Yet another goal for Pukki - but it’s not enough for Finland
- Credit: AP
Teemu Pukki scored his seventh goal of the season for club and country on Sunday night, but it was not enough to prevent Finland from slipping to a home defeat in their latest European Championship qualifier.
The Norwich City striker netted a second half equaliser from the penalty spot against Group J leaders Italy in Tampere - but the visitors then scored from the spot themselves to seal a 2-1 win.
The result took the Italians six points clear at the top of the table and within touching distance of making next year's finals, while Pukki's Finland remain in the second qualification spot but now only three points clear of Armenia in third.
After a goalless first half Pukki fired a good chance just wide early in the second period before Italy went in front on the hour mark through Ciro Immobile.
The hosts were back on level terms on 72 minutes when Pukki converted from the spot after winning the penalty himself with a surge into the box which was illegally halted by Stefano Sensi.
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That made it five goals in four games for Finland - as well as five goals in four games for the Canaries this season - but Italy had the final say seven minutes later when Chelsea midfielder Jorginho netted a penalty of his own after a handball in the area.
Meanwhile City's trio of youngsters will be hoping to be in action for England Under-21s when they take on Kosovo in their latest 2021 European Championship qualifying group match on Monday evening.
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Max Aarons played the full game against Turkey on Thursday night whilst Ben Godfrey came on for the final 10 minutes of England's 3-2 win. Todd Cantwell was an unused substitute. All three will be hoping for a chance to impress again when Kosovo are the visitors to the KCOM Stadium in Hull (6.45pm).
Jamal Lewis is expected to be restored to Northern Ireland's starting line-up for their Euro 2020 qualifier against Germany (7.45pm). The left-back was rested for the 1-0 friendly win over Luxembourg whilst Michael McGovern is battling with Bailey Peacock-Farrell for a start.
Kenny McLean and Scotland will be looking to revive their qualifying campaign in what is sure to be a testing home encounter against group leaders Belgium (7.45pm).