Finland’s final match of 2020 ended in defeat at the hands of a Wales side able to capitalize on Jere Uronen’s red card and some defensive hesitation. For their part the #Huuhkajat struggled for much of the match, but rallied after going two down to give a performance fans could be proud of, which is discussed in depth in the FFS post-match, here.
After the final whistle the defeat in Cardiff should be put against solid wins in Sofia and Saint-Denis. They have helped put Finland into Pot 3 for the upcoming World Cup qualifying draw. In addition twelve points from six games is a solid return and though Bulgaria and the Republic of Ireland have their issues, Finland made light work of them. The emergence also of Nikolai Alho, Niko Hämäläinen, Onni Valakari and Marcus Forss has given us a glimmer at a next generation that seems to be heading in the right direction, competitive games under the belt for Leo Väisänen and Daniel O’Shaughnessy have also left us with an air of encouragement. In Cardiff, the luck wasn’t on our side, but as we look at the progress we’ve made in 2020, our first ever major tournament next summer, is now a little less daunting.