HELSINKI (AP) – Sweden needs a win against Finland on Friday to ensure at least a place in the European Championship playoffs.
Sweden can still win Group E if the Netherlands lose at home to Moldova and Sweden wins in Helsinki and then later at home against the Dutch. The Netherlands has already secured a spot in the final tournament because even if the team finishes second, it is guaranteed to be the best runner-up.
If Sweden takes fewer than three points in the two games against Finland and Netherlands, Hungary could sneak in to take second place in the group. Moldova is in fourth and has no chance of qualifying.
Finland, which lost 5-0 at Sweden, can't qualify for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine but is desperate not to lose again.
''That cannot happen again,'' Finland coach Mixu Paatelainen said. ''We played positively against Moldova and the Netherlands and we aim to carry on from that.''
In Helsinki, Finland beat Moldova 4-1 on Sept. 2 but lost to the Dutch 2-0 four days later. The Finns will be without midfielder Perparim Hetemaj, who is suspended after a red card.