Pukki Party! City striker breaks Finland goal scoring record
- Credit: PA
Teemu Pukki has broken Jari Litmanen's record to become Finland's all-time record goal scorer after netting a brace in their World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan.
City's striker sat on 31 goals heading into this afternoon's fixture in Astana, but a quickfire brace has seen him leapfrog the ex-Liverpool and Barcelona forward to cement his place in the history books.
The 31-year-old has netted only once in his last seven international matches heading into this contest but a smart finish saw him open the scoring on the cusp of half-time. He swivelled and poked the ball beyond the goalkeeper to put Finland ahead.
His second goal arrived just moments after the interval when he responded quickest to Urho Nissilä's curling shot from range. He pounced after the keeper parried the effort to convert from inside the six-yard box.
The City striker has netted twice in the Premier League this season but remains a key cog for his country as they continue their efforts to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar next year.
Pukki has broken Litmanen's record in fewer matches and is two games from reaching his international century.
Since signing for Norwich in the summer of 2018, the striker has scored 90 goals in 168 matches for both club and country. That statistic merely emphasises his importance for City and Finland - where he is considered a superstar.
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Speaking after the game to Finnish broadcasters VSport, Pukki said: Of course, when you get past Liti, it is an indescribable feeling.
"Most importantly, It was an important three points. The dream of the World Cup is still alive.
"It was a difficult start, because we don't play very much on artificial grass. We only had time to do one workout in that. But then when we got the game started, we could have scored more goals."
24 of those 33 goals for Finland have arrived since Pukki signed for the Canaries on a free transfer after leaving Danish side Brondby.
Pukki's goal scoring exploits for Norwich ranks him ninth alongside Les Eyre in the record books. Two more strikes would see him leapfrog City legend John Deehan into eighth spot and the 31-year-old is nine goals behind Grant Holt in sixth.
He will now return to Colney to prepare for City's Premier League clash against Brighton on Saturday hoping to take his international form onto the pitch for the Canaries.
11 Norwich City players were in action on Tuesday evening, including Scottish contingent Grant Hanley and Billy Gilmour who started during their dramatic 1-0 victory against the Faroe Islands.
Gilmour caught the eye again in midfield and his pass led to the late winner, which saw John McGinn's cross bundled into the net by Lyndon Dykes.
Milot Rashica started for Kosovo during their 2-1 defeat with Georgia and won his side a penalty on the cusp of half-time after being fouled by Khvicha Kvaratskhelia in the area.
Dimitris Giannoulis started for Greece in their defeat to Sweden as the pressure mounts on coach John van 't Schip. City's defender played 85 minutes of the fixture at left-wing back before being withdrawn late on.
Winger Christos Tzolis featured for the final 20 minutes but was unable to impact the result, with Greece's chances of qualification looking slimmer by the game.
- You can watch the moment Pukki broke the record via the video below