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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Finland will play China on 03.02.04 in Guangzhov, and then will meet again on 07.02.04 in Shenzen.

Antti Muurinen said earlier that Finland would get two very hard matches and is delighted that China invited the team there. "The standard of Chinese football is rising steadily and the country is investing strongly in football, China will field in these games its star players from leagues such as the English Premiership."

Toni Kuivasto will captain the squad that leaves on 30.01.04 and returns on 08.02.04.

Mikko Kavén, TamU
Henri Sillanpää, AC Allianssi
Ville Nylund, HJK
Janne Hietanen, Denizlispor
Petri Heinänen, TamU
Janne Salli, FC Haka
Toni Kuivasto, Djurgården
Miika Koppinen, Tromsö
Jari Ilola, Elfsborg
Rami Hakanpää, HJK
Antti Okkonen, Landskrona
Peter Kopteff, Viking
Antti Pohja, TamU
Juho Mäkelä, HJK
Alexei Eremenko jr, HJK
Antti Sumiala, Sebatspor
Mika Kottila, HJK
Daniel Sjölund, Djurgården
 

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Discussion Starter #2
China-Finland 2-1

03.02.04, Guangzhov, China-Finland 2-1 (1-0).

42. 1-0 Zhang Yu Ning
51. 1-1 Alexei Eremenko Jr
53. 2-1 Hao Hai Dong

China was playing with their best team.

Finnish squad:
Mikko Kavén
Ville Nylund
Janne Salli
Toni Kuivasto ©
Janne Hietanen (83. Petri Heinänen)
Peter Kopteff
Jari Ilola (86. Antti Okkonen)
Miika Koppinen
Antti Pohja (75. Juho Mäkelä)
Alexei Eremenko jr (57. Daniel Sjölund)
Antti Sumiala (57. Mika Kottila)
 

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"No surprise there, the better team won "

It's easy to agree with you. What i have heard about match report, in the first half it wasn't so hard to see that finnish players haven't played real matches for a long time (season ended 3-4 months ago for most of them, because playing in scandinavian leagues). In the second half finland was pushing better. With finland having its a-team, it would have been obviously a different story..:rolleyes:

What comes to china, i must correct that they were also missing some of their NT players, who play in europe.
 

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Of course they were going to win, China have WCQ matches in two weeks. The players in this Finnish squad start their season in two months or something like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Re: Re: China-Finland 2-1

GloryHunter said:
I think the result is quite expected, when considering that most of these Finns haven't played league matches for over two months. Hopefully they'll have a better result in Saturday after this warm up match :).

What is more, as a Romania supporter you have to realise, that next summer you'll meet totally different Finnish team, which may include only Eremenko Jr and Kopteff from this team.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
nlz said:
What comes to china, i must correct that they were also missing some of their NT players, who play in europe.
I suppose, that's true. According to Antti Muurinen China had their best team, so I expect, that they weren't lacking many of their important players.
 

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Of course they were going to win, China have WCQ matches in two weeks. The players in this Finnish squad start their season in two months or something like that.
You're right. The "Must-Win" games begin for us not until next fall. Now the Finnish team is out there for more like testing some young guys like Mäkelä and also some more experienced ones (Sumiala etc.), who normally doesn´t fit in the team. The match result isn't everything in these kind of games, but also to find new alternative(s) for the a-team and next qualifications.. (of course they play for win!)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Antti Muurinens comments

"China is preparing for their [FIFA] World Cup qualification and played with their best side. We had a somewhat experimental team. Our players hadn't had a competitive match for months and that showed in the first half. The second half was much better. We were able to create several scoring chances. With a bit of luck we might have got a draw."
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Another 2-1 loss against China

Finnish national team had its second loss against China when the home team won again 2-1.

China was the better side in the first half, but after the half time Finland took the initiative having better chances to score.

The korean refreree, Bae Jae-yongin, rejected one goal made by Finns. Daniel Sjölund, who came in from bench, was sent out for unknown reason. All in all, the result was good for China when considering the Finland domination in the second half.

China had changed their goalkeeper and three other players. Still, all their star players were among the opening squad. Finland was lacking Eremenko jr and Ville Nylund because of flu. Also goalkeeper Sillanpää had problems, with his side.

07.02.04, Guangzhov, China-Finland 2-1 (2-1).

8. 1-0 Zhang Yu Ning
37. 1-1 Peter Kopteff
41. 2-1 Zheng Zhi

Kaven
Hietanen -> 72. Sjölund (89. red card)
Salli
Kuivasto
Heinänen
Pohja -> 86. Mäkelä
Okkonen
Koppinen
Kopteff
Ilola -> 82. Hakanpää
Sumiala -> 46. Kottila
 

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Discussion Starter #12
After the game Muurinen was pretty satisfied although the referee didn't please.

"The team showed again a good spirit. We controlled the second half in an evident way and made the game difficult for Chinese. A great performance from us."

Muurinen thought that the best thing in the matches against China was the responsibility that young players were having.

"All the game minutes were minutes for the future."
 

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Bandy gold to Finland!!

This message is pretty off-topic, but maybe it doesn't matter so much this time..

I want to congratulate the Finnish bandy NT for beating Sweden in the final (and also the Swedish team for being a good opponent..:D ) A nice revenge for the bitter loss in Hockey WC last spring.. :fero:

I'm looking forward to next May, when we are going to see a same kind of result in the football arena.. (ok, it is just a friendly but still)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Next matches

Training matches will be:

31.3.2004 Malta - Finland
28.5.2004 Finland - Sweden (in Tampere )
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Malta - Finland

The Squad for Malta game is out now.

Jonatan created a thread for the subject, please check "Finnish squads for Malta games".
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Training matches vol 2

Here's a complete match list:

31.3.2004 Ta´qal
Malta - Finland

28.4.2004 Zenica
Bosnia & Hertsegovina - Finland

28.5.2004 Tampere
Finland - Sweden
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Malta - Finland 1 - 2

The friendly match
Malta - Finland 1-2 (0-0)

Mifsud 90 Eremenko Jr. 51
............ Litmanen 86

............ Niemi -> 46. Jääskeläinen
............ Pasanen
............ Saarinen -> 83. Nylund
............ Hyypiä (C) -> 55. Kuivasto
............ Tihinen
............ Riihilahti -> 74. Litmanen
............ Väyrynen
............ Kuqi -> 74. Niemi
............ Multaharju -> 46. Nurmela
............ Kopteff -> 46. Kolkka
............ Eremenko Jr. -> Lagerblom

Finland missed Forssell, Johansson and Tainio.
 

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Fantastic to see Litmanen mark his comeback with a goal.

Eremenko also seems to have played a good game judging from various reports.
 
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