Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Estonia 1-1 Serbia

Estonia v Serbia

Konstantin Vassiljev's 84th minute free kick won Estonia what could prove to be a vital point in Euro 2012 Qualifying Group C. Marko Pantelic had blasted Serbia into the lead from close range just before half time. The match finished 1-1.

It leaves Estonia fourth in Group C, one point off both Serbia and Slovenia. Their next match is away in Italy on 3rd June where anything would be a huge bonus. Four days later they go to the Faroe Islands where three points is a must.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Estonia 2-0 Uruguay

Estonia claimed an excellent win 2-0 win over Uruguay at the A.Le Coq Arena in Tallinn tonight. Over 6000 saw Konstantin Vassiljev's shot evade Uruguayan goalkeeper Juan Castillo in the 61st minute following good work from Raio Piiroja. Vjatšeslav Zahovaiko made it 2-0 in the 65th minute when he got a near post touch on Vassiljev's corner.

Diego Forlan played the whole 90 minutes but made little impact as the Uruguayans struggled with the snowy pitch and -6 conditions. Estonia won't care though and the win is a massive boost ahead of Tuesday's Euro 2012 qualifier with Serbia.

This result may or may not mean Estonia are now third best team in the world. That's how it works, right?

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Meistriliiga round 4 - Trans run riot

Viljandi v Levadia

The Meistriliiga went goal crazy tonight as Trans smashed six second half goals past a sorry FC Ajax at the Sportland Arena to claim a 7-0 win and go top of the Meistriliiga on goal difference. A hat trick from Aleksandrs Čekulajevs was supplemented with a brace from Marius Bezykornovas  and a goal apiece from Maksim Gruznov and Anton Epikhin. 

Flora threw away a two goal lead at home to Sillamäe. Henri Anier had put Flora in control with goals in the 17th and 30th minutes, but Sillamäe showed their good early season form in getting back on level terms with second half goals from Maksim Paponov and Alexey Alekseev. Sillamäe had to hold on for a point in the end after Pavel Aleksejev was dismissed for a second yellow card on 78 minutes. It finished 2-2.

Kalju won comfortably 4-0 at home to Tammeka. Japanese striker Hidetoshi Wakui scored his first goal for the club in the 53rd minute after Tarmo Neemelo's first half opener. Juri Jevdokimov made it three from the penalty spot before Kaarlo Verneri completed the scoring in the 89th minute. Paide scored their first win of the campaign with a 4-1 win at home to Kuressaare. Paide's goals came from Martin Ustaal, Tiit Tikenberg, Mait Nõmme, Rauno Kööp, while Kuressaare's reply was from Elari Valmas, a goal that made the score 2-1 on 64 minutes.

Levadia gained a hard fought three points at Viljandi with a 1-0 win thanks to Konstantin Nahk's second half goal. (Note, the video at the top does not actually include Levadia's goal for some reason)

The table is looking very open already with Trans, Sillamäe, Flora and Levadia occupying the top four spots, all on eight points.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Goals from Kuressaare 1-1 FC Ajax

Goals from Saturday's 1-1 draw at the Sportland Arena. Madis Lange's near post opener for Kuressaare was equalised by Aleks Mones's close range header. 

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Meistriliiga Week 3 - a load of draws

It was the weekend of the 1-1 draw as only Sillamäe managed a win to go top of the Meistriliiga. Levadia and Flora shared a 1-1 draw in a scrappy affair in a very snowy Tallinn. Igor Subbotin put Levadia in front with a straightforward header from a corner on 19 minutes but Flora equalised on 62 minutes with a looping header from the edge of the penalty area from Henri Anier. Vitali Leitan was sent off for Levadia in injury time for a second yellow card.

Levadia v Flora

Sillamäe won 2-0 at home to Paide with two second half goals. Alexey Alekseev continued his goalscoring form, after netting four last week, with the opener on 58 minutes. Ilya Monakov made the points safe for Sillamäe on 86 minutes. Tammeka and Viljandi are both still seeking their first win after a 1-1 draw in a ridiculously snowy Tartu. Kaspar Kaldoja gave Tammeka a perfect start putting them in front on four minutes. Aleksandr Kulatšenko equalised for Viljandi nine minutes into the second half. 

Tammeka v Viljandi

Kalju and Trans drew 1-1 at the Hiiu kunstmurustaadion. Kalju went ahead on the hour through defender Ken Kallaste. Trans earned a point from Latvian Aleksandrs Čekulajevs's strike on 75 minutes. Kuressaare and Ajax Lasnamäe played out the final 1-1 draw at the Sportland Arena. Madis Lange gave Kuressaare an early lead only for Aleks Mones to level things up on the stroke of half time.

There's a full set of fixtures this Tuesday with the pick of the games being between current joint leaders Flora and Sillamäe at the Sportland Arena. No games next weekend due to the internationals against Uruguay (Friday 25th) and Serbia (Tuesday 29th).

Friday, 18 March 2011

First Tallinn derby tomorrow

In anticipation of the season's first Flora v Levadia derby, here's a video of the classic 2-2 match from last season at the leafy Kadrioru (25th July 2010) including Sander Post's injury time equaliser for Flora. A great goal too.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Goals from Meistriliiga week 2

Goals from:
FC Viljandi 0-3 JK Nomme Kalju

JK Narva Trans 4-0 FC Kuressaare

FC Ajax Lasnamäe 1-5 JK Sillamäe Kalev

Estonians Abroad #2: Raio Piiroja

Estonia captain and centre back Raio Piiroja will surely reach his century in the upcoming internationals. He currently sits on 99 caps and has served his country impeccably since his debut in 1998.

