Two goals in the first seven minutes from Filip Hološko and Marek Hamšík helped Slovakia to record a sixth successive international win – as they defeated Finland 2-1 – to fulfill coach Ján Kozák's wish of signing off from 2014 in victoriuous style.
Hološko – back in the side after a long injury absence – opened the scoring after just 40 seconds with the shot from the edge of the area before Hamšík's point-blank header doubled the advantage. Finland fought back and halved the deficit shortly before the interval through a Tomáš Hubočan own goal, but despite looking dangerous after the restart, the visitors could not end the team's run.
Slovakia coach Ján Kozák has called up two new midfield options to his squad for the final UEFA EURO 2016 qualifier of the year with Legia Warszawa's Ondrej Duda and Patrik Hrošovský from FC Viktoria Plzeň both getting the nod. After three wins from three, the country host Malta in a friendly on Wednesday before a trip to FYR Macedonia on 15 November, but they will be without defender Norbert Gyömber after the Calcio Catania man broke his ankle but Kornel Saláta and Dunajská Streda join the squad as cover. "It is for these moments that we play football," said a delighted Duda after hearing of his selection.
Goalkeepers: Ján Mucha (PFC Krylya Sovietov Samara), Matúš Kozáčik (FC Viktoria Plzeň), Ján Novota (SK Rapid Wien)
Defenders: Peter Pekarík (Hertha BSC Berlin), Martin Škrtel (Liverpool FC), Kornel Saláta (DAC 1904 Dunajská Streda), Ján Ďurica (FC Lokomotiv Moskva), Ľubomír Michalík (FC Kairat Almaty), Tomáš Hubočan (FC Dinamo Moskva). Dušan Švento (1. FC Köln)
Midfielders: Viktor Pečovský (MŠK Žilina), Filip Kiss (Ross County FC), Juraj Kucka (Genoa CFC), Patrik Hrošovský (FC Viktoria Plzeň), Róbert Mak (PAOK FC), Stanislav Šesták (VFL Bochum 1848), Marek Hamšík (SSC Napoli), Ondrej Duda (Legia Warszawa),Vladimír Weiss (Lekhwiya SC), Miroslav Stoch (Al-Ain FC).
Forwards: Michal Ďuriš (FK Mladá Boleslav), Adam Nemec (1. FC Union Berlin), Filip Hološko (Rizespor)
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|UEFA European Football Championship||118||59||25||34|
|FIFA World Cup||159||78||36||45|