Role model Pukki leads City’s Euro stars
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Teemu Pukki spearheads a busy night for Norwich City’s international brigade in Euro2020 qualifying action.
City's player-of-the-year notched a match-winning brace for Finland to sink Mario Vrancic's Bosnia at the weekend.
The Finns travel to Liechtenstein on Tuesday sitting second in Group J behind Italy, after back-to-back wins following an opening defeat to the group favourites.
Pukki's 35 goals for club and country fired City to the Premier League and helped earn Finland promotion from their Nations League pool earlier this season, along with a strong start to this latest qualifying campaign.
Those statistics earned the frontman a series of individual accolades and a glowing tribute from Daniel Farke.
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"He is for me a role model for how you have to work," said his club boss. "When you think more about the group you can also shine in an individual way. Let the group shine, let's be successful and don't get carried away. A good example for our younger players to go further on.
"Love the shirt and the name on the front more than on the back is a great attitude. He deserves all the plaudits going."
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Club mate Vrancic was an unused subsitute for Bosnia in Tampere at the weekend, and the Bosnians face a daunting assignment on Tuesday against Italy in Juventus' Turin stadium.
Kenny McLean's Scotland will also be massive underdogs when they travel to World Cup semi-finalists Belgium. McLean played the full 90 minutes in the 1-0 win over Cyprus at Hampden Park, which marked a first win in charge for new Scotland boss Steve Clarke.
The Scots lie third in Group I with six points from their opening two games.
City left back Jamal Lewis' Northern Ireland can make it four wins from their opening four qualifiers when they face Belarus in Barysaw. Michael McGovern was an unused substitute for Saturday's late 2-1 away win in Estonia.
Michael O'Neill's squad can expect tougher battles ahead later in the year, after being drawn in a group that features both Germany and Holland.