Former Premier League star scores brace against Portugal
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Former Premier League star scores brace against Portugal

05/06/24 11:58

Fans of Norwich City, Celtic, Brondby, Minnesota, Schalke and the video game FIFA have fond memories of Teemu Pukki, not to mention the Finnish people themselves. He’s the man who scored ten goals to take them to the 2020 European Championships, and despite failing to qualify this time around was back in the goals last night.

Pukki was subbed on in the 65th minute at 3-0 down with one simple goal. Change the game. Eight minutes later he did just that, running in behind, chipping a delightful ball over Jose Sa to pull one back for the Finns. Four minutes after that he added a second, once again finding space behind the Portuguese back line and tucking it away classily in the right hand corner just as he has done so many times throughout his career. Reducing a three goal deficit to one in just twelve minutes.

In his five seasons at Carrow Road, Pukki scored 88 times and provided 29 assists as he propelled The Yellows to back-to-back promotions to the Premier League. Fans will fondly remember his fantastic run of form at the start of the 2019 EPL season, earning him a player of the month award and of course iconic in-game FIFA 20 card.

Pukki was subbed on in the 65th minute at 3-0 down with one simple goal. Change the game. Eight minutes later he did just that, running in behind, chipping a delightful ball over Jose Sa to pull one back for the Finns. Four minutes after that he added a second, once again finding space behind the Portuguese back line and tucking it away classily in the right hand corner just as he has done so many times in his career. Reducing a three goal deficit to one in just twelve minutes.

Pukki now plays in the MLS for Minnesota United, scoring twelve times so far with a memorable four of those coming in just 31 minutes against LA Galaxy last year.

Canary fans may remember his 29 non penalty goals in 2018/19, his 22 Premier League goals in two poor teams, or the beautiful connection he established with Emi Buendia. But internationally the Pukki Party will always be recognised, both a testament to his goal scoring ability and humble character.

His 42 goals for Finland place him as their highest international goalscorer to date, a record that looks as if it will stand for a very long time. At 34, the frontman may have a chance to have a last dance with Finland next year as they attempt to qualify for the 2026 World Cup in the country which he now calls home, USA.

And finally a short anecdote, one of my good friends is a Norwich fan and his spare season ticket gave me the fortune to watch a prime Pukki in his time in Norfolk. The 29-goal season was almost mesmerising to watch, with a memorable two goals against Ipswich on Derby Day being the personal highlight for me. Goals which not only secured a victory, but his status as a Carrow Road cult hero.

Benji Kosartiyer
Journalist
Patrick McGahren

Writer

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