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Euro 2020: Finland qualify for first major finals

Euro 2020
Finland’s forward Teemu Pukki (R) celebrates scoring during the UEFA Euro 2020 Group J qualification football match between Finland and Liechtenstein in Helsinki, Finland, on November 15, 2019.  AFP)

Finland qualified for their first major tournament finals as they beat Liechtenstein 3-0 on Friday to guarantee a place at Euro 2020.

Norwich City forward Teemu Pukki scored twice in Helsinki and Jasse Tuominen also netted to bring the home crowd pouring onto the pitch at the final whistle as Finland secured second place behind Group J winners Italy.

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Armenia’s 1-0 defeat at home to Greece was immaterial as Finland made their finals berth safe with 18 points, seven ahead of the Greeks with a game left to play.

Pukki’s goalscoring form in the Premier League has dried up but he was sharp from the first whistle in the Finnish capital.

Euro 2020
Finnish players celebrate a goal during the UEFA Euro 2020 Group J qualification football match between Finland and Liechtenstein in Helsinki, Finland, on November 15, 2019. AFP)

When his surge for goal was stopped by a Liechtenstein challenge the ball fell into the path of Tuominen who slid home in the 21st minute to open the scoring.


Liechtenstein held firm until half-time but in the 64th minute Pyry Soiri was felled by Livio Meier and Pukki calmly sent goalkeeper Benjamin Buechel the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Pukki got his second goal after rounding the ‘keeper only to see his shot stopped on the line, but he reacted quickest to lash in the rebound.

VANGUARD

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