Finland is one of the big league surprises so far. The Scandinavians have won each of the three games 1:0. The goalscorer was always the former Bundesliga striker Teemu Pukki. So the Finns also lead the group two table. If the results against Estonia could be expected, success over Hungary could not be predicted. However, the Finns experience the ultimate endurance test on Monday evening at home against Greece.
The Finns are a sport crazy country. Due to their geographical location, the Scandinavians' strengths lie more in winter sports such as cross-country skiing, biathlon or ski jumper than in football. Like all previous tournaments, Finland missed the 2018 World Cup in Russia. In a group with Iceland, Croatia, Ukraine and Turkey only Kosovo could be left behind in the table and only two wins could be celebrated.
With German coaches, the Greeks have not had the worst experiences in the past. 14 years ago, Otto Rehhagel was on the sideline when Angelos Charisteas beheaded the Hellenes in the football Olympics and made quite surprisingly the European champion. The third World Cup participation of the Hellenes in a row was close at hand, but in the playoffs, Greece subsequently failed to later runner-up Croatia.
So far, both nations have faced each other in international clashes 14 times. Greece leads the record with seven wins. Four victories have been recorded for Finland. Three times, the two countries drew separately. The latest match took place on 4 September 2015 at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus. Finland won 1:0 in the European Championship qualifier for the 2016 finals thanks to a strike by Joel Pohjanpalo. The first leg in Finland ended 1-1 at that time. Finland lost just one of the past four duels between the two nations. In February 2008, there was a 2-1 victory of the Greeks in Cyprus against Finland in a friendly match.
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