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Kuqi caps crucial Finnish comeback

Published: Sunday 18 November 2007, 0.03CET
Finland 2-1 Azerbaijan
The hosts left it late to overturn a one-goal deficit and secure the lifeline of a win over Azerbaijan in Group A.
Kuqi caps crucial Finnish comeback
Mikael Forssell scored the Finland equaliser ©Getty Images

Match statistics

FinlandAzerbaijan

Goals scored2
 
1
Attempts on target9
 
1
Attempts off target6
 
1
Corners13
 
0
Fouls committed14
 
23
Yellow cards1
 
5
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 27/06/2012 11:57 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Sunday 18 November 2007, 0.03CET

Kuqi caps crucial Finnish comeback

Finland 2-1 Azerbaijan
The hosts left it late to overturn a one-goal deficit and secure the lifeline of a win over Azerbaijan in Group A.

Finland left it late to overturn a one-goal deficit and grab the lifeline of a 2-1 victory over Azerbaijan in qualifying Group A.

Come-from-behind win
A dominant Finland side were shocked to fall behind to Makhmud Gurbonov's 63rd-minute goal, yet recovered to score twice in the closing eleven minutes through Mikael Forssell and then substitute Shefki Kuqi.

Narrow margin
Roy Hodgson's men had started the day in fourth place in their UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying group, behind Poland, Portugal and Serbia. And with a trip to Portugal to follow on 21 November, they had no margin for error. So missed chances in the first half from Hannu Tihinen and Teemu Tainio did not augur well. Tihinen also struck the crossbar with a header two minutes after half-time following a corner from the dangerous Daniel Sjölund.

Shock goal
The home team were cursing their luck even louder after Joonas Kolkka had curled a shot beyond Azerbaijan goalkeeper Farkhad Veliyev but against a post. Because seven minutes later Gurbonov fired the visitors into the lead in Helsinki, shooting into the top corner to give Gjokica Hadzievski's men hope of repeating their 1-0 home win against the Finns.

Super subs
Inevitably, the hosts rallied. Kolkka smashed a volley into the face of defender Samir Abbasov. Forssell left a more indelible mark on the match by blasting in the equaliser on 79 minutes after Tihinen had headed a Kolkka free-kick back across goal. Then Kuqi, an 80th-minute substitute, took only six minutes to complete the rescue act of Finland's EURO challenge. The talismanic Jari Litmanen had also come off the bench and his free-kick was turned in by Kuqi, with goalkeeper Veliyev caught out.

Last updated: 18/11/07 0.31CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2008/matches/round=2241/match=83799/postmatch/report/index.html#kuqi+caps+crucial+finnish+comeback

Lineups

Finland

Finland

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan

22
JääskeläinenJussi Jääskeläinen (GK)
1
VeliyevFarkhad Veliyev (GK)
2
PasanenPetri Pasanen
Yellow Card39
9
S. AbbasovSamir Abbasov
4
HyypiäSami Hyypiä
13
NdukaUsim Nduka
Yellow Card23
Substitution46
5
TihinenHannu Tihinen (C)
5
YunisoğluSaša Yunisoğlu
Yellow Card33
19
KallioToni Kallio
Substitution66
14
R. F. SadygovRashad F. Sadygov (C)
11
KolkkaJoonas Kolkka
22
TagizadeZaur Tagizade
32
R. EremenkoRoman Eremenko
Substitution80
7
M.GurbanovMakhmud Gurbanov
Yellow Card45
Goal63
8
TainioTeemu Tainio
20
SubašićBranimir Subašić
Yellow Card85
24
SjölundDaniel Sjölund
10
RamazanovZaur Ramazanov
9
ForssellMikael Forssell
Goal79
17
R. GuliyevRamin Guliyev
Substitution61
21
JohanssonJonatan Johansson
Substitution59
15
MaharramovJemshid Maharramov

Substitutes

12
Antti NiemiAntti Niemi (GK)
12
R. MehdiyevRauf Mehdiyev (GK)
10
LitmanenJari Litmanen
Substitution59
2
LadagaAndre Ladaga
Substitution61
14
KuivastoToni Kuivasto
4
E. AliyevElvin Aliyev
Substitution46
Yellow Card54
18
KuqiShefki Kuqi
Substitution80
Goal86
11
GomesLeandro Gomes
23
HeikkinenMarkus Heikkinen
21
MammadovKhagani Mammadov
6
VäyrynenMika Väyrynen
Substitution66
19
PonomarevAnatoli Ponomarev
7
NurmelaMika Nurmela
16
Elnur AbbasovElnur Abbasov

Coach

Roy Hodgson (ENG) Gjokica Hadzievski (MKD)

Referee

Alain Hamer (LUX)

Assistant referees

Francis Crelo (LUX), Christian Holtgen (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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