Spain 7-0 Malta: Cazorla strikes in Cadiz cruise

By Sports Desk November 15, 2019

Santi Cazorla scored his first Spain goal for four years as two debutants also got on the scoresheet in a 7-0 thrashing of Malta in Euro 2020 qualifying on Friday.

The Villarreal veteran struck 41 minutes in after Alvaro Morata had put Robert Moreno's men ahead, before the floodgates opened in the second half at Estadio Ramon de Carranza.

Moreno made seven changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Sweden last time out and handed debuts to Pau Torres and Dani Olmo in the second half, each of whom repaid him with a goal.

A fine strike from Pablo Sarabia, a simple finish for the impressive Gerard Moreno and a late Jesus Navas effort secured a resounding victory in Cadiz for a Spain side who were already assured of their place at next year's finals.

Morata scored his seventh goal in as many games for club and country with 23 minutes gone, bundling a finish beyond goalkeeper Henry Bonello after Gerard Moreno turned a loose ball goalwards.

It was Morata who prevented Spain doubling their lead 27 minutes in, the striker judged to be interfering with play from an offside position when Moreno blasted home the rebound after a brilliant Bonello save denied Sergio Ramos.

Moreno somehow failed to turn Sarabia's cross into an unguarded net, but the second goal did come - and in some style - four minutes before the break. Cazorla gathered Moreno's first-time pass and slotted the ball in off the left-hand post for his first international goal since 2015.

Cazorla went off to a standing ovation eight minutes after the restart as Spain set about securing the result, with only a brilliant clearance off the line from Jonathan Caruana denying Sarabia.

Spain ended the match as a contest with two goals in the space of a minute, Torres chesting the ball in from Paco Alcacer's flick-on from a corner before Sarabia arrowed a left-footed finish into the top-right corner from Moreno's lay-off.

Olmo became the second debutant to get on the scoresheet, rounding the goalkeeper before slotting home after the Malta defence was split by Thiago's pass, and Moreno at last got his goal when he tapped in Juan Bernat's cut-back.

Navas capped a fine outing for Spain with the goal of the game five minutes from time, sending a dipping strike over the stranded Bonello from 25 yards out.

 

What does it mean? Spain's old guard give Moreno food for thought

Raul Albiol, Navas and Cazorla might have a combined age of 101, but they started this game entirely on merit given their club form.

While this was as routine as qualifying matches get, none of the three looked out of place and could all hope to be part of the final squad for next year's tournament.

Marvellous Moreno makes amends for miss

He will likely never know quite how he missed his first-half chance, but Moreno made up for it with three assists and a second-half tap-in in a lively performance down the Spain right.

Bonello bamboozled

His defence did not exactly help him in the second half, but neither did Bonello cover himself in glory, particularly with his positioning for Navas' goal.

What's next?

Spain conclude Euro 2020 qualifying against Romania in Madrid on Monday, when Malta host Norway.

Related items

  • JFF expresses regret over killing of Irvino English JFF expresses regret over killing of Irvino English

    The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), the Kingston and St. Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) have released statements of condolence in the wake of the tragic death of former national football player Irvino English.

  • Inter 2-1 Ludogorets (4-1 agg): Conte's men get job done at empty San Siro Inter 2-1 Ludogorets (4-1 agg): Conte's men get job done at empty San Siro

    Inter recovered from a goal down to beat Ludogorets 2-1 at an empty San Siro and seal a 4-1 aggregate victory in Thursday's Europa League last-32 tie.

    Antonio Conte's men took a two-goal lead into the second leg, which was played behind closed doors due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak in Italy.

    Cauly profited from some sloppy defending to halve the deficit with 26 minutes played, but Cristiano Biraghi squeezed in a deflected effort from an angle after being played in by Eriksen to level things up on the night.

    Romelu Lukaku edged the Italian club ahead with a strange goal just before half-time and competition favourites Inter saw things through to book a place in Friday's last-16 draw.

    Lukaku, who had also scored a late penalty in last week's first leg after Christian Eriksen's opener, failed to beat Plamen Iliev from a one-on-one five minutes into this return match. 

    Bulgarian champions Ludogorets gave themselves some hope when Cauly held off Diego Godin and fired past Daniele Padelli at his neat post via the underside of the crossbar.

    But Inter restored their two-goal aggregate margin 188 seconds later as Biraghi's drilled effort from the left went in via a deflection off visiting defender Georgi Terziev.

    Lukaku then atoned for his earlier miss by scoring a bizarre fourth goal of the tie for Inter, with the ball ricocheting off his body while on the floor after his initial header was saved.

    Alexis Sanchez played a big part in that goal and struck the frame of the goal with a 25-yard drive early in the second half.

    Lukaku was also denied by a mixture of Iliev and the post five minutes later but, a near-miss from substitute Mavis Tchibota aside, Inter had little trouble in seeing out a second victory on the bounce ahead of Sunday's trip to Juventus.

     

    What does it mean? Inter regain some momentum

    Successive wins against Ludogorets, either side of Sunday's postponed league clash with Sampdoria, has given Inter some much-needed momentum after back-to-back losses.

    This weekend's trip to Juventus has officially been given the go ahead and Conte's men know that defeat in Turin could kill off their Scudetto title hopes, making it a truly huge game.

    Lukaku's fine form continues

    Lukaku's goal may have been fortunate, but he linked up well with Sanchez in the build-up and now has 23 for the season in all competitions.

    The Belgium international joins Samuel Eto'o as the only Inter players to have scored at least two goals in four different competitions in a single season, excluding qualifiers.

    Calamity defending for Ludogorets' opener

    Godin claimed he was shoved off the ball by Cauly for the visitors' goal, but the VAR officials agreed with the referee's assessment and let it stand.

    Not only was the veteran centre-back caught out, captain Andrea Ranocchia also failed to close down the Ludogorets goal-scorer and Padelli was easily beaten at his near post.

    What's next?

    Inter travel to Serie A leaders Juventus on Sunday in another behind-closed-doors match, while Ludogorets head to Arda the same day as they close in on a ninth successive Bulgarian First League title.

  • FIFA confirms new loan restrictions from July FIFA confirms new loan restrictions from July

    FIFA has announced its proposed restrictions on international loan transfers will come into effect in July 2020, pending approval from the FIFA Council.

    The Football Stakeholders Committee has endorsed the introduction of international loan limits for players aged 22 and over.

    Clubs will be allowed a maximum of eight in and out from 2020-21, with that figure decreasing to six in 2022-23, with no more than three in and three out between the same clubs.

    FIFA said the regulations would "ensure that [loan transfers] have a valid sporting purpose for youth development".

    With the new rules for international deals set to be introduced in July, member associations have three years to set regulations for domestic loans.

    These domestic laws would have to be "in line with the principles established at international level".

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.