Match Report: Warm Down.

Finland 0-2 Slovakia, international friendly

On Tuesday evening, Markku Kanerva’s Finland ended their warm weather stint in southern Spain with a 2-0 defeat to Slovakia. A Finnish team with 10 changes to the starting line up struggled to match the condition and intensity of their opponents.

Slovakia took the lead through Ondrej Duda, who shot from the wdge of the box soared into the top corner after a deflection off Robert Ivanov just before half time. Erik Jirka doubled Slovakia’s lead on 72 minutes after sprinting past Leo Väisänen and rifling in off the post.

For their part Finland struggled to get into a rhythm and aside from a few shots from distance rarely troubled Dominik Holec in the Slovakia goal.

While many of the youngsters used today and against Iceland will have gained valuable experience, very few left these games leaving an impression they could do a job at this level. It’s not clear what the benefits of such a warm weather training camp are, but it may be helpful to look at how a neighbouring country has faird in the past week. Norway also played against Slovakia in Olso, and bouyed on by a solid home crowd, took a 2-0 win and then invited Armenia and keeping a full strength team, walked off with a 9-0 win. Two wins, 11 goals and a full strength team with another three hours on the pitch. The FIFA rankings will be updated on Thursday. Quite what the Huuhkajat were trying to do in Murcia is hard to say, but it’s over now, next up Bosnia in June.

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