Mikael Forssell moved another goal closer to Jari Litmanen's Finland record as the visitors got the better of San Marino in a battle of two of Group E's lesser lights.
With Holland and Sweden running clear at the head of the group, qualification is all but impossible for these two sides, especially San Marino who have still to win a point.
Forssell's first-half goal was the difference tonight, moving the 30-year-old Hannover striker to 25 goals for his country, seven behind Litmanen's all-time record.
That was about all there was to shout about on a drab night though.
The goal came four minutes before the half-time break when Forssell took in Mika Vayrynen's ball and crashed home from just inside the area.
San Marino's Matteo Vitaioli had an early effort that went wide before Forssell twice went close at the other end, drilling wide and then warming the hands of Aldo Simoncini.
The keeper then did well to keep out a cute lob from Perparim Hetemaj before Forssell volleyed over.
The former Birmingham man then opened the scoring and Niklas Moisander nearly made it 2-0 shortly after, before Pierfilippo Mazza's curler saw San Marino go close.
It was more of the same afterwards as Alexei Eremenko shot over for Finland and Vayrynen headed wide after Simoncini had saved well from Perparim Hetemaj.
Riku Riski and Vayrynen peppered efforts in as Finland looked for a second goal but they need not have worried as they held out, with only Alessandro Della Valle's weak strike coming at them in the closing stages.