Ramos and Morata on the spot as Spain cruises past Sweden

Tanya Simon
June 14, 2019

Spain swept Sweden aside easily at the Santiago Bernabeu, with second-half penalties from Sergio Ramos and Alvaro Morata added to by Alvaro Oyarzabal's fine strike as La Roja went five points clear in Group F. "We've taken an important step toward making it to the European Championship".

Prior to last year's World Cup in Russia, Spain were breezing through the World Cup qualifiers, recording results such as 4-1 v Israel, 3-0 v Italy and Albania respectively along with demolishing Costa Rica and Argentina in friendlies - 5-0 and 6-1 respectively.

It was the third successive match Moreno has been at the helm, as Luis Enrique responded to a family emergency in March and he has been granted leave ever since.

Victory means Spain stay top of Group F, now five points clear of second-placed Sweden, with four wins out of four.

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

At the climax of the season, De Gea was slow to react to Gylfi Sigurdsson's long-range shot in a shock 4-0 defeat by Everton.

The captain was honored for the record before the match.

"With two penalties we put the game on track, and then came Oyarzabal's goal which made us happy". Ramos handed the ball to Morata, who calmly converted from the spot.

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Oyarzabal closed the scoring with a shot from inside the area in the 87th for his first worldwide goal.

The Porto goalkeeper played in 121 victories from 167 internationals so Ramos is also now two behind Casillas' record as Spain's most-capped player.

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

For the third straight game, Luis Enrique was absent and the team was led by assistant coach Robert Moreno.

"Of course, we are in search of a fixed group, but it would not be good to have one [starting] team".

There is no timetable for the coach's return.

Spain are obvious favourites but the price has been hammered in the markets, so backing Sweden with the +2 asian handicap looks the best play here.

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