Sunday night saw another packed schedule of Euro 2020 qualifiers. The groups are now starting to take shape. Here are the details of the games that could be of big context in who qualifies for next year’s tournament:
Italy sneak win in Tampere
Italy strengthened their position at the top of Group J by recording a narrow 2-1 win over Finland in Tampere.
It took nearly an hour for the opening goal to arrive and it brought great relief to struggling Italian striker Ciro Immobile. The forward headed home well from a Federico Chiesa cross to end a ten-game run without a goal in the international game. The poor run had run a span two years.
However, Finland were back on level terms on 72 minutes. In form Norwich star Teemu Pukki won and then dispatched the spot-kick for the home side to continue his recent prolific form in front of goal.
It was the visitors who had the last word, though with just 11 minutes remaining on the clock. Nicola Barella’s shot hit the hand of Sauli Vaisanen and the referee pointed to the spot. Chelsea midfielder Jorginho stepped up and made no mistake with the spot-kick.
Italy were the favourites to top this group and the victory against their group rivals has moved them six points clear of them and nine points clear of third-place Armenia. Finland are still three points ahead of the Armenians in the race for second spot.
Armenia record vital win over Bosnia-Herzegovina
Talking of Armenia, they recorded a 4-2 home win over Bosnia-Herzegovina to at least keep in touch with second-place Finland.
It took just three minutes for the home side to take the lead, as Armenia’s record goalscorer Henrikh Mkhitaryan smashed home a powerful effort from a pass by Tigran Barseghyan.
However, the visitors didn’t take too long to equalise and were level on 13 minutes, as Edin Dzeko latched onto an Amir Gojak cross before beating his marker and firing home.
The home side regained the lead on 66 minutes, as Mkhitaryan scored his brace after a well-worked team move. Armenia were ahead for just four minutes, as Gojak equalised on 70 minutes for the visitors.
Armenia once again took the lead on 77 minutes, as Mkhitaryan found defender Hovhannes Hambardzumyan at the far post. The home side sealed the win in stoppage-time, as Bosnian defender Stjepan Loncar put a Mkhitaryan cross past his own goalkeeper. The goal came after Gojak had volleyed just wide for the visitors when well-positioned to score.
The victory was a vital one, as mentioned above it kept Armenia within touching distance of that vital second spot in the group. The defeat leaves Bosnia-Herzegovina two points behind Armenia and crucially five points behind second-place Finland in the group. Bosnia-Herzegovina boss Robert Prosinecki quit his job after the result.
Sunday night’s other results in qualifying for Euro 2020
Georgia 0-0 Denmark
Romania 1-0 Malta
Switzerland 4-0 Gibraltar
Greece 1-1 Liechtenstein
Spain 4-0 Faroe Islands
Sweden 1-1 Norway
Who produced the most impressive results in Sunday’s Euro 2020 qualifiers?