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Finland's a pain for champs Spain

sports Updated: Mar 24, 2013 00:36 IST
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Sergio Ramos admitted winning his 100th cap for Spain was a bittersweet experience after the world champions could only manage a 1-1 draw in their World Cup Group I qualifier to Finland on Friday.

Ramos had headed the hosts into the lead four minutes into the second-half, but they failed to kill the game off and were punished 12 minutes from time when Teemu Pukki prodded home from close range to give the Finns a sensational point.

It left Spain in second, two points behind France, with the Group I rivals meeting in Paris on Tuesday.

France beat Georgia 3-1 on Friday to take control of 2014 World Cup qualifying Group I.

England strolled to an embarrassingly one-sided 8-0 win at minnows San Marino in an ideal warm-up for Tuesday's key World Cup qualifier away to Montenegro. After an own goal by Alessandro Della Valle gave them the lead, England rammed home their advantage and scored through seven different players.

Also on Friday, Lionel Messi scored once and set up two goals as Argentina beat Venezuela 3-0 to remain in control of the South American qualifying race for the 2014 World Cup.

The Argentinian skipper was the architect of two Gonzalo Higuain strikes which came either side of an emphatic Messi penalty on the stroke of half-time at the Monumental Stadium.