Finland claimed second place in UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 1 with an emphatic defeat of San Marino – but still bow out of the competition.
Tommi Kautonen's side kicked off three points behind second-placed Moldova and with an inferior goal difference. While their rivals were losing 3-0 at home to section winners England, goals from Tim Väyrynen, Sauli Väisänen, Daniel O'Shaughnessy, Kimmo Hovi and Thomas Lam gave the Finns a victory that enabled them to overhaul Moldova by a single goal – although it was still not enough for a place in Friday's play-off draw.
Finland started positively in Mariehamn and were in front in the eighth minute, Armend Kabashi collecting a short corner and delivering a fine cross for Väyrynen to head in his sixth qualifying goal at the far post. Väisänen made it 2-0 after 26 minutes, reacting quickest after Kabashi's shot had been parried by Andrea Manzaroli, and the second half was one-way traffic.
O'Shaughnessy supplied a simple finish to make it three in the 57th minute, and seven minutes later Hovi made it 4-0 with an accurate shot. Lam rounded off Finland's triumph with 11 minutes left, beating Manzaroli with a well-placed free-kick, and coach Kautonen said: "It was a nice way to finish. In the first half we had some problems, but second half we played quite well. There were chances to score more goals, but I'm happy with this result."