Tuesday 5/18/21

Finland breaks the hex and enters football history

Pukki and Tuominen take the Finnish team to their first European Championship after beating poor Liechtenstein 3-0.

football Pukki-and-Malin-vie-for-possession-by-UEFAcom
Pukki and Malin vie for possession. Photo: UEFA.com

Finland finally got it. The team trained by Markku Kanerva beat Liechtenstein 3-0 and secured their place for Euro 2020.

Finland and Liechtenstein played a pityful, schoolyard game, marked by disorder on both teams for despair of good football fans. But paradoxically, Finnish fans will remember this match forever as the one in which they made their dream of playing a great competition true.

From start to finish, the game had a clear dominator: Finland. Finns began playing more with their hearts than with their heads, sometimes too quickly, permanently looking for vertical passes, with signs of despair in their search for the goal. But they were clearly superior to their opponents from the minuscule Alpine principality.

Liechtenstein simply confined itself in its field and cleared the balls. Without any hint of aggressiveness, sometimes even playing with eight defenders, giving away the ball to the opponent in each rejection or throw-in.

And the first goal came

The situation changed after the first goal, scored in the minute 20' by Tuominen on a pass from Pukki, with a slip from the rival goalkeeper in the meantime.

From that moment, both teams opened their lines and Liechtenstein even dared to launch a shy counterattack on the edge of the half hour and a loose shot on goal in the minute 32'.

Before the break, Finland still had three more scoring chances for Pukki, Tuominen and Lod.

Pukki scored a penalty

The second half was a repetition of the same script: Finland sought the goal of tranquility, while Liechtenstein played to resist, waiting for the illusion of an occasion to score on a counterattack.

Tuominen had an opportunity to score the second goal for Finland in the minute 46', Lod in the minute 55' and again Tuominen in the minute 61'. But it was Pukki who got the job done in the minute 62' by scoring a penalty committed on Pyry Soiri.

After that moment, Liectenstein disappeared from the game. It was only a matter of time that Finland scored the third. Teemu Pukki did it in the minute 74', after receiving a pass in front of the goal, with the goalkeeper on the ground and a defender situated under the three sticks.

Finland achieved it and will be in the Euro 2020. For history it is that they succeeded. Too bad the rival was so poor.