Finland defeats Czech Republic to advance to IFAF European Championship Medal Games

In the first ever clash between Finland and the Czech Republic, Team Finland, bronze medalists in 2021, handed the Czechs, newcomers to the tournament, a heavy 42-10 defeat.

The game started off slowly on offense from both squads as neither were able to put up any points in the first quarter. The scoring drought finally ended halfway through the second quarter as Finland was able to put a drive together that ended with quarterback Ambro Urjansson finding wide receiver Tuukka Lehtonen for a six yard touchdown.

That score seemed to fire up the Czechs. On their ensuing drive after the Finnish score, they answered with a strong three-minute drive and running back Bělá Mráz finished it off in the redzone with a 7- yard run.

Photo: Jarmo Vehkomäki

This was the last time however that the Czechs could find their way into the endzone for the rest of the game and at this point, Finland started to run away with the game.

With the score knotted up at 7-7, it did not take Finland long to regain their lead. Urjansson showed off his arm strength and lofted a 52-yard pass to Kimi Linnainmaa to give the Finns a lead they would never lose. The Czech Republic were able to get their last points of the game right before half as kicker Petr Čermák booted a field goal to make the score 14-10.

For the rest of the game, Urjansson continued to put on a clinic and threw three more passing touchdowns in the second half. He finished the game with 252 passing yards and five touchdowns.IN fact, all Finland’s offensive points came off passes he threw.

Urjansson was able to get the entire Finnish offense involved as he threw each of his touchdowns to different receivers. Santtu Vehkomäki, Mikko Seppänen, and Johannes Jauhiainen would all get in on the fun as they were able to score for their country.

Photo: Jarmo Vehkomäki

The final score of the game came at the hands of Finland’s defense. After shutting down the Czech’s offensive attack all game, their defense was finally rewarded with some fun of their own as Elmeri Laalo picked off a pass late in the fourth quarter and returned it untouched 42-yards to make the final score 42-10, capping off Finland’s dominant day.

With the win, Finland advances to the IFAF European Championship semifinals in August of 2023.

Noah Costantino is a student and football player at Baldwin Wallace University in Cleveland, Ohio. Fueled by his love for the game he looks to continue his knowledge of football at an international level. He is majoring in Communications with a