Following their victory over Switzerland on Wednesday, a confident Finland U19s side comfortably defeated Scotland at Ainslie Park and scored some excellent goals in the process.
Scotland came into this fixture after a poor start in their first match, losing 6-0 to an impressive Spain team. Pauline MacDonald would have certainly been looking for a reaction in this fixture.
Just ten minutes in, Finland took the lead. After winning a foul approximately 25-yards out, Neela Antikainen stepped up and struck a dipping free-kick straight into the top corner, leaving Lisa Maher-Rodgers little chance of saving. A pinpoint strike from the midfielder.
Just a few minutes later, they doubled their advantage. After a brilliant play down the left, a low cross to the back post left Tuuli Viinikka with an easy tap-in. A great start for Arttu Pitkakangas’ side.
Twenty minutes played and it was three for the girls in dark blue. Following an impressive spell of possession, Viinikka was the provider on this occasion as she found Oona Sevenius, who tapped into the empty net. Certainly, a deserved lead after clinical finishing left an uphill battle for the Scots early on.
After three changes at half-time for Finland, one substitute, Elli Seiro, swiftly made it four. A misplaced pass in the Scottish defence by Kenzie Weir gave Seiro the chance to slot under Maher-Rodgers, which she took full advantage of.
Finland had a chance to make it five just after the hour mark. Juusela attempted a shot from the edge of the box, but it wasn’t enough to test Maher-Rodgers, as she gathered comfortably.
Just a minute later, Seiro nearly doubled her goal tally. After latching on to the end of a pass over the top, the ball just evaded the striker after she touched it past the keeper and unfortunately, went out for a goal kick.
Scotland’s only notable chance came approximately seventy minutes into the game. From the left, Jodi McLeary sent a cross into the back post, which went just wide and out for a goal-kick before substitute, Amelie Birse, could get on to the end of it.
Finland eventually made it five with ten minutes to go. Substitute, Helmi Perkaus toe-poked the ball past Maher-Rodger, as the defender rounded off an impressive performance from Pittakanga’s team.
So, in the end, it was Finland who along with Spain, made it two wins out of two in Round 1 of qualification for the Women’s Under 19’s European Championship. Scotland, on the other hand, have a massive game on Tuesday against Switzerland, in which they must pick up all three points to go through to the next round of qualifying.
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