Qarabağ TV


Azerbaijan scored a shock 1-0 win over previously unbeaten Finland in a Euro 2008 Group A qualifier on Wednesday to seriously dent the Finns hopes of reaching the finals for the first time.

The only goal of an otherwise uneventful match came from substitute Emin Imamaliyev eight minutes from time and was enough to give Azerbaijan their first win of the competition and only their third in a European qualifying match in 34 starts since they first began playing them in 1994.

Imamaliyev caught a corner by Vugar Nadyrov just inside the penalty area and fired past Finnish goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen to secure all three points.

Finland's English manager Roy Hodgson was gracious in defeat, saying Azerbaijan were deserving winners.

'They played really well, especially in defence,' Hodgson, who has seen Finland imporove greatly under his stewardship , told a news conference.

'As for us, it's a huge setback but we'll get over it.'

Emotional Azerbaijan coach Sain Diniyev, whose team was crushed 5-0 by Poland last Saturday, was delighted.

'I was looking for my team to bounce back from that painful defeat in Warsaw,' he said. 'And we did just that.'