Finland advanced to the medal games of European Championship by winning Czech Republic
Finland won 10-42 (10-14) against Czech Republic in their second group stage game of American football in the European Championship. The closely contested battle, played in Ústí, Czech Republic, turned in favor of Finland in the second half, resulting in a clear victory.
The first-ever American football meeting between Finland and Czech Republic started off evenly matched. No points were scored during the first quarter as both teams’ defenses successfully kept their opponents at zero. In the second half, the difference in skill and experience became clear as Finland pulled away for a dominant win.
Tuukka Lehtonen opened the scoring for Finland in the second half by catching a 6-yard pass from quarterback Ambro Urjansson in the endzone. Urjansson threw a total of 5 touchdowns in the game. Kicker Aleksi Pulkkinen successfully converted all six extra point attempts for Finland.
On defense, Elmeri Laalo made a spectacular ”pick-six” interception return for a touchdown. Timi Nuikka, Akseli Olin, and Viljo Lempinen also recorded interceptions for Finland.
This was the first game for the Czech Republic national team since 2019.
Finland will continue their pursuit for the American football European Championship in the semifinals in August 2023. The European Championship final will be played in October 2023 to determine the champion. Finland will defend their bronze medal from the 2021 European Championship.
Photo: Jarmo Vehkomäki