Brighton & Hove Albion pair Emma Koivisto and Nora Heroum were part of the Finland squad which secured their place at the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 tournament finals by defeating Portugal 1-0 in Helsinki this afternoon.
Full-back Koivisto played the full 90 minutes at left-back while Albion teammate Heroum was an unused substitute for Anna Signeul’s side. Everton’s Tinja-Riikka Korpela also started the match while Juliette Kemppi of London City Lionesses was on the bench.
The winners of this afternoon’s Group E clash knew that they’d be planning their trip to England in 2022 with a game to spare. A tightly-fought contest was eventually decided by a 93rd-minute winner from Paris FC forward Linda Sallstrom.
It was Portugal who enjoyed more of the ball throughout the course of the 90 minutes but they could do little with it when it came to creating clear goalscoring opportunities. The visitors tested Everton goalkeeper Korpela just once in the Finnish goal with Patricia Morais being the busier of the two keepers at the other end.
It looked as though the two sides were set for a nervous final round of qualifying fixtures until Finnish forward Sallstrom popped up with the game’s only goal deep in second half injury time to send her side to England for the UEFA Women’s EURO tournament finals next summer.
Finland were UEFA Women’s EURO semi-finalists in 2005 and they will now participate in the finals for the first time since 2013.