World Cup qualifier: Finland hopes alive thanks to Roman Eremenko spot kick
Last Updated: 10/09/13 9:05pm
Roman Eremenko: On target for Finland against Georgia
A second half penalty from Roman Eremenko was enough to see Finland to victory over Georgia in World Cup qualifying Group I on Tuesday.
Victory means Finland's hopes of qualification, however slender, remain intact with nine points from seven matches.
Eremenko converted from the spot in the 75th minute after David Targamadze was adjudged to have handled and any thoughts of a Georgia comeback were effectively ended when Jaba Kankava was sent off for a second bookable offence moments later.
It left Georgia decisively eliminated and Finland needing France to slip up in Belarus to have a chance of claiming second spot in Group I.
Kasper Hamalainen missed from close range for Finland in an uneventful first half, while at the other end Akaki Khubutia had a shot blocked by Juhani Ojala after Niki Maenpaa had fumbled Zhano Ananidze's cross.
When Tornike Okriashvili volleyed over from six yards for the hosts midway through the second half, the game seemed destined to finish goalless.
But Kankava fouled Eremenko 20 yards from goal, earning a booking, and when Eremenko's shot hit Targamadze's hand in the wall, referee Michael Soteriou pointed to the spot.
Eremenko himself stepped up, sending the ball into the corner, and was promptly fouled by Kankava again, drawing the red card from the referee's pocket and effectively ending the contest.
Mixu Paatelainen's men will now travel to France on October 15 as they continue their pursuit for the second qualification spot in Group I.
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Tue 10th Sep - Group F
Russia3 - 1Israel
Luxembourg3 - 2N Ireland
Tue 10th Sep - Group G
Lithuania2 - 0Liechtenstein
Slovakia1 - 2Bosnia
Greece1 - 0Latvia
Tue 10th Sep - Group B
Armenia0 - 1Denmark
Malta1 - 2Bulgaria
Italy2 - 1Czech Rep
Tue 10th Sep - Group C
Kazakhstan0 - 1Sweden
Austria1 - 0Rep Ireland
Faroe Islands0 - 3Germany
Tue 10th Sep - Group E
Norway0 - 2Switzerland
Cyprus0 - 2Slovenia
Iceland2 - 1Albania
Tue 10th Sep - Group I
Georgia0 - 1Finland
Belarus2 - 4France
Tue 10th Sep - Group D
Romania0 - 2Turkey
Andorra0 - 2Netherlands
Hungary5 - 1Estonia
Tue 10th Sep - Group A
Macedonia1 - 2Scotland
Wales0 - 3Serbia
Tue 10th Sep - Group H
San Marino1 - 5Poland
Ukraine0 - 0England
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C
|4||Republic of Ireland||10||14|
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I