15 October 2019 23:48
David De Gea received treatment for an injury at half-time during Spain's 1-1 draw in Sweden before aggravating the problem and withdrawing in the second half, according to Spain boss Robert Moreno. The goalkeeper was eventually forced off after an hour at the Friends Arena in Stockholm and could now face being ruled out of Manchester United's Premier League clash with Liverpool on Sunday. De Gea hobbled out of the Euro 2020 qualifier following an innocuous-looking incident, having immediately grabbed the back of his thigh after clearing a back pass from his own player. Spain goalkeeper David De Gea leaves the pitch in Sweden (Anders Wiklund/AP) He sat on the ground in his six-yard box before making his own way off the pitch accompanied by the Spanish medical team. United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping the injury is not serious, with a crunch clash against leaders Liverpool at Old Trafford just five days away.
Asked about the injury in his post-match press conference, Moreno said: "He had pain in the abductor muscle but he received treatment at half-time and wanted to keep playing. He gave us his word, but in the end he couldn't continue." Spain were behind at the time of De Gea's departure thanks to Marcus Berg's goal 10 minutes earlier but substitute Rodrigo poked home from close range in stoppage time to seal the point that Spain needed to confirm their place at Euro 2020. After ensuring qualification for next summer's finals, Moreno said: "It is a draw but it tastes like a victory for us, and probably a defeat for Sweden. "I am happy with the team's game and with the players. It was a difficult game against a rival that eliminated great teams in the World Cup. We are very happy.
"When you become a high-level team like Spain, it is an obligation to qualify. I want to remember (former manager) Luis Enrique and his family and dedicate this qualification to them also." In June Enrique stepped down as coach of the Spanish national team after less than a year in charge to be with his terminally ill daughter. Advertising Read more Paris (AFP) Rodrigo Moreno fired Spain into Euro 2020 with a last-gasp equaliser in Sweden which while the Republic of Ireland's chances of reaching the finals are in the balance after they fell 2-0 in Switzerland. Spain became the sixth team to qualify for next summer's tournament thanks to Rodrigo, who came off the bench to score a dramatic injury-time leveller in a 1-1 draw in Stockholm, sparking wild celebrations on the touchline. Robert Moreno's side are top of Group F on 20 points after drawing their last two matches. They are five ahead of Sweden and six above Romania, who missed the chance to take second spot when Norway's Alexander Sorloth snatched a late 1-1 draw in Bucharest. However it was a far from vintage display from Spain, who started brightly but faded as the match wore on against the lively hosts, who were distraught after missing out on a famous victory right at the death. A great night was tempered slightly by the loss of goalkeeper David de Gea to injury in the second half, although that will worry his club Manchester United more ahead their meeting with Premier League leaders Liverpool this weekend. In Group D, Haris Seferovic's early strike and Shane Duffy's late own goal kept Switzerland's hopes of automatic qualification alive with a 2-0 victory over the Republic of Ireland. The win in Geneva means the Swiss are just a point behind group leaders Ireland and Denmark with two matches remaining in their campaign, compared to just the one for the Irish, who host the Danes on November 18 needing a win to guarantee qualification. "It's a cup final. Beat Denmark to reach Euro 2020. I would have taken that at the start and I'll take it now," said the Republic's coach Mick McCarthy. The Swiss, who also have the better of the head-to-head record with the Irish as the two teams drew 1-1 in September, take on group minnows Georgia and Gibraltar in their final two games. - Finland edge towards history - Finland inched closer to qualifying for their first ever European Championships after Teemu Pukki took his qualifying tally to seven in eight matches with a double that helped Finland sweep aside Armenia 3-0 in Turku. Fredrik Jensen gave the Finns a 31th minute lead. Norwich City striker Pukki then scored just after the hour and got his second two minutes from the end with a neat dinked finish. Markku Kanerva's side stay nine points behind Group J winners Italy, who maintained their 100 percent record with an eighth straight win, 5-0 against Liechtenstein. Finland need a win over rock-bottom Liechtenstein to qualify for their first major tournament after fourth-placed Bosnia & Herzegovina lost 2-1 in Greece with an 88th-minute own goal from Adnan Kovacevic. Israel kept their hopes of qualifying from Group G alive after seeing off Latvia 3-1 as Eran Zahavi scored his 11th goal of the qualifying campaign. Andi Herzog's side are level on 11 points with North Macedonia and Slovenia and five behind second-place Austria, meaning they still have a chance with two games remaining. © 2019 AFP