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Finland vs Russia: UEFA EURO 2020 match background, facts and stats

Russia have not lost to Finland in more than a century, and have scored 15 goals in winning the last four games between the sides.

Valerie Karpine celebrates a goal for Russia  against Finland in 1995
Valerie Karpine celebrates a goal for Russia against Finland in 1995 Getty Images

Finland make the short journey to Saint Petersburg to take on Russia, a team they have not beaten for over a century, in the second round of Group B matches.

• The Finns marked their EURO finals debut with a 1-0 win against Denmark in Copenhagen on Matchday 1, Joel Pohjanpalo heading the only goal on the hour. Finland goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky subsequently saved a Pierre-Emile Højbjerg penalty to give Finland victory in a game that was suspended following a medical emergency involving Denmark's Christian Eriksen.

• Russia will need to regroup quickly after going down 3-0 against Belgium in Saint Petersburg on Matchday 1.

Previous meetings

• Russia have won all four games against Finland since becoming an independent nation in 1992, scoring 15 goals in the process and conceding only one.

• A team coached by Guus Hiddink won 3-0 in both Moscow and Helsinki in qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup against Stuart Baxter's Finland. Russia, then led by Oleg Romantsev, were even more emphatic victors in the EURO '96 preliminaries, a 6-0 triumph in the Finnish capital preceding a 3-1 success in Moscow.

• Finland's sole victory against Russia came at the 1912 Olympic Games, the Nordic side running out 2-1 winners in Stockholm as they eventually finished fourth in the competition.

Watch Ponedelnik head USSR to 1960 glory
Watch Ponedelnik head USSR to 1960 glory

• The Soviet Union won eight and drew five of their 13 fixtures against Finland between 1957 and 1988, scoring 39 goals while conceding only ten. That includes six EURO qualifiers between the sides, the USSR winning four with two draws, although in only the first of those three campaigns – 1968 – did they go on to reach the final tournament, missing out in both 1980 and 1984.

• The Soviet Union twice scored ten goals in matches against Finland, in a 1958 FIFA World Cup qualifier they won 10-0 in Helsinki – the Finns' record home defeat – and a 10-2 home victory in a Yerevan friendly in April 1978.

• This is Finland's first match in Saint Petersburg, a city less than 200 km from the Finnish border. Both their previous away games against Russia were held in Moscow, as were five of their six matches away to the USSR, the exception that 1978 reverse in Yerevan.

EURO facts: Finland

• This is Finland's debut in the UEFA European Championship. The closest they previously came to reaching the finals was in the UEFA EURO 2008 preliminaries when they failed to beat Portugal in their final qualifier, allowing their opponents to qualify instead thanks to a 0-0 draw in Porto.

Every goal on Finland's road to EURO 2020
Every goal on Finland's road to EURO 2020

• Finland are the 34th country to have qualified for the EURO.

• Having never qualified for a FIFA World Cup, this is Finland's debut in a major tournament. They are one of two countries making their first appearance at UEFA EURO 2020, along with North Macedonia in Group C.

• Markku Kanerva's side won six of their ten UEFA EURO 2020 qualifiers (L4) to finish second in Group J behind Italy.

• Teemu Pukki scored ten of Finland's 16 goals in qualifying. Having also provided an assist, he was involved in 68.75% of their qualifying strikes.

See Pukki goal that sealed Finland EURO spot
See Pukki goal that sealed Finland EURO spot

EURO facts: Russia

• This is Russia's fifth successive EURO final tournament and sixth in seven as an independent nation. They have featured in eight of the last nine EUROs, including this edition, appearing as the Soviet Union in 1988 and the Commonwealth of Independent States four years later, before their debut as Russia in 1996.

• The Soviet Union won the first UEFA European Championship in 1960 and were runners-up in 1964, 1972 and 1988. Russia's best performance since independence came in 2008, when they reached the semi-finals – the only time they have progressed beyond the group stage.

Russia stun the Dutch in 2008
Russia stun the Dutch in 2008

• In 2016, a team coached by Leonid Slutski finished bottom of Group B, picking up their only point in a 1-1 draw against England on Matchday 1. They subsequently lost to Slovakia (1-2) and Wales (0-3).

• Russia have not won in six EURO finals games (D2 L4); their last victory was a 4-1 demolition of the Czech Republic in their UEFA EURO 2012 opener. That is their only success in eight EURO finals matches (D2 L5).

