Hibs’ back-up keeper Virtanen plays 90 minutes for Finland

Otso Virtanen, left, played for Finland Under-21s. Pic: SNS
Otso Virtanen, left, played for Finland Under-21s. Pic: SNS
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Hibs back-up goalkeeper Otso Virtanen got some important game-time under his belt ahead of the Scottish Cup semi-final against Dundee United next month as he played 90 minutes for Finland Under-21s.

Virtanen will be thrust into action for the Hibees on April 16 at Hampden due to Mark Oxley’s Scottish Cup suspension. The Finn has only played a handful of minutes for Hibs since arriving in January from IFK Mariehamn when he came on as a substitute for Oxley late in the 2-1 win over Inverness last week in the Scottish Cup quarter-final replay.

Hibs are hoping to get Oxley’s yellow card at Inverness overturned. It was handed out for “time-wasting”, although Hibs are adamant that a breakdown with communication between management and officials led to the referee’s failure to realise Oxley had lost a contact lens. The caution was the Englishman’s second of the competition, thus leading to a ban.

However, Hibs appear to have a slim chance of quashing the suspension, which means that the 21-year-old Virtanen will be called on for the match against Dundee United.

The 6ft 5in keeper will be glad of the appearance against the Poles on Wednesday night, a game Finland lost 1-0 by virtue of Mariusz Stepinski’s goal on 32 minutes.