First-half strikes from Lauri Dalla Valle and Roope Riski earned Finland their second victory in UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 2 against ten-man Malta.
Dalle Valle opened the scoring for the visitors on ten minutes and Riski doubled the advantage a minute before the break. Malta, reduced to ten men 11 minutes into the second half, set up a tense finale when Terence Vella lifted the ball over Saku-Pekka Sahlgren but Mika Laurikainen's side held on for the win.
Finland started the better of the two sides and took the lead when Rasmus Schüller found Dalla Valle who scored his second in as many matches to give the visitors the lead. Malta's best chance of the first half fell to Bjorn Kristensen but his effort was well saved by Sahlgren.
The home side, who made a promising start to qualifying with four ponts from three games before tonight, were reduced to ten men when Mark Scerri received a straight red card for a challenge on Schüller but Finland failed to make the most of their numerical advantage. Indeed it was Malta who got themselves back into the match courtesy of Vella's fine effort ten minutes from time. Mika Laurikainen's charges held on, though, and remain unbeaten in Group 2.
Malta host Ukraine in their next qualifying match on 7 October while Finland play Sweden three days later.