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Teemu Pukki dazzles in his full Schalke debut

Finnish striker bought from HJK Helsinki scores twice against Hanover

Teemu Pukki dazzles in his full Schalke debut
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After having been given his first proper chance, footballer Teemu Pukki proved himself at once. On Sunday, the Finnish national team striker appeared for the first time in the opening line-up of the German Bundesliga team Schalke and immediately scored twice.
      The produced goals were not second rate either.
Pukki, 21 drew first blood in the 26th minute and tied the game in the 73rd minute salvaging Schalke a 2-2 draw against Hanover.
      “In my first game I wanted to show what I can do from the start.  I think I succeeded pretty well. So far I am rather pleased”, Pukki told the German news agency DPA after the game.
      Pukki was offered a place in the starting line-up after Schalke’s best goal-scorer Klaas-Jan Huntelaar had broken his nose.
      Huntelaar’s injury is not a serious one, and two scored goals are hardly enough for the Finn to replace the Dutchman, who has so far scored ten goals in eleven Bundesliga matches.
      Still, Pukki’s first-class performance ensured that he will be given more chances in the future.
Pukki, a native of Kotka in Southern Finland, was purchased by Schalke after he produced three goals for HJK Helsinki against the German outfit last summer.
      Before his full Schalke debut yesterday, Pukki had made only two appearances as a substitute. Pukki’s fight over playtime became increasingly challenging after Schalke manager Ralf Rangnick, who was responsible for bringing him in, left his position as the main coach towards the end of September citing health reasons.
      Rangnick’s successor Huub Stevens commented earlier that Pukki had not impressed him in training. More recently, however, Stevens has changed his tone. Already last weekend he praised Pukki’s development after having used him as a substitute against Hoffenheim.
According to the online edition of Sport Bild magazine, the Finnish goal scorer gave Schalke supporters cause for celebration even if the away game only ended in a draw. At the end of the match the supporters chanted the name of their new hero.

Helsingin Sanomat

  7.11.2011 - TODAY
 Teemu Pukki dazzles in his full Schalke debut

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