Last Updated: 15/06/09 7:07pm
England 2 Finland 1. All over and England take the spoils. A bright first half was followed by a disappointing second and the Young Lions know they will need to improve if they have any hope of taking the crown.
Sparv lashes narrowly over the top from distance as Finland do all they can to snatch a point. Doesn't look like being their night though.
England have everyone bar Campbell behind the ball and when the United youngster breaks clear he has no support. This game should be all over.
Mistake by Cranie almost allows Pukki to snatch a late leveller. Hart looks far from composed, but the ball is eventually hammered clear.
Pukki stings Hart's fingertips with a fierce drive from distance. The Manchester City keeper never looked concerned and the effort was straight down his throat.
Richards has a slight knock and makes way for Tomkins. England will hope the problem is not too serious.
Another chance for Vasara flashes wide as he connects with a front post delivery, England hanging on a bit.
Good defending by Richards as he prevents Sadik from getting in on goal by nodding way over the top. Corner to Finland.
Nervous moment for England as Vasara almost sneaks in. The Young Lions fail to clear their lines and are fortunate to see the ball richochet behind for a goal kick with blue shirts bearing down on goal.
Sadik needs more help in the middle as he continues to work hard, but is up against two England defenders. Finland, though, are finishing the stronger.
Finland's long-ball tactic is proving to be increasingly less dangerous, with a number of wayward hoofs forward giving Pukki and Sadik no chance.
England are almost there and have decided they will not be doing anything special in the final few minutes. The back four are hardly moving and will provide a stubborn wall for Finland to overcame.
Anyone surprised that England have opted to make more changes, especially as there are a few tired legs out there?
Sparv has a dig from 35-yards and fires well over the top. An air of desperation infiltrating the Finnish game at times as we edge towards the final whistle.
Milner delivers another dangerous free-kick, but fails to find a white shirt. England sent few bodies forward on this occasion and appear happy to take what they have got.
England are starting to look a little tired and concede another corner. Again it is worked short, but Aho's final ball is terrible and sails out for a goal kick.
Campbell nods on to Agbonlahor, who scampers down towards the corner flag. He whips over a cross, but Turunen is on hand to head clear under pressure from Noble.
Indeed Finland do go for goal and get a deflection off Cranie. Unfortunately for them the nick does not wrong-foot Hart and only serves to take all the pace off the ball.
Another free-kick in a promising area for Finland. It is all of 35-yards out, but has to be worth a crack?
Warning for Sparv as he commits another foul. He is fortunate to escape a booking as he gives the referee a mouthful. Frustration starting to boil over for the Finns.
Twenty minutes left - can England hold on? Three points were always the priority and the Young Lions will know they started slowly in 2007, before coming good as the tournament progressed.
Pukki and Hetemaj combine down the left, but quickly see their route to goal blocked off. England are working hard and are defending much better.
Perparim Hetemaj, who has been contained after the break, whips in a dangerous cross, which beats Cranie, but it falls behind Sadik.
First touch for Pukki is not the best as he loses possession on the edge of the box. Finland had made ground well and will be disappointed at their permed striker.
England are standing their ground at the moment and don't appear to be in any danger of being breached for a second time. There is still much to work on, but three points would be a massive bonus.
Finland win a corner down the right, but fail to make anything of it. The delivery is comfortably dealt with by the first man and England clear their lines.
Richards has got the taste for this and goes close with another header. Milner's delivery, from a free-kick this time, is perfect again and Richards is disappointed not to have done better.
Wayward effort which sails high into the stands never has Hart worried. The England keeper has barely touched the ball today, in a game in which neither side has created much.
Little of note to comment on at the moment as Finland start to enjoy more of the ball, but England have two banks of four in front of Hart.
Campbell, who has been quiet since coming on, skips down the left and bursts into the box. He tumbles once inside the area, but is never going to get a penalty and is waved to his feet.
Noble has put himself around today and will feel that, as captain, he needs to lead by example. The West Ham man has been one of England's better performers.
England need to make sure they don't retreat into their shell and invite pressure. They have proven to be more of a match for their opponents with 10-men and should go for a third to wrap things up.
Finland have resorted back to getting the ball forward as quickly as possible. Can Cranie deal with that threat better than Mancienne?
Stuart Pearce will be delighted with the atttitude on show from his side, as they never allowed their heads to drop. They must now be favourites to take the points as Finland have shown little after the break.
GOAL ENGLAND - RICHARDS. Great delivery from Milner as his corner picks out Richards' leap. His effort is perfectly directed into the corner and England have their lead back. Can they hold onto it this?
Milner works the keeper with a sipping effort, but his drive was always too central. He does win a corner as Jaakkola tips over the top.
Noble is almost caught in possession on halfway, but is able to wriggle free and set England on the attack. Milner is then felled on the edge of the box. Chance for the Three Lions.
Sparv displays his aerial ability as he towers above Cranie and nods on towards Sadik. He is, however, pulled up for a foul, which seems like a strange decision from the referee.
