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San Marino keen to avoid heavy defeat

Published: Wednesday 11 May 2011, 9.00CET
Finland recorded their biggest win in competitive football when they scored eight goals against San Marino without reply in November, and will be looking for more in Serravalle.
San Marino keen to avoid heavy defeat
San Marino will be keen to make amends against Finland ©Getty Images
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Published: Wednesday 11 May 2011, 9.00CET

San Marino keen to avoid heavy defeat

Finland recorded their biggest win in competitive football when they scored eight goals against San Marino without reply in November, and will be looking for more in Serravalle.

Beaten 8-0 in their first Group E meeting with Finland, San Marino may well be in damage limitation mode as the scene shifts to Serravalle.

• Although Finland only had Mika Väyrynen's goal to show for their first-half efforts, they were far more clinical in a second period. Mikael Forssell struck a hat-trick, Kasper Hämäläinen scored twice and substitutes Roni Porokara and Jari Litmanen, 39, also found the net as the hosts trumped their previous widest margin of victory, a 7-1 success against Luxembourg during FIFA World Cup qualifying in September 1976.

• Olli Huttunen was standing in as coach in the absence of Stuart Baxter for that game as Finland took their first UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying points. He has now been replaced by former Finland striker Mixu Paatelainen, who left his job as manager of Scottish Premier League side Kilmarnock FC to take the post.

• "It is brilliant to get a challenge like this," said the new man at the helm. "This is a dream come true and I have been working towards it for a long time."

• Finland have won all three of their games against San Marino, having first been paired in qualifying for the only previous time for EURO '96.

• Their new coach will have reason to remember their first meeting in Helsinki on14 December 1994 fondly; Paatelainen scored all four of his side's goals, with Pier-Domenico Della Valle's 34th-minute effort San Marino's only goal against Finland to date.

• Litmanen and Antti Sumiala scored the only goals as Finland won the return fixture 2-0 on 29 March 1995.

• San Marino are one of six sides yet to earn a point in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying along with Andorra, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Malta and Wales. San Marino and Kazakhstan are also yet to score a qualifying goal.

• San Marino's +29 goal difference is by 15 goals the worst in qualifying to date.

Last updated: 11/05/11 18.18CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/news/newsid=1515488.html#san+marino+host+finland

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