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Impact International Watch - Minor Injury Ruled Lappalainen Out

Lassi misses Finnish victory over Greece, but coach Kanerva hopes to have him back for the visit of Italy on Sunday.

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Lappalainen ruled out due to minor injury.
Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Finnish coach Markku Kanerva stated that Lassi Lappalainen was not considered in his 23 for the game against Greece this evening due to a minor injury, the details of which were not disclosed.

Kanerva also stated he hopes to have Lappalainen available for Sunday’s clash with Italy in Tampere.

The Italians top the group with five wins from five, while Finland’s narrow victory over Greece (1-0) keeps them in pole position for the second automatic qualifying spot, three points behind the Azzurri and five ahead of Bosnia & Herzegovina in third.

Jukka Raitala played the full game in the right-back position this evening and rarely put a foot wrong for the Finns, who won through Teemo Pukki’s 52nd minute penalty.

Raitala looks certain to retain his position against the Italians as he nears a half-century of international caps, and hopefully he’ll be joined by fit-again Lassi Lappalainen.

Things are looking very promising for the Finns as they bid to qualify for a major finals tournament for the first time in their long history. A point against the Italians and anything less for Bosnia away to Armenia on Sunday will consolidate that situation.

Conceivably they could as good as seal the deal next month when they visit Sarajevo to take on the Bosnians. But even if they don’t, there’s a further two home games against Armenia and Lichtenstein, before travelling to Athens to meet Greece in the last game. That’s in November, by which time the last match may only be of academic interest.