Finland lost to Sweden 0–2.

    Santeri Väänänen (center) was grateful that he got his first A national match on his account. BILDBYRÅN

    Finland lost to Sweden in the first match of the winter camp.

    The neighbors met at the Estadio Algarve in southern Portugal, and the Nordic futsal lordship didn’t interest the locals much.

    The fairways of the fine stadium built for the 2004 European Championship were humming their emptiness.

    The head coach Markku Kanerva had nominated no less than five first-timers for the opening.

    – I am disappointed with the result of the game. I miss losing to the Swedes. I was expecting a bit more from what I’ve felt in practice. Above all, when it comes to attacking play, this left a lot to be desired.

    – It was sad.

    Finland’s best place was created as if by stealth in the 19th minute, when Lucas Lingman’s long pass reached Kai Meriluoton and this shook the defender from his neck.

    Swedish goalkeeper Leopold Wahlstedt however, stretched to a great save.

    – One goal was to see players in these circles. We received feedback on this and are now analyzing it in more detail. Sweden was slightly better. It defended really closely and took away spaces. The quality of the inputs left much to be desired.

    Lots of debutantes

    In addition to Meriluoto, the debutantes included a goalkeeper Lucas Bergström, Santeri Väänänen, Agon Sadiku and Tomas Galvez as well as those who joined the game from the exchange Felipe Aspegren and Anthony Olusanya.

    – Above all, of course, I am disappointed with the result and the fact that we as a team could not do better, Väänänen said after the match.

    Of course, he is also satisfied with the first international match of his career.

    – Of course, it’s a dream for Finnish football fans. I am grateful that I have been able to play an A national match.

    Sweden took the lead in the match in the 38th minute when Yasin Ayari found with a sharp vertical pass by Christopher Nyman at the border of the penalty area. Arttu Hoskonen completely lost contact with Nyman, who fired the ball into the bottom corner.

    After the break, Finland’s grip on the game tightened, but the team was unable to serve suitable running balls to Meriluoto and Sadiku, who were grateful at the top.

    At just over an hour, Kanerva changed his team for the first time. Aspergillus, Rasmus Schuller and Santeri Hostikka all ran to the field at the same time

    A little later, Olusanya increased the number of debutants to seven. Kanerva hoped that the HJK striker would bring additional power to Finland’s game.

    – I remembered certain flashes of light and performances. But as a whole, and I’m not just talking about debutants, I expected more on an individual level, Kanerva continued.

    In the end, however, Finland’s writing was sorely lacking. In the end, goalkeeper Bengström and Robert Ivanov shuffled so that Joel Asoro was allowed to finish the 2–0 ending numbers in the blanks.

    Finland’s camp continues in southern Portugal. On Thursday, they will face their southern neighbor VIro.

    – There was a lot left in that game. It’s a physical team and challenging opposition. And we’ll see new players on the field again. It’s a showcase for them again.

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