Braces from Rodrigo Moreno and Paco Alcacer pushed Spain to a comfortable 4-0 win over the Faroe Islands in Euro 2020 qualifying group F on Sunday night at El Molinon in Gijon.
The victory maintains Spain’s perfect record in the group and keeps them in firm control to qualify for Euro 2020. For the most part, La Roja had difficulty breaking down a deep-sitting Faroe Islands defense, but the goals from Rodrigo and then Alcacer’s late two-goal spree proved plenty for the three points.
Spain boss Robert Moreno made a whopping nine changes from the team that squeezed past Romania last Thursday, with center-back Sergio Ramos and forward Rodrigo the only holdovers.
Otherwise, it was a completely new team, including David de Gea in goal, Thiago in midfield and Mikel Oyarzabal and Suso joining the attack.
To no one’s surprise, Spain started the stronger of the two and it was 1-0 soon enough when Oyarzabal fed Rodrigo, who had the easiest of sweeps into the net. La Roja continued pelting the Faroe Islands goal with shots, including a beautifully-hit volley from Thiago, only for visiting goalkeeper Nielsen to make a diving save.
That was followed by another near-miss, this time for Rodrigo as he could not steer his header toward goal after a nicely floated in the pass from Thiago.
Overall, it was an underwhelming first 45 minutes from Spain, but they came out much sharper to start the second stanza. Rodrigo struck for his second of the night just minutes after the re-start when he collected a long ball, moved to his left and unleashed a shot that deflected off a Faroe Islands defender and in for a 2-0 lead.
With anywhere between eight to nine Faroe Islands players in the box, it was difficult for Spain to break down the visitors, so Alcacer was summoned off the bench for Oyarzabal to add more of a cutting edge, as was Pablo Sarabia for Suso.
But the Faroe Islands stood firm and even had an excellent crack at goal when Ramos was dispossessed and Joannes Bjartalid was in on goal, however, De Gea came up with the big save to keep it a two-goal lead.
Spain was left to probe from distance and did not have much luck, with Nielsen able to smother any and all attempts.
While not the most convincing of performances, things did end on a high with Alcacer scoring a pair of goals in the final minutes. The first came on a nifty redirect into the net off a Thiago cross from the left and then the Borussia Dortmund man turned in a near-post header to polish off the 4-0 scoreline.
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