It was one-way traffic in Helsinki tonight as Finland defeated San Marino 8-0 to pick up their first points of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying campaign. Mikael Forssell helped himself to a hat-trick as the hosts ran over fellow Group E strugglers San Marino.
Kasper Hamalainen, Mika Vayrynen, Jari Litmanen and substitute Roni Porokara also netted in a one-sided Group E clash - with seven of the goals coming in the space of 30 second-half minutes.
Roman Eremenko, Alexei Eremenko and Vayrynen all threatened in the first half - but 38 minutes had passed when Vayrynen made the first breakthrough, converting Hamalainen's cross from close range. It was 2-0 in the 48th minute, with Hamalainen heading in a Roman Eremenko cross. The second goal signalled the opening of the floodgates as hosts Finland went on to score six goals in less than 30 minutes. Forssell got his first in the 51st minute with a left-footed effort from 18 yards and the Hannover striker made it 4-0 from close range when he found space to round off Niklas Moisander's cross.
Hamalainen got his second and his country's fifth goal in the 67th minute, finishing emphatically after good work by Veli Lampi. Veteran Litmanen blasted in the sixth from the penalty spot in the 71st minute after defender Nicola Albani had brought down Forssell. It was seven a little more than two minutes later when Porokara, who had only been on the pitch for three minutes, finished convincingly after Roman Eremenko had created the chance. And Forssell fittingly rounded off the scoring in the 78th minute, his hat-trick goal proving too hot for exposed San Marino goalkeeper Aldo Simoncini.
Despite tonights impressive performance, Olli Huttunen's team still face an uphill task to qualify for the UEFA EURO 2012 - they are still six points behind second-placed Hungary.