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Let the Pukki Party begin! City striker helps Finland seal Euro 2020 place – but limps off

PUBLISHED: 18:55 15 November 2019 | UPDATED: 20:52 15 November 2019

Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki celebrates his first goal for Finland during victory over Liechtenstein in Helsinki Picture: Martti Kainuleinen/Lehtikuva via AP

Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki celebrates his first goal for Finland during victory over Liechtenstein in Helsinki Picture: Martti Kainuleinen/Lehtikuva via AP

Lehtikuva

Teemu Pukki has written his name into Finnish folklore, sealing a landmark European Championship qualification with a brace – but also giving Norwich City an injury concern in the process.

The Canaries' striker had been involved in the build-up to the opening goal, forced a good save and seen a header cleared off the line before firing in a penalty in the 64th minute - to kick-off the party in Helsinki.

Finland knew that victory over minnows Liechtenstein would seal their first ever qualification to a major tournament and Pukki booked that place as he tucked home from close range, after rounding the goalkeeper, as the hosts comfortably won 3-0.

That was a ninth goal of Euro 2020 qualifying for the 29-year-old and his 22nd goal on the international stage, as he won his 76th cap.

It was also a 12th goal in 17 games for club and country this season - sparking a pitch invasion at the final whistle as an almight celebration kicked off.

Pukki did however have to limp off in the 84th minute, with what appeared to be a minor muscle strain, walking off reasonably comfortably.

He also jogged onto the pitch at full-time to join in with the celebrations, before quickly slipping off the pitch to avoid the chaos, giving hope that it was just a minor issue.

The Canaries return to action next Saturday when they travel to Everton, looking to revive their Premier League fortunes.

The Finns still have a final qualifier to play in Greece on Monday (7.45pm) but City will no doubt be hoping Pukki is rested for a dead rubber, with nothing but pride to play for as leaders Italy are nine points clear.

Teemu Pukki has become a national hero in his native Finland after firing them to Euro 2020. Picture: Martti Kainuleinen/Lehtikuva via APTeemu Pukki has become a national hero in his native Finland after firing them to Euro 2020. Picture: Martti Kainuleinen/Lehtikuva via AP

The former Celtic and Schalke striker was signed on a free transfer in 2018 after he'd decided to leave Danish club Brondby and his since scored a remarkable 36 goals in 58 games for Norwich - becoming an international star.

- You can watch both of Pukki's goals above


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