WATCH: Canaries fan takes to the streets in Helsinki with the Pukki Party in full swing
PUBLISHED: 21:45 15 November 2019 | UPDATED: 21:56 15 November 2019
Teemu Pukki’s goal-scoring heroics have sent Finland wild, with the Norwich City star and his international team-mates sparking delirious scenes on the streets of Helsinki – with a Norfolk native among those partying.
Canaries supporter Matthew Paines, originally from Thetford and a former Wymondham College pupil, watched Finland beat Liechtenstein 3-0 at the Woolshed sports bar in the Finnish capital.
Mr Paines works as a translator from his time living in Japan, where he met his wife. After moving to Helsinki five years ago for his wife's work with a Japanese airline the couple have settled into life in Finland.
"It's a party atmosphere in Helsinki tonight, there's almost as much green and yellow as there is blue and white," said Mr Paines. "From the Norwich City concession in Kamppi Square to the giant screen in Oodi, the Finns have a lot of love for Norwich."
He added: "Finland beat Canada 3-1 in ice hockey world championships back in May, this is Finland's most popular sport and most pundits said football could never match ice hockey for excitement. But Helsinki is putting on a fine show for Pukki tonight."
After seeing Finland seal their first ever qualification for a major football tournament, the 2020 European Championship, with Pukki scoring twice in the win, Mr Paines joined the thousands of Finns taking to the streets to savour the special occasion.
He concluded: "At moments of national celebration, Finns say 'Torille!', 'To the square!'. In Norwich that would be Anglia Square, but here it's Senate Square - which by a stunning coincidence happens to be on the toddle home from the pub for your humble correspondent. So, let's go see how the Finns celebrate Norwich's win!"
- Take a look at the video above for an insight into the Pukki Party - and keep scrolling to see more of the reaction to the victory
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Norwich Evening News. Click the link in the orange box above for details.