King ends Spain’s perfect streak
Norway striker Joshua King scored a stoppage-time penalty to snatch a 1-1 draw at home to Spain in their Euro 2020 qualifier on Saturday, ending Spain’s 100 percent record in Group F and making them wait to seal their place in next year’s tournament.
Spain top the group 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.
Spain, who would have sealed their place at Euro 2020 with victory in Norway, will clinch their spot if they earn a draw or a victory away to Sweden on Tuesday.
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.
“When you concede in the 93rd minute you can never feel good but late goals are part of football. In the last few minutes we became nervous and we took too many risks,” said Spain coach Moreno.
“I liked our attitude but I do not like that we lost control of the game and were not patient. We created enough chances to score a second goal but I wished we had defended better towards the end when they were sending high balls into the box.”
Sergio 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 the game against Sweden.
Spain midfielder Fabian Ruiz twice came close to doubling his side’s advantage before King’s last-gasp penalty, hammering the crossbar from outside the box and later hitting the post.
“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,” added Spain captain Ramos.
“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.