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Staunch San Marino stifle Finland

San Marino 0-0 Finland
New home coach Mirco Papini enjoyed a fine start as his team held on to defy dominant visitors who had two men dismissed in added time.

San Marino celebrate after sealing a goalless draw against Finland
San Marino celebrate after sealing a goalless draw against Finland ©Filippo Pruccoli

San Marino resisted staunchly to hold visiting Finland to a 0-0 draw and bring an end to a four-match losing streak.

With coach Pier Angelo Manzaroli recently taking charge of the senior side, this game was a debut for replacement Mirco Papini. The new boss enjoyed a bright start in the hot seat as San Marino bounced back from a 9-0 loss to England in their last outing in UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 1.

The hosts were on the back foot for much of the contest, and though they restricted their opponents to long-range efforts, Finland still had 16 shots on goal. Janne Saksela forced a save from Elia Benedettini and Nikolai Alho fired narrowly past the post in the best of the chances.

While they responded with just one effort of their own, the stubborn Sammarinese battled to a clean sheet that increases their points' total to four, after their surprise matchday four defeat of Wales.

Finnish frustration was compounded in added time when they lost both Moshtagh Yaghoubi and Thomas Lam to dismissals after each picked up a second yellow card.

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