• Kazakhstan played their first international match on June 1, 1992 against Turkmenistan, with the team beating the Emeralds 1-0.
• Ireland meet Azerbaijan for the first time in what is a must-win clash for both countries as they look for their first points in World Cup qualification.
Finland vs Kazakhstan Saturday 4pm
Despite competing in their first major tournament this year (Euro 2020), 2021 hasn’t been so successful for Finland in terms of results on the pitch.
Winning just one of their nine international fixtures of any description this year, drawing thrice and losing five times, the hosts’ poor form has stemmed from a lack of goal scoring that has seen them fail to score in five of their previous six fixtures.
A 0-0 friendly draw at home to Wales last time out highlighted that lack of quality in the final third as Finland failed to register a single shot on target.
However, at the back, the hosts at least remain sturdy, conceding just 0.8 goals on average across their last five outings, whilst the inclusion of some younger faces in this squad shines a light on the Nordic nation’s bright future
Kazakhstan played their first international match on June 1, 1992 against Turkmenistan, with the team beating the Emeralds 1-0.
They have been competing on the international stage since 1991. Kazakhstan have yet to book their place at major tournaments, but they have not been serving as a cannon fodder for top European national teams.
Kazakhstan national football team recorded their biggest win over Pakistan in June, 1997 and they suffered their biggest defeat in 2005, with the team losing to Turkey 6-0.
Head to head
22/08/07 EUR Finland Kazakhstan 2 : 1
11/10/06 EUR Kazakhstan Finland 0 : 2
28/02/06 FI Finland Kazakhstan 0 : 1
Last matches Finland
01/09/21 FI Finland Wales 0 : 0
21/06/21 EUR Finland Belgium 0 : 2
16/06/21 EUR Finland Russia 0 : 1
12/06/21 EUR Denmark Finland 0 : 1
04/06/21 FI Finland Estonia 0 : 1
Last matches Kazakhstan
01/09/21 WC Kazakhstan Ukraine 2 : 2
04/06/21 FI North Macedonia Kazakhstan 4 : 0
31/03/21 WC Ukraine Kazakhstan 1 : 1
28/03/21 WC Kazakhstan France 0 : 2
18/11/20 UNL Kazakhstan Lithuania 1 : 2
Ireland vs Azerbaijan Saturday 7pm
Ireland meet Azerbaijan for the first time in what is a must-win clash for both countries as they look for their first points in World Cup qualification.
The Irish will be reeling after leading Portugal until the 89th minute on Wednesday before a late brace from record-breaking international scorer Cristiano Ronaldo compiled more heartache on head coach Stephen Kenny, who now has just one win from 14 matches in charge.
Kenny certainly won’t be taking an opponent ranked 112th in the Fifa rankings lightly here having suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to 96th-ranked Luxembourg in their previous home encounter. In fact, Kenny is not only still searching for his first home victory since his appointment in April 2020 but also his first home goal.
Another team to suffer a 2-1 loss last time out, Azerbaijan succumbed to Luxembourg, which has left their very faint 2022 World Cup hopes in tatters. Considering they’ve only ever won seven World Cup qualification matches since being recognised as an independent nation, their last coming against San Marino in 2017, it’s no shock that they’ve never reached a major tournament.
Gianni De Biasi’s side are certainly no strangers to playing away from their home nation as 14 of their previous 15 international fixtures have taken place outside of Azerbaijan. Winning just two World Cup qualification away matches ever in their history, the visitors have also only ever scored nine World Cup qualification away goals.
Previous matches Ireland
01/09/21 WC Portugal Ireland 2 : 1
08/06/21 FI Hungary Ireland 0 : 0
03/06/21 FI Andorra Ireland 1 : 4
30/03/21 FI Qatar Ireland 1 : 1
27/03/21 WC Ireland Luxembourg 0 : 1
Previous matches Azerbaijan
01/09/21 WC Luxembourg Azerbaijan 2 : 1
06/06/21 FI Moldova Azerbaijan 1 : 0
02/06/21 FI Belarus Azerbaijan 1 : 2
27/05/21 FI Turkey Azerbaijan 2 : 1
30/03/21 WC Azerbaijan Serbia 1 : 2