Two penalties help Spain beat Sweden

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  • Post published:June 11, 2019

Spain maintained their perfect start to Uefa Euro 2020 qualifying as two penalties helped them to secure a comfortable 3-0 victory over Sweden in Madrid.

Against an organised Swedish defence, Spain had to wait until the 64th minute to break the deadlock, with captain Sergio Ramos scoring from the spot to put his side ahead.

Spain were awarded a second penalty just over 20 minutes later, with Alvaro Morata stepping up to double the home side’s lead, before Mikel Oyarzabal secured all three points in the 87th minute.

After winning all three of their previous qualifying matches, Spain struggled to break down Sweden in the first half, despite having the majority of possession – 78% to 22.

Spain were dangerous from the start, with an early chance falling to Isco, whose strike from outside the box was saved by Roma goalkeeper Robin Olsen.

The hosts had the majority of chances in the first half – 12 in total – but the Swedish defence managed to continually thwart the home side as they threw their bodies in front of the ball.

Just before the half-time break, Ramos should have done better after finding himself with space in the box from a corner, only to fire his effort over the bar.

In the early stages of the second half, Isco met an outswinging corner with a stunning volley that whistled just over the bar.

Against the run of play, Sweden conjured a chance just after the hour to take the lead with what proved to their only shot of the match.

Forward Robin Quaison was given space in the area, but his shot lacked conviction and was easily gathered by Kepa Arrizabalaga.

It proved to be a costly miss as Spain finally took the lead in the 64th minute following a handball by Sebastian Larsson, with Ramos making no mistake from the spot after a penalty was awarded, for his seventh goal in his last eight for Spain.

The home side then put the game beyond Sweden in the 85th minute, with Morata converting from the penalty spot after being fouled in the box by Filip Helander.

Moments later, Oyarzabal – making his competitive debut – expertly curled home the third into the corner of the net to secure all three points for Spain.

With a maximum 12 points from four matches, the result means Spain are five clear of Sweden and Romania at the top of Group F.