Good claims from Jaakkola as he climbs over the top of Cattermole to reach a high ball. Other than the goal, the Finnisk keeper has had little to do.
Finland work a short corner and carve open an opportunity to throw in a dangerous delivery. A flashing ball across the face of goal only needs a touch, but there is no blue shirt on hand to provide it.
Finland move the ball around with a sense of style on this occasion and a floated ball towards Sadik almost allows the opportunity to bag a second. Cranie, though, gets an important touch to the ball and concedes a corner.
Perparim Hetemaj forces Milner into some smart defending as the Villa man finds himself rather isolated at the back.
England begin the second period as they ended the first, with the ball at their feet. Can they do more with it now that they have thrown on a second frontman?
Thanks to Mursu fro getting in touch from a rainy Finland. Unsurprisingly, the Finns are in buoyant mood after an eye-catching display from their side. Can they continue in that manner after the break.? We are about to find out!
Remember you can also bet inplay at skybet.com. England are now 13/8 to start with a win, while Finland are in to 11/4. The draw is 6/5 and looks to be a good bet. Should you fancy the Young Lions, 2-1 to Pearce's men is available at 16/5.
Do you see England finding a winner, or what about Finland? Let me know your thoughts throughout the second half by contacting me direct at Chris.Burton@bskyb.com.
England 1 Finland 1. An eventful half comes to a close all square. England are down to 10 following Mancienne's dismissall, but will feel that they are still capable of taking maximum points from a tricky contest.
Sparv drills goalwards, but the runner from the wall gets out to him in time and puts in a solid block. However, Finland regroup and Perparim Hetemaj skips into the box and lashes narrowly over the top.
Needless free-kick conceded by Muamba on the edge of the box and England are in trouble at the end of the first half.
Finland have seen virtually none of the ball in the last few minutes, which has got to be a positive for England. Even a man down they are dominating possession. They just need to be a bit more adventurous.
Agbonlahor pulls out to the right and makes room for Milner to cross. Noble is in the box waiting for a delivery, but he can't be picked out.
Gibbs looks to throw in a cross, but upon weighing up his options decides against it. There was no-one in the middle for the Arsenal man to aim for. England must be prepared to get men forward, even with their numerical disadvantage.
Walcott digs out a cross from the right, but he only makes the front post where Portin is on hand to head clear.
Anyone expecting Finland to be pushovers at these championships has been proved very wrong here this evening. They are strong, good in the air and have a lively frontman in Sadik who will cause any team problems. They will fancy their chances against Spain and Germany in their other group games.
Slight lull in proceedings as England indulge in a bout of keep-ball at the back. The Young Lions need to rediscover their composure because they had started to look the better side before the equaliser.
Agbonlahor now needs to put in a shift up front for England as he will be expected to patrol one of the flanks and find room down the middle. Can the Villa man cope?
Bright from Perparim Hetemaj as he skips past a lacklustre challenge from make-shift full-back Milner and strikes at goal. His effort cannons into Muamba and the feint handball claims are waved away.
Sadik, who has been a handful all day, chases a lost cause over the top and forces Hart to race from his area and hammer clear.
England appear to be fired up after losing a body and have not taken their foot off the pedal. Gibbs on this occasion bombs down the left and is unlukcy not to see his low cross find a white shirt.
For the record, Milner has gone to right-back and Cranie has moved across to replace Mancienne in the middle.
How will England respond? There lead has been wiped away and they are now down to 10-men. Not what the Three Lions would have hoped for from their opening contest.
GOAL FINLAND - SPARV. No mistake from Finland captian Sparv, who had a spell at Southampton in his youth, as he sends Hart the wrong way.
Sadik again goes down in the box under a challenge from Mancienne, who had found himself caught out.
Milner sends a free-kick into the heart of the Finland penalty area, where Richards rises to glance goalwards. Again he is off target, but is winning a lot of attacking battles in the air.
For all their pretty football, England are still struggling to carve out openings. Agbonlahor looks a little isolated as a lone frontman, while Milner and Walcott are yet to show what they are capable of.
England are now happy to play the ball out from the back and appear to have discovered confidence in their own ability. That should ensure the result only goes one way. I repeat - should!
Sparv, who has been quiet so far, looks to free Sadik, but can only find Mancienne. After a bright opening, Finland look a little deflated.
Another moment to forget for Walcott as he stands on the ball. Perhaps his exertions with the senior side last week are catching up with him?
In the end they loft a delivery to the back post and fail to pick out a blue shirt, much to England's relief. Finland are a big side and pose a considerable aerial threat.
High foot from Muamba gives Finalnd another opportunity to have a lash from distance. Can they find the target on this occasion?
Mehmet Hetemaj feels he has won a corner after escaping past Gibbs, but the linesman disagrees. Harsh on the Finns as they appeared to have a case.
Untidy from Milner as he hacks away at Raltala and concedes a free-kick. England have made sure that they have not been dominated physically by a strong Finland side.
