Red hot Pukki on target for Finland; Krul gets the better of Placheta
- Credit: PA
Norwich City frontman Teemu Pukki notched his fifth goal in eight games but was unable to prevent 10-man Finland losing 3-1 to Wales in their Nations League shoot out on Wednesday.
Pukki scored the first goal conceded by the Welsh in 12 hours of football, but the Finns needed a win in Cardiff to finish top of Group B4 and qualify for the elite tier.
The visitors’ chances were hit after just 12 minutes when Jere Uronen was red carded for hauling down Harry Wilson. The Liverpool youngster opened the scoring in the first half before Dan James struck a minute after the interval.
Pukki guided an angled right footed shot past Danny Ward in the 63rd minute and later grazed the outside of a post, but Kieffer Moore’s late goal ended any hopes of a Finnish comeback.
Pukki was replaced by Brentford’s Marcus Forss in stopapge time.
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City team mate, Przemyslaw Placheta, made his first competitive start for Poland but it was Tim Krul’s Holland who won 2-1 in a Nations League Group A1 finale.
Placheta was foiled by his Canaries’ colleague in first half stoppage time after earlier hitting the post with a left footed strike set up by Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski.
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The speedy wide player was replaced in the 75th minute in a game where Liverpool’s Gio Wijnaldum’s 84th minute header settled the contest, after Memphis Depay’s second half penalty cancelled out Kamil Jozwiak’s fifth minute opener.
The Dutch needed to better Italy’s result to top the standings, but the Italians triumphed 2-0 in Bosnia.
Krul started both Nations League games in recent days for the Dutch in his first competitive action at international level for five years.
Kenny McLean played the final eight minutes of Scotland’s 1-0 Nations League defeat to Israel, who missed out on top spot in Group B2 with the Czech Republic beating Slovakia 2-0.
It was still a successful international fortnight for the Scots who beat Serbia on penalties in their play-off final tussle last week to reach next summer’s delayed European Championships.
Michael McGovern was an unused substitute for Northern Ireland in their 1-1 home draw against Romania. The Northern Irish finished bottom of their group.