Spain in charge; Czechs notch second win; Poland extend lead
Spain made it four wins out of four and took control of their Euro 2020 qualifying group by beating closest rivals Sweden 3-0 on Monday after overpowering the visitors in the second half with two penalties and a late strike from Mikel Oyarzabal.
Captain Sergio Ramos scored for the seventh time in eight internationals to give his side the lead with a penalty in the 64th minute and Alvaro Morata also converted from the spot to double the home side's advantage in the 85th.
Substitute Oyarzabal completed the victory at Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium two minutes later after coming off the bench to make his competitive debut, curling the ball into the bottom corner from just inside the area.
The win took Spain to 12 points at the top of Group F after four games. Sweden are second, level on seven points with third-placed Romania, who thrashed Malta 4-0 away.
Spain thought they had taken the lead in the first half when striker Rodrigo converted a cross by Valencia team mate Dani Parejo from close range but the goal was wrongly ruled out for offside as video technology is not used in the qualifiers.
Spain coach Luis Enrique was absent for the third game in a row for personal reasons but they always looked in control without truly sparkling until Oyarzabal's moment of brilliance.
The hosts continued to wear the dogged Swedes down and they got their breakthrough when visiting defender Sebastian Larsson's outstretched arm blocked the ball and Ramos calmly deceived keeper Robin Olsen to convert from the spot.
Sweden barely managed to trouble Spain goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who kept his place again at the expense of David de Gea, and the visitors conceded another penalty when substitute Morata was tripped by Filip Helander.
Ramos passed up the opportunity to score again and offered the ball to Morata, who also made no mistake from the spot, although Real Sociedad forward Oyarzabal got the biggest cheer of the evening for his impressive strike.
"We struggled a bit at first but in the second half we tried to break them down more and we've taken another step towards the Euros," said goalscorer Ramos, who dedicated the win and Friday's 4-1 victory over the Faroe Islands to Luis Enrique.
"This is an abnormal situation but at least we've managed to give a win to our coach. It was very important to get these six points and hopefully after the holidays everything will return to normal and we can all restart this journey again together."
Romania took charge against Malta with an early double from George Puscas and a 34th minute goal from Alexandru Chipciu, who was sent off late in the game before Dennis Man completed the rout in stoppage time to leave the Maltese on three points.
Fourth-placed Norway have five points following a 2-0 win away to the Faroe Islands who are bottom with no points.
Chechs beat Montenegro 3-0 for second straight win
Czech Republic eased to a 3-0 win over Montenegro helped by an own goal and a penalty in the second half on Monday as they claimed a second consecutive win in Euro 2020 qualifying.
The victory moved the Czechs level on six points with Group A leaders England, who beat them 5-0 at Wembley in their opening match and have a game in hand having played only twice.
Kosovo are third with five points after claiming their first ever win in a qualifier as they fought back to beat Bulgaria 3-2 thanks to an added time goal by substitute Elba Rashani.
The Czechs opened the scoring against Montenegro in the 18th minute when Jakub Jankto slammed a left-foot volley into the net from a tight angle after Pavel Kaderabek sent over a deep cross.
Their lead was doubled just after the break when Boris Kopitovic deflected Patrik Schick's cross into his own goal after the forward had rounded a defender.
Schick got the third with a penalty in the 82nd which he smashed home after being sent sprawling in the area.
Montenegro -- who fired Serbian coach Ljubisa Tumbakovic on Saturday after he pulled out of Friday's qualifier against Kosovo which they drew 1-1 -- have two points.
Poland thrash Israel to extend lead
Poland thrashed Israel 4-0 at home on Monday, strengthening their lead in Euro 2020 qualifying Group G thanks to a fourth consecutive win without conceding a goal.
Krzysztof Piatek opened the scoring in the 35th minute after a cross from Tomasz Kedziora.
The hosts dominated the second half as they scored three more goals. Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski converted a penalty in the 56th minute after Sheran Yeini touched the ball with his arm.
Kamil Grosicki made it 3-0 two minutes later after latching onto Piotr Zielinski's pass. Damian Kadzior scored his first international goal to complete the rout in the 84th minute.
Poland are on 12 points, five ahead of second-placed Israel. Third placed Austria are on six points.
The Austrians beat North Macedonia 4-1 for their second win of the qualifying campaign.
North Macedonia grabbed the lead after Austria's Martin Hinteregger scored an own goal. But a brace from Marko Arnautovic, a strike from Valentino Lazaro and an own goal from Egzon Bejtulai completed the 4-1 win for Austria.
Slovenia are fourth on five points after defeating Latvia 5-0 with Domen Crnigoj and Josip Ilicic both scoring twice and Miha Zajc sealing the result.