• Stanislav Cherchesov's team qualified for UEFA EURO 2020 as Group I runners-up, losing both games to section winners Belgium but winning their other eight fixtures. Like Belgium, they kept seven clean sheets.

All Russia's goals on the road to EURO 2020
All Russia's goals on the road to EURO 2020

• Artem Dzyuba scored nine goals and provided five assists in qualifying, meaning he was directly involved in 42% of Russia's 33 goals.

• The Matchday 1 defeat against Belgium means Russia's record in Saint Petserburg since 1992 is now W10 D1 L4. They won nine successive matches in the city before a 3-3 draw against Spain in a November 2017 friendly, but have since managed only one victory and three defeats, including a 4-1 UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying reverse against Belgium on 16 November 2019.

Links and trivia

• Russia coach Cherchesov came on as a late substitute in that 6-0 win against Finland in EURO '96 qualifying and kept goal for the full 90 minutes of the return fixture in Moscow.

• Yuri Zhirkov started both of Russia's 3-0 wins against Finland in the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign.

• Dmitri Barinov scored the decisive goal in Lokomotiv Moskva's 2-1 UEFA Champions League group stage victory at Bayer Leverkusen on 18 September 2019 after a mistake from home goalkeeper Hradecky.

Latest news

Pohjanpalo: Eriksen is first in our thoughts
Pohjanpalo: Eriksen is first in our thoughts

Finland

• Finland's opening victory against Denmark ended a six-match winless run (D2 L4) that included defeats in their two pre-tournament friendlies – 0-2 away to Sweden on 29 May and 0-1 at home to Estonia on 4 June.

• Pohjanpalo's match-winning header against Denmark made him the first Finnish footballer to score a goal at a major tournament. It was his tenth international goal and third in as many internationals following a double in a 3-2 friendly defeat against Switzerland in March. The Union Berlin striker has scored all of Finland's last three goals.

• While no Finland players had any major tournament experience until Matchday 1, only two of their 26-man squad experienced group stage European club football in 2020/21 – goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky with Bayer Leverkusen and Glen Kamara with Rangers, both in the UEFA Europa League.

• Kamara was a Scottish Premiership champion with Rangers in the season just ended, while Teemu Pukki scored 26 goals to help Norwich City win the English Championship and return after a year's absence to the Premier League. In 2020 Daniel O'Shaughnessy was also a Finnish domestic double winner with HJK Helsinki.

• Pukki's tally of ten EURO qualifying goals means he needs one more to become his country's all-time top scorer in the competition. He currently shares the honour with three other players – Mikael Forssell, Jari Litmanen and Mixu Paatelainen.

Great EURO Matchday 2 goals
Great EURO Matchday 2 goals

Russia

• Russia's opening 3-0 defeat by Belgium was their joint heaviest at a EURO final tournament and their second in a row by that scoreline following their closing loss to Wales at UEFA EURO 2016.

• Russia warmed up for UEFA EURO 2020 by drawing 1-1 away to Poland on 1 June and beating Bulgaria 1-0 in Moscow four days later. Vyacheslav Karaveev scored the equaliser in Wrocław, with Aleksandr Sobolev converting the late penalty winner in the second encounter.

• That victory against Bulgaria was one of only three for Russia in their last 12 matches, the other two coming in World Cup qualifiers against Malta (3-1 a) and Slovenia (2-1 h) in March.

• There are five members of Saint Petersburg club Zenit's 2020/21 Russian Premier League title-winning side in Stanislav Cherchesov's squad – Karaveev, Magomed Ozdoev, Yuri Zhirkov, Daler Kuzyaev and 20-goal striker Artem Dzyuba.

• Dzyuba and Aleksandr Golovin are the only two survivors from Russia's UEFA EURO 2016 squad – both players featured in all three games in France – while Zhirkov is a veteran of the two previous EUROs of 2008, when he started every game as Russia reached the semi-finals, and 2012, when he was also ever-present.

• Dzyuba, Golovin and Zhirkov also played for Russia in the home World Cup of 2018, where Kuzyaev, Roman Zobnin, Mário Fernandes, Fedor Kudryashov, Aleksei Miranchuk, four-goal Denis Cheryshev and non-playing Andrei Semenov were also present.

• Russia captain Dzyuba, with 29 international goals, needs one more to go level with Aleksandr Kerzhakov as Russia's all-time top scorer. Dzyuba's tallies of 26 goals in competitive internationals and 17 in the UEFA European Championship – all in the qualifying competition – are already national records.