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Group Stage 2016
  • Christian Holst (41')
  • Riku Riski (53', 79')
  • Roman Eremenko (83')

Faroe Islands 1-3 Finland

Rosenborg striker Riku Riski rescued Finland from an embarrassing situation against the Faroe Islands.

Finland trailed to a Christian Holst goal and were in danger of becoming the Faroes' first major scalp since June 2011.

But Riski scored a brace to spin the tie around and then Roman Eremenko added a late third for good measure in a 3-1 win.

It was the least Finland deserved after a dominant display, but they will not be the neutrals' favourite after ruining the romance of a possible Faroes' win.

The minnows beat Estonia three and a half years ago - a rare victory - and since then have only seen off international newcomers Gibraltar.

That looked like it could change, especially after a good start, as the first chance fell to them, with Sonni Nattestad working Niki Maenpaa with a ninth-minute header.

The game started to go the way it was expected to after that, though, with Eremenko and Teemu Pukki both bringing saves out of Gunnar Nielsen.

Nielsen was outstanding during the Faroes' World Cup qualifying bid and the keeper was at his best twice more to deny Celtic man Pukki, including a brilliant tip around the post from close range.

The one-way traffic continued and Riski and Eremenko both went close, with the Faroes' only response a Gilli Sorensen shot which was blocked.

Eremenko then whistled in another effort to no avail, before the home side went ahead against the odds and the run of play.

The ball fell for Holst just inside the area and he carefully steered it beyond Maenpaa for the opener (41).

It was not the one people expected and Finland quickly tried to respond but neither Perparim Hetemaj nor Pukki could keep their efforts on target before the break.

Eremenko got them back on the front foot at the start of the second with a hit that Nielsen stopped, but he could do nothing with 53 minutes gone as Riski took in Pukki's pass and equalised.

Riski was taking the Faroes on almost single-handedly, working Nielsen on the hour and then prodding over after a corner.

Pukki then drew a save out of Nielsen and Alexander Ring also whipped a shot in to no avail, but Riski's perseverance paid off when he put his side ahead with 12 minutes left.

For once Nielsen was not up to the job, spilling a shot from Pukki, and Riski was on hand to convert the rebound.

After that there was just time for Eremenko to drill in a third from the edge of the area (83) to wrap things up.

ends