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Gera strikes late as Hungary edge Finland

Hungary 1-0 Finland
Zoltán Gera scored the decisive goal in Budapest six minutes from time as the hosts claimed a second successive victory in qualifying Group F.

Highlights: Hungary v Finland

Zoltán Gera's 84th-minute header earns Hungary first home win this term
Hungary, in third place, leapfrog Finland in Group F following success in Budapest
Visitors fail to record a victory for third successive game
Next games: Hungary v Greece, Northern Ireland v Finland (29 March)

Zoltán Gera scored six minutes from time as Hungary posted a second successive victory in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group F, defeating Finland 1-0 in Budapest.

The hosts, who narrowly overcame the Faroe Islands on matchday three, earned their first win at home in the group following a late clincher from Gera. The No10 got above two defenders to meet substitute Gergő Lovrencsics's 84th-minute right-wing cross with a close-range header.

Hungary had the first effort of the game after a scrappy opening but captain Balázs Dzsudzsák failed to hit the target with a tame shot across the face of goal after a fine dribble. The Eagle-Owls were looking to improve on their showing last time out – a defeat by Romania in Helsinki – and succeeded in restricting Hungary to just two attempts in the first 30 minutes.

Mixu Paatelainen's men fashioned a couple of decent opportunities in the space of three minutes as they began to dominate possession. Perparim Hetemaj's cross was nodded wide by Teemu Pukki before the latter failed to trouble home custodian Gábor Király from distance with his 33rd-minute drive. Four minutes later, Jarkko Hurme's strike almost found the bottom corner.

Indeed, Finland ended the first period strongly and looked far more likely to find the opener in Budapest. Pál Dárdai's team survived a late scare as Jere Uronen unleashed a fierce attempt that produced a smart one-handed stop from Király – onto the post – two minutes before the interval.

The Magyars came out strongly after the restart, Gera's 55th-minute half-volley forcing a good save from Lukas Hradecky. A goalbound effort from Finland's Markus Halsti was blocked by substitute Gyula Forró inside the area before Roman Eremenko tested the Hungary No1 ten minutes from time. The visitors would be punished four minutes later as the 35-year-old Gera notched his first goal of qualifying.