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BC-SOC--Spain-Norway

March 23, 2019
Sergio Ramos’ penalty goal ensured Spain beat Norway 2-1 to start its European Championship qualifying campaign on Saturday. The defender converted his spot kick in the “panenka” style — waiting for the goalkeeper to move before chipping the ball down the middle — at Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium.

VALENCIA, Spain (AP) — Sergio Ramos’ penalty goal ensured Spain beat Norway 2-1 to start its European Championship qualifying campaign on Saturday.

The defender converted his spot kick in the “panenka” style — waiting for the goalkeeper to move before chipping the ball down the middle — in the 71st minute at Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium.

Spain dominated the first half but only Rodrigo Moreno could convert his scoring chance in the 16th.

Norway equalized in the 65th when Joshua King netted a penalty kick after substitute Bjorn Johnsen was fouled by Inigo Martinez in the area.

But Ramos soon got his turn at the spot when Alvaro Morata poached a poor back pass by Harvard Nordtveit and was cut down in the box by goalkeeper Rune Jarstein.

Coach Luis Enrique gave Sergio Canales and Jaime Mata their debuts for Spain as late substitutes.

Also in Group F, Sweden beat Romania 2-1, while Malta defeated the Faroe Islands 2-1.

Three-time champion Spain is the favorite to win the qualifying group.

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