Spain and Italy step up chase of runaway Euro leaders

Spain crashed in six in Euro 2024 qual­ifying on Tuesday while Belgium were also big winners as Italy revived their campaign and Austria and Switzerland stayed on course for qualification.


Substitute Ferran Torres struck twice for Spain, while Gavi, Mikel Me­rino, Joselu and debutant Alex Baena were also on target as they beat Cyprus 6-0 in Granada.


Spain closed to six points behind runaway Group A leaders Scotland with a game in hand. The two teams meet in the next round in Seville on 12 October.


“Our objective is clear — win the rest of the games,” coach Luis De la Fuente told Spanish broadcasters TVE.


“We want to finish top of the group.”


Norway kept alive their faint chance of catching either Scotland or Spain while ending Georgia’s hopes of qualifying with a 2-1 victory in Oslo.


Erling Haaland gave Norway the lead with his seventh goal in five com­petitive matches this season and his 25th in 26 internationals. Martin Odegaard added a second before Budu Zivzivadze responded deep in added time. Davide Frattesi ensured that Italy got their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign back on track with a brace in an entertaining 2-1 win over Ukraine which moved the Azzurri second in Group C.


Inter Milan midfielder Frattesi rifled in two low finishes in the first half-an-hour at the San Siro to give Luciano Spalletti his first success on his home debut as coach of the European champions.


Italy moved level on seven points with Ukraine, who scored through captain Andriy Yarmolenko four minutes before half-time, and North Macedonia. — AFP