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Spain keep 100% record intact despite late Romania charge

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 3,027

Pin Ramos and Alcacer gave Spain their fifth win of the qualifying campaign. EFE
Ramos and Alcacer gave Spain their fifth win of the qualifying campaign. EFE

Spain keep 100% record intact despite late Romania charge

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 3,027

Goals from Sergio Ramos and Paco Alcacer gave Spain a deserved 1-2 win over Romania in a Euro 2020 qualifier from the Arena Nationala from Bucharest. Florin Andone scored for the hosts who were denied a late equaliser by Kepa. Spain finished the game with 10 men as Diego Llorente was inexplicably dismissed by Deniz Aytekin.

Spain picked up their fifth win of the qualifying campaign after defeating Romania 1-2, but they were forced to hold on in the last 10 minutes with 10 men after being comfortable for the entire game

The away side dominated proceedings and Alcacer saw his effort saved just seconds into the game after a defensive error. Tatarusanu was in fine form in the Romania goal and he made his first major intervention in the sixth minute to deflect Alcacer's shot across him wide of the post before Ramos saw his header from Fabian's corner tipped over the bar five minutes later. Spain were bombarding the home goal and Tatarusanu made another great stop in the 13th minute from Alba's volley after Navas went down this near flank.

Romania just had half chances through Chiriches and Stanciu, but they could not hit the target and in the 27th minute, Spain took the lead. Ceballos was stepped on by Deac and even though he did not fall, German ref Deniz Aytekin gave a spot kick. Ramos sent the keeper the wrong way for the spot, but he was inexplicably booked by the referee for making the glasses gesture towards the camera, a message which was for his nephew. 

A couple of challenges started flying in and Ramos was being booed by the home crowd while Spain had two more opportunities to double their lead before the break. 10 minutes before the interval, Saul started a move which saw Rodrigo's shot saved by the Lyon keeper before the Romanian goalie pulled off another miraculous stop two minutes later. Rodrigo's cross found Alcacer and a spectacular stop from point blank range prevented it from being 0-2 

There was a moment of controversy in the first half as Sergio Busquets was elbowed in the mouth by George Puscas and he was lucky to avoid at least a yellow card for it. As the half-time whistle sounded, both Ramos and Busquets confronted the official and Robert Moreno's men should have really been four or five goals in front. 

Spain did not need long though to double their lead. Two minutes after the restart, a long spell of possession ended when Ceballos picked out Alba and he just had to square for Alcacer to tap in. Fabian then a chance for 0-3 in the 54th minute seconds before Florin Andone was brought on. His introduction made a difference and while Spain were cruising, he struck just before the hour mark

Benzar's cross was headed back across goal by Puscas and Andone headed home from six yards. The Galatasaray man then had to protect Ramos after a fan tried to confront the Spaniard in an unsavoury incident. The goal sparked Romania into life and they started to put some pressure on Spain. In fact, Puscas could have levelled six minutes later, but he could not find the target with his header. Busquets and Alcacer responded for Spain and Pablo Sarabia came on 13 minutes from time for his debut, but major controversy soon followed

In the 79th minute, Diego Llorente was adjudged to have brought down the Romania attacker as he was bearing down on goal and was given a straight red by Aytekin. Replays showed he clearly won the ball and at first, the ref looked to have given a penalty, but it was just outside the box. That gave the home side another lift and they nearly levelled in stoppage time. First Hagi played a free-kick to Puscas whose strike was stopped by Kepa and then from the resulting corner, Puscas' header was going in until Kepa saved with his leg and the rebound was then smacked over. 

The full time whistle sounded much to the relief of the Spanish players as had there been another five minutes, it could well have ended in a draw. Spain played excellently and fully deserved the victory. They now pull clear at the top of Group F with 15 points, five ahead of second placed Sweden while Romania drop to fourth and remain on seven points. 

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