UEFA Nations League B3, Game 2.
Finland followed up their opening Nations League draw at the weekend with a comfortable 2-0 win over Montenegro on Tuesday evening.
After a slightly cagey opening 10 minutes, where it seemed both teams were trying to assert dominance, it was Finland who took control of the match and never looked back. Some neat build-up play and confident interplay was on show from the hosts without fully testing the Montenegro goalkeeper Petkovic, until a brilliant team goal in the 31st minute broke the deadlock. A passage of play where Finland completed 14 passes, culminated in a slick one-two on the edge of the box between Teemu Pukki and Robin Lod to open up the Montenegro defence. Pukki slotted across the face of the goal it to Joel Pohjanpalo, who only had to tap it in to give Finland the lead.
A second goal came soon after, and it was that man Pohjanpalo at the double. A whipped free-kick from Lucas Lingman found the striker in the box after some great movement and he volleyed the ball into the top, right corner of the goal. A goal of both instinct and quality and from a man full of confidence, who was perhaps unlucky not to have started the previous encounter on Saturday.
In the second half Montenegro came out with a bit more about them and their passing improved, but in truth, Finland maintained control throughout and nearly got a third, through Ilmari Niskanen’s left footed shot that was well saved by Petkovic. A positive showing from the Huuhkajat and the team moves on to play Romania in Bucharest on Saturday.