Finland scores late TD to beat Team Sweden in Women’s European Championships

Team Finland scored a touchdown with under 10 seconds left on the clock to break a tie and defeat Sweden 27-20 in the second round of the IFAF 2019 Women’s European Championships in Leeds, England.

With the win, Finland now has a chance to capture their second straight European title.

This was a tale of two halves. The two teams combined for 40 points in the second half after Finland took a 7-0 halftime lead.

Running back Tytti Kuusinen was again outstanding scoring two touchdowns while Mari Jääskelä and Anne Rasilahti scored one apiece. Sanni Seppälä kicked three extra points.

For Sweden, it was the Karin Ullén show as the receiver scored all three touchdowns for the Swedes.

The game was billed as Finland’s ground game against the aerial attack of the Swedes. It lived up to the billing.

Finland took a 7-0 lead on the second play from scrimmage as Kuusinen found a seam and raced 61 yards to score.

And that was all of the scoring in the first half as both defenses stiffened with neither team gaining any momentum.

Sweden narrowed the gap to 7-6 early in the third quarter after pouncing on a fumbled punt return on the Finnish 36 yard line. On the very next play, Swedish quarterback Linda Johansson found Ullen who broke a tackle and outran the defenders for a 36 yard touchdown.

The Swedes took the lead late in the quarter as Ullen, playing quarterback hit a gap and ran 34 yards to give Sweden a 14-7 lead.

Finland tied the game on their next possession as Kuusinen bulled her way into the end zone from the two yard line.

Then, three minutes later, with Sweden unable to move the ball, Finland drove to the Swedish 27 yard line and Kuusinen took the hand off, broke four tackles and roared into the end zone and Finland grabbed a 20-14 lead with five minutes left.

Ullen answered two plays later, getting outside and sprinting 53 yards to tie the game up again, 20-20.

That led to the late game dramatics with Finland getting stuffed inside Sweden’s 40 yard line with two minutes left. Sweden could not move the ball though and a poor punt snap gave Finland the ball on the Swedish 36 yard line. A pass interference call on the next play put the ball on Sweden’s 20 yard line with 10 seconds on the clock. Rasilahti  was left wide open in the middle of the field and hauled in a pass from quarterback Emilia Hartikaisen taking it all the way to the end zone. Seppälä’s extra point gave the Finns a 27-20 lead with second remaining.

The Swede’s last gasp pass completion to, who else, Ullen ended on the Finnish 40 and Finland began celebrating.

Finland will face Great Britain on August 17. Britain defeated Austria in the other game 36-6.


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