Sergio Ramos had two penalties saved in his 177th game for Spain – the record for most international caps by a European player – before a late goal by Gerard Moreno earned a 1-1 draw with Switzerland in the Nations League on Saturday.
Ramos had scored all of his previous 25 penalties but was thwarted when Yann Sommer guessed the right way and repelled his spot kick in the 58th minute to preserve his side’s lead.
The Spain captain, who overtook Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon’s record for the most international caps by a European player (176), won the first penalty when his header hit Ricardo Rodriguez on the back of the arm, but he failed to capitalise on the advantage.
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Switzerland had gone ahead in the 23rd minute through Remo Freuler and could have doubled their lead in the second half but Ramos came to his side’s rescue with a goal-line clearance.
Spain then earned a second penalty in the 79th minute which led to Swiss defender Nico Elvedi being sent off. However, Ramos was again outwitted by Sommer, who could not be fooled by the defender’s poorly-taken Panenka penalty and easily caught the ball.
Substitute Moreno saved Ramos’ blushes in the 89th minute, finally beating Sommer by lashing home a cross from Sergio Reguilon.
Germany lead Group A4 with nine points, while Spain are second with eight and must win Tuesday’s showdown at home to Joachim Loew’s side in order to progress to the final four. Switzerland stay in last place and can avoid relegation to the Nations League League B by beating Ukraine on Tuesday.
France handed defending Nations League champions Portugal a rare defeat, winning 1-0 in Lisbon with N’Golo Kante’s second-half strike enough to reach the competition’s final four at the expense of the holders.
Kante scored only his second France goal in the 54th minute to leave them top of League A Group 3 with 13 points from five games, three ahead of Portugal and with the better head-to-head record to give themselves an unassailable lead.
France should have been ahead by half-time but Anthony Martial missed three chances, two saved by Rui Patricio and one hitting the crossbar. Jose Fonte hit the post as Portugal pressed for an equaliser in the second half.
Timo Werner scored each side of the break to aid Germany’s comeback with a 3-1 win over Ukraine as they topped the Group A4 with a game left to play.
The Germans got off to a strong start but had to come from behind after Roman Yaremchuk scored against the run of play to give Ukraine a surprise 12th minute lead.
Leon Goretzka set up the next two goals, first launching a quick break and sending Leroy Sane through for the equaliser in the 23rd minute and then controlling a Robin Koch cross and lofting the ball for Werner to head the hosts in front 10 minutes later.
Ukraine almost equalised in the 53rd when Oleksandr Zinchenko’s deflected shot beat goalkeeper Manuel Neuer but bounced off the post.
Werner fired in his second goal of the evening in the 64th before Ukraine hit the woodwork twice more in a strong finish.
Goals from Dejan Kulusevski and Marcus Danielson snapped Sweden’s four-game losing streak in the Nations League as they beat Croatia 2-1 in Stockholm.
Needing a win to avoid relegation from Group A3, the victory keeps Sweden’s survival hopes alive as they head into their final group game against France in Paris on Wednesday, despite still being bottom of the group.
Sweden boss Janne Andersson had to watch the game from home following a positive test for COVID-19 and 20-year-old forward Kulusevski was chosen to start up front with Marcus Berg.
The decision paid off quickly as the Juventus player had a stinging shot saved and created another chance for winger Emil Forsberg. He gave his side the lead when he held off Mateo Kovacic to side-foot home his first goal for his country in the 36th minute.
Danielson made it two in first-half stoppage time, swooping in at the near post to send Sebastian Larsson’s corner flying into the net with a glancing header to cap Sweden’s best 45 minutes of the competition so far.
They continued to dominate in the second half but Croatia muscled their way back into the game and pulled a goal back when an Ivan Perisic header deflected off Danielson and into the net.
In Nations League C1, Cyprus recorded a first win of the campaign after coming from behind to pull off a shock 2-1 victory over Luxembourg, who finished with 10 men in Nicosia. Montenegro’s goalless draw in Azerbaijan, where they also had a player sent off, was enough to edge them top of the table.
Nations League D1 leaders Faroe Islands extended their unbeaten run with a 1-1 draw against Latvia in Riga. Malta came from behind to beat Andorra 3-1 and sit second on eight points, with a game against the leaders next on November 17.
Saturday’s only D2 fixture saw leaders Gibraltar held to a goalless draw in San Marino, who played most of the second half with 10 men.
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