6 China’s Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi yesterday met Madhav Kumar Nepal, a senior leader of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP), raising eyebrows as the meeting took place at a time when the internal rift within the NCP is heading towards a climax. Nepal’s former perma Read More...
BHOJPUR, JULY 6 Nepal Student Union, Bhojpur, has asked guardians not to pay any fees to schools for the lockdown period. At a time when PABSON and N-PAB- SON have asked guardians to pay fees to schools even for the lockdown period, NSU, Bhojpur, has asked guardians not to pay fees for the loc Read More...
DADELDHURA, JULY 6 As many as 175 people have died by suicide during the nationwide lockdown in Sudurpaschim Province. Police said that suicide deaths have been reported from all nine districts of the province from March 24 till date. Police said suicide deaths were more common among males com Read More...
RAUTAHAT, JULY 6 A joint survey team of Nepal and India gauged the Dasgaja area with a global positioning system which showed that the Indian side had constructed an embankment on 200 metres of encroached land in Dasgaja area. India had built a 10-metre tall embankment at Banjaraha of Ishnath Read More...