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Stadion: Finnair Stadium
Land: Finnland
Zuseher: 9445
Datum: 15.11.2006
Spielbeginn: 19:00
Ergebnis: 1:0 (1:0)
Eingetragen von: baseline

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EURO qualification match Finland – Armenia
Finland played an even (0-0) against Armenia in Jerevan in October and missed two important points.  To day was the chance to repair this mistake and keep a good position in the tables of Group A. Before this match Finland was number two after Serbia.
The match was played at the Finnair Stadium.  The capacity compared to the Olympic Stadium is small, but the arena can offer an artificial pitch, which is almost a must at this late match date.  One week ago the temperature was ten degrees below zero and snow covered most part of the country. The intensive rain this last week and the change in temperature to near zero + surely was welcomed by the Armenians, who are used to plus nine at this time of the year.
At “kick-off”, the Finns got an enormous support from the home audience, of course.  After eight minutes the arena almost exploded.  First Mika Väyrynen performed a long distance strike that the Armenian goalkeeper Gevory Kasparov was able to stop.  Jonathan Johansson was there to catch the rebound and passed the ball to Mika Nurmi who’s header went into the empty goal.
After the goal the Finns calmed down the game, without creating any good situations.  At 30 minutes the Armenians got their chance to equalize after a corner shot, but the Finnish goalkeeper Jussi Jääskeläinen performed a brilliant safe.  The second half started with the Finns having a couple of chances but the Armenian defenders were not to be taken by surprise.
Then the Armenians took over the initiative.  The home fans (including “Baseline”) almost lost their breath at 55 minutes when Levon Patshajan shot against the goal from a short distance.  The hero of the evening, Jussi Jääskeläinen was again at right place at the right time.  Armenia made a couple of switches to be able to keep up the pace.  Before the end also the Finnish coach, Roy Hodgson, changed Eremenko Jr for the “Bull of Kosovo”,  Shefki Kuqi.  He was able to disturb the Armenians so that Finland finally could celebrate its 1-0 victory.
The referee Craig Thomson (Scotland) did a good job.
Finland moved to number one position in Group A.  The match program gets tougher next year when Finland first meets Azerbaijan in March (away) and then Serbia and Belgium in June (home).  After that there’s still six games to go and “A Long and Winding Road” ahead.



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