England have looked a lot more comfortable since the goal and I fancy them to find a few more this evening.
Mancienne with a brilliant drive over the top for Agbonlahor to chase. He looks favourite for a minute to beat Jaakkola to the ball, but the Finnish keeper is quick off his line to see out the danger.
Noble's delivery is poor and is easily dealt with by the first man. Disappointing as England had thrown everyone up from the back.
Cranie sends Cattermole free down the right and he wins a corner off Portin. What can England make of this?
Route One from England this time and Walcott is unfortunate not to latch onto Cattermole's raking pass. As it happens, his first touch deserts him and the ball runs out of play.
England are almost in again as Milner ghosts down the right and hammers over a low cross. Aho, who was at fault for the goal, was struggling again. England do little with the resulting corner, with a towering header from Richards drifting well wide.
Finland are persiting with their long-ball tactics and England continue to struggle to deal with it. It's not rocket-science and Pearce will be keen to have a word with his back four.
GOAL ENGLAND - CATTERMOLE. A scrappy effort, but England take the lead through Cattermole. Bright burst from Agbonlahor down the left and he keeps his composure to pick out his team-mate. Cattermole rather scuffs his effort, but it bobbles home past Jaakkola.
Noble finds space in the middle of the park and looks to loft a delicate pass over the top for Walcott's pace. He gets too much on the pass, though, and it runs behind. Unfortunately, that just about sums up England so far.
England need to keep focused and not get frustrated early on. They have conceded a few needless free-kicks and that is doing nothing for the flow of the game.
England are seeing more of the ball now and are looking to get on the front foot. Finland are getting men behind the ball, though, and are making life very difficult.
Mehmet Hetemaj tries his luck with a 30-yard free-kick, but smashes a poor effort straight into the wall.
Not happening for Walcott so far, with his first couple of touches coming to nothing. England are looking to him for inspiration and he needs to up his game, despite having come into this game on the back of a long hard season.
Sadik has slipped in behind again and this time tumbles under a challenge from Gibbs. Nothing given, but the Arsenal full-back can count himself lucky as he did appear to trip the striker.
England need to get the ball on the deck and pass it around. Technically they are far superior, but the Finns are working so hard at the moment to give them no time and space in which to work. Very nervous start to the tournament by the Young Lions.
Hesitation between Mancienne and Hart almost proves disastrous. Sadik is lurking with intent, but Mancienne eventually clears behind. The Chelsea man was looking for his keeper to come and collect, and he remained rooted to his line. The resulting corner comes to nothing and England breathe a sigh of relief.
Noble, captian of Pearce's troops, sends Agbonlahor scampering down the left. He looks for support upon collecting the ball, but there is little for him to aim at in the middle.
The delivery is long towards the back post, where Gibbs is able to see off the challenge of Hetemaj. England have made a slow start, while the Finns look bright.
Sadik finds room down the channel and escapes his marker. Richards does get back to him, but is forced to concede a throw. Mancienne then nods behind and we have the first corner of the game.
Finland are wasting no time getting the ball forward and are firing long balls towards the tall figure of Sadik. Mancienne will need to be on his toes tonight.
Cattermole gets stuck in early on and crunches into a typical challenge. He is pulled up, but escapes a caution.
Finland make positive proegress down the left early on and win a throw deep in England territory. The ball eventually ends up in the hands of Hart, though, and the Three Lions are not tested.
The teams are out and it's a glorious day in Sweden for the opening of this tournament. With some of the stars of tomorrow on show we should be in for an interesting few weeks. Let's hope we start with a bang!!
Finland team: Jaakkola, Aho, Portin, Turunen, Raitala,Hamalainen, Mehmet Hetemaj, Sparv, Perparim Hetemaj, Parikka, Sadik. Subs: Masalin, Viljanen, Toivio, Jalasto, Otaru, Karkkainen, Aijala, Hakola, Vasara, Pukki, Kokko, Lehtovaara.
England team: Hart, Cranie, Richards, Mancienne, Gibbs, Muamba, Cattermole, Noble, Milner, Agbonlahor, Walcott. Subs: Lewis, Tomkins, Taylor, Stearman, Onuoha, Gardner, Johnson, Rodwell, Driver, Rose, Campbell, Loach.
You can also bet inplay throughout the game at skybet.com. England start as 2/7 favourites to take the points, with the Finns at 7/1. Gabriel Agbonlahor is 9/2 to open the scoring, with Theo Walcott at 5/1.
Who will be the men to watch? Will England open with a convincing win, or can Finland cause an upset? Let me know your thoughts.
With plenty of Premier League experience on which to call, Pearce knows anything less than a successful tilt at the title will be deemed a failure for his side. But can they go all the way? You can let me know your opinions throughout the game at Chris.Burton@bskyb.com.
Expectations are high among England supporters that this could be the year for Stuart Pearce's Young Lions to taste interntional glory, having fallen at the semi-final stage two years ago. Finland, meanwhile, are competing at their first major tournament and will be hoping to leave a positive impression on the competition.