15:58 28th September 2013
Wales announce friendly with Finland at Cardiff City Stadium
Wales will meet Finland in a Vauxhall International Friendly Match at Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday 16th November 2013. Kick off will be at 6pm.
This will be the twelfth meeting between the sides in a series of games that stretch back to 1971. The records are equal with four wins apiece and three draws. The last meeting being in October 2009 in the World Cup qualifier in Helsinki when Finland won 2-1, the Wales goal coming from Craig Bellamy.
For both teams the match will be a chance to start looking ahead to the 2016 European Championship qualifiers that will begin in September of 2014.
Finland are coached by Mixu Paatelainen, a former international striker (winning 70 caps) who was a great favourite in Scottish Football, playing for Dundee United, Aberdeen, Hibs, St.Johnstone and St.Mirren. He also played for Bolton Wanderers and later managed Cowdenbeath.
In their current World Cup campaign, Finland are lying in third position in Group I, behind Spain and France, but are not able to qualify for Brazil. Their final group match is in France in October. The Finnish squad has much experience in it, with squad members playing for clubs all over Europe, though it will be interesting to see if they take the opportunity of bringing-in new faces after this campaign.
For Wales, it will be the first of five potential friendly games before the start of the new European championship campaign. Manager Chris Coleman said: ‘This is an ideal friendly for us as we look ahead. Finland have always produced good, strong technical players and I have no doubt that they will be a very good test for us.”
He continued: “From a personal point of view, I remember playing against them for Wales in the first game at the Millennium Stadium in March 2000 when they beat us 2-1. Ryan Giggs scored for us in front of 66,000 fans. My old mate Andy Melville was alongside me in defence. Finland had players such as Sami Hyypia, Jari Litmanen and Mikael Forssell in their team. Quite a handful!”
Tickets will be priced at Adults £10, Senior Citizens £5, Juveniles (Under 16) £1. Further ticket information will be available in due course at: www.FAW.org.uk