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Hamalainen plays full game for Finland U21s

NIKO Hamalainen played the full game for Finland U21s on Friday evening but couldn’t prevent his side from losing 2-1 to Georgia in their 2019 UEFA U21 Euro Finals qualifier.

Finland took the lead in Seinajoki on 19 minutes through Lassi Lappalainen but succumbed to two late goals as the visitors won the Group 3 fixture.

Georgia equalised from the penalty spot in the 75th-minute through Beka Mikeltadze after Richard Jensen fouled Giorgi Kokhreidze in the box.

And they grabbed the victory with just three minutes remaining when Irakli Bugridze found the back of the net just 60 seconds after coming off the bench.

Finland cannot qualify for the finals. They sit fourth in their group with nine points from nine games, 11 points behind leaders Denmark and ten points adrift of second-placed Poland.

The Championship features a qualifying group stage and a playoff round to determine which 11 teams join co-hosts Italy in the final tournament.

Teams have been split into nine groups of six teams, and play each other on a home-and-away basis. The nine group winners qualify automatically. The four runners-up with the best record against the nations first, third, fourth and fifth in their sections advance to the playoffs.

Finland’s final group game is against Lithuania on Tuesday evening in Valkeakoski.