HELSINKI: Finland have qualified for a major tournament for the first time in their history after a 3-0 victory over Liechtenstein meant qualification for Euro 2020 next summer courtesy of second spot in qualifying Group J, behind winners Italy
Jasse Tuominen’s first-half strike and a Temu Pukki double – one from the penalty spot – ended a run of 32 failed qualifying campaigns for either the World Cup or European Championship, and sparked jubilant scenes.
Hundreds rushed on to the Sonera Stadium pitch at full-time and manager Markku Kanerva, a former teacher, conducted his post-match interview with fireworks going off in the distance.
Finland’s Prime Minister Antti Rinne, who earlier this year gifted a Pukki shirt to French president Emmanuel Macron, tweeted: “An incredible performance, Congratulations and thank you! Oh Finland is, oh Finland is, oh Finland is finally in the men’s soccer championship!”