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Finland find scoring touch

Published: Saturday 12 October 2002, 20.50CET
Finland 3-0 Azerbaijan
Three goals in Helsinki end the Finns' losing streak.

Match statistics

FinlandAzerbaijan

Goals scored3
 
0
Yellow cards1
 
6
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 27/06/2012 11:56 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Saturday 12 October 2002, 20.50CET

Finland find scoring touch

Finland 3-0 Azerbaijan
Three goals in Helsinki end the Finns' losing streak.

Finland scored for the first time in three successive home games to put their EURO 2004™ qualifying campaign back on track with a 3-0 win against Azerbaijan in Group 9 tonight.

Back in contention
Having been beaten at home 2-0 by Wales in their opening qualifying game, Antti Muurinen's side returned to form in Helsinki to put themselves back into contention for a place at the finals of the competition in Portugal.

Nurmela in form
Mika Nurmela was the hero at the Olympic stadium, being credited with Finland's first goal before setting up two team-mates from corner kicks to complete the victory. Nurmela certainly rode his luck as Finland took the lead after 13 minutes. Racing into the penalty area to chase a fine ball from Jari Litmanen, the midfield player was felled in the act of striking.

Decisive touch
However, as he toppled, he managed to nudge the ball past Azerbaijan goalkeeper Jahanjir Hasanzade and defender Emin Agayev completed the job as his momentum forced him to prod the ball into his own net.

Physical presence
Finland's physical presence proved to be telling in the second half as first Liverpool FC's Sami Hyypiä and then former FK Viking defender Hannu Tihinen both got on the end of Nurmela corners to complete the scoring for the home side.

Misfiring strikers
However, while he will have been delighted with the score, Muurinen will remain concerned at his strikers' performances in Helsinki as they once more failed to provide the finishing touches which Finland's dominance deserved.

'Happy with the result'
Muurinen maintained that the result was what counted, saying: "I am happy with the result and the game itself. I am very satisfied with the performance of my central defenders Sami Hyypiä and Hannu Tihinen." With the defeat against Wales and an earlier 3-0 loss to the Republic of Ireland still preying on his mind, he added: "This was a very good boost of confidence for us after we lost the two last matches."

Azeri disappointment
Azerbaijan's assistant coach Askez Abdulayev paid tribute to Muurinen's side but could not hide his disappointment at the way his side had performed. "I want to congratulate Finland for their very good performance," he said. "We did not play so badly but not good enough. We will have to restructure our defence after tonight's performance."

Last updated: 13/10/02 1.05CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2004/matches/round=1579/match=69258/postmatch/report/index.html#finland+find+scoring+touch

Lineups

Finland

Finland

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan

1
Antti NiemiAntti Niemi
1
HasanzadeJahangir Hasanzade
2
PasanenPetri Pasanen
2
AgaevEmin Agaev
Goal14
3
SaarinenJanne Saarinen
3
A. KerimovAslan Kerimov
Yellow Card37
4
HyypiäSami Hyypiä
Goal72
Substitution79
4
AkhmedovTarlan Akhmedov
Yellow Card41
5
TihinenHannu Tihinen
Yellow Card37
Goal60
5
E. GuliyevEmin Guliyev
Yellow Card58
6
RiihilahtiAki Riihilahti
6
K. GuliyevKamal Guliyev
Yellow Card69
7
NurmelaMika Nurmela
7
M.GurbanovMakhmud Gurbanov
Substitution65
8
TainioTeemu Tainio
Substitution74
8
ImamaliyevEmin Imamaliyev
Substitution83
9
SumialaAntti Sumiala
Substitution86
9
Gurban GurbanovGurban Gurbanov
10
LitmanenJari Litmanen (C)
10
AliyevSamir Aliyev
Yellow Card73
11
KolkkaJoonas Kolkka
11
Ramiz MammadovRamiz Mammadov
Yellow Card59
Substitution90+2

Substitutes

12
JääskeläinenJussi Jääskeläinen
12
MahammadovHuseyn Mahammadov
14
KuivastoToni Kuivasto
Substitution79
14
R. F. SadygovRashad F. Sadygov
Substitution65
16
WissJarkko Wiss
Substitution74
15
F. MamedovFizuli Mamedov
Substitution90+2
18
KuqiShefki Kuqi
Substitution86
18
VasilyevVadim Vasilyev
Substitution83
13
NylundVille Nylund
13
YadullayevIlham Yadullayev
15
HeikkinenMarkus Heikkinen
16
Ruslan MusayevRuslan Musayev
17
JohanssonJonatan Johansson
17
NiftalievAdaim Niftaliev

Coach

Antti Muurinen (FIN) Vagif Sadykov (AZE)

Referee

Alain Hamer (LUX)

Assistant referees

Henri Reuter (LUX), François Mangen (LUX)

Fourth official

Luc Wilmes (LUX)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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