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Natalia Kuikka called up for crucial EURO qualifying matches

Kuikka won Finnish women’s player of the year for 2020.

Finland Women v Slovakia Women - International Friendly Picture by Jose Breton

The Finland Women’s National Football Team announced their roster to compete in UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Championship Qualifying. Portland Thorns FC defender Natalia Kuikka has been called up for two matches.

The reigning Finnish women’s player of the year will lead the Boreal Owls against Portugal and Cyprus. Finland is currently in first place in EURO Qualification Group E, edging out Portugal on goal differential. Portugal and the Boreal Owls are tied on 16 points.

Finland and Portugal drew in their first match in qualification. The two national teams meet again on Friday, Feb. 19 in Helsinki at 8:15 a.m. (PT). A win or a draw puts Finland in prime position to qualify for the EUROS. The first-place team in each group automatically qualifies and some of the second-place teams do as well. Finland has a goal differential of +16 while Portugal’s is +7.

The Boreal Owls close out qualification against Cyprus, the last-placed team in the group. Cyprus currently has zero points and a goal differential of -22. That match will be played on Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 9 a.m. (PT).