Piiroja, now 31, made his name in a five year spell with Flora between 1999 and 2004 in which he won two Meistriliiga titles. He made the move to Fredrikstad in Norway following a loan spell with Valerenga. He has gone on to make over 100 appearances for the Norwegian club, a spell that has included a Norwegian Cup success in 2006 and a second place finish in the Tippeligaen in 2008.

The five time Estonian Footballer of the Year (most recently in 2009) is still a major part of the international team and is a threat in opposition penalty areas as his goal in the 2009 World Cup qualifier showed. He has eight international goals and will be hoping to give Estonia a realistic chance of qualifying for their first major tournament with a win against Serbia later this month.

Monday, 14 March 2011

FIFA begin investigation into Estonia v Bulgaria officials

As the BBC reported last week, FIFA has started disciplinary proceedings against the six Hungarian officials involved in last month's friendly matches in Turkey involving Estonia, Bulgaria, Latvia and Bolivia. All seven goals across the two matches came from the penalty spot and there were 'unusual betting patterns' in relation to the games. One of the seven spot kicks had to be retaken after the initial kick was missed. Hmm.

The identity of the referee and other officials was a matter of uncertainty for a number of days before and after the matches. The Hungarian FA eventually confirmed that they 'believed' Kolos Lengyl to be the referee. It transpired that Lengyl and the other officials were only qualified to take charge of matches in the third tier of the Hungarian league. 

Watching the video back, the two Estonian penalties look like fairly strong shouts. The Bulgaria two, less so. I haven't been able to find any decent footage of the Latvia Bolivia match to make a judgement. 

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Flora win again, big wins for Trans and Sillamäe

Flora were again slightly unconvincing in beating Tammeka 1-0 at the Sportland Arena. Siim Luts scored the only goal of the game in the 37th minute, tapping in from close range after Andre Frolov's shot had been saved by Hasancik Göksu in the Tammeka goal. Flora had a number of chances to extend their lead but could not find a second goal to settle their nerves. Levadia could only manage a goalless draw at Paide, a point that they were probably happy with after Lithuanian centre back Povilas Sarunas was dismissed for a second yellow card in the 36th minute. 

Paide defender Mait Nõmme tries to get a shot in against Levadia

Nomme Kalju scored three second half goals to defeat Viljandi and pick up their first points of the season. Goals from Kristen Viikmäe and Yuri Jevdokimov early in the second half effectively ended the match. Jevdokimov added a late third from the penalty spot. There is some match footage here but no goals included for some reason. Trans won comfortably 4-0 against Kuressaare. Veteran midfielder Marius Bezykornovas opened the scoring for Trans on the half hour and Aleksandrs Čekulajevs added a second on the stroke of half time. Two second half goals from Russian striker Anton Epikhin completed the scoring. 

Sillamäe ran out 5-1 winners against Ajax Lasnamäe, a result made all the more surprising by the sending off of defender Sergey Gorbunov on 40 minutes with the score at 1-0 to Sillamäe. Maksim Paponov had put Sillamäe in front after 21 minutes and four second half goals from Alexey Alekseev gave them an emphatic win. Aleks Mones scored Lasnamäe's reply on the hour. 

Next week sees the first derby of the season between Flora and Levadia. Kalju against Trans should also be interesting after both sides won well this weekend.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Estonians Abroad #1: Sander Puri

I saw Sander Puri play for Levadia when I went over to Tallinn in 2009. He scored two goals that day in a 3-2 win for Levadia over Flora and looked a class apart. 

Puri started out at SK-10 in Tartu before moving to Tallinn with Levadia. After five successful years between Levadia and Levadia II, Puri signed a long term contract with Larissa in the Greek Super League in December 2009. Things didn't go as well as planned at Larissa though one highlight was a 93rd minute winner against PAOK. He has recently moved on loan to Korona Kielce in the Polish Ekstraklasa where he has started in their last couple of games. 

Still just 22, Puri can play as an attacking midfielder on the right or the left, or even through the middle and he is surprisingly good in the air despite only reaching 5'9". He has 28 caps and two goals for Estonia and is part of the squad for the upcoming matches against Uruguay and Serbia.

He is also one of triplets - his brother Eino plays in the Meistriliiga for Nomme Kalju and his sister Kadri is a volleyball player. 

Monday, 7 March 2011

Highlights of the goalless draw between Viljandi and Trans. There aren't many.

Highlights of Tammeka 2-2 Paide LM

Highlights of Saturday's dramatic late comeback from Paide at Tammeka are up at Tammeka TV. Particularly nice finishes from Kaarel Torop for Tammeka and Ats Sillaste for Paide.

Rüütli names squad for upcoming internationals

The Estonia squad has been named for the upcoming friendly against Uruguay (25th March) and the Euro 2012 qualifier against Serbia (29th March). Karpaty Lviv striker Sergei Zenjov misses out through injury and there are doubts over Levadia defender Igor Morozov after picking up a knee injury on Saturday.

Full squad:

Artur Kotenko - AEP Paphos (Cyprus) 25(0)
Sergei Pareiko - Wisła Kraków Spółka Akcyjna (Poland) 22(0)

Pavel Londak - Bucaspor (Turkey) 22(0)

Alo Bärengrub - JK Kalju Nõmme 34(0)
Enar Jääger - Aalesunds FK (Norway) 75(0)
Gert Kams - FC Flora Tallinn 15(0)
Ragnar Klavan - AZ Alkmaar (Netherlands) 67(1)
Dmitri Kruglov - FC Inter Baku (Azerbaijan) 59(1)
Igor Morozov - FC Levadia Tallinn 9(0)
Raio Piiroja - Fredrikstad FK (Norway) 99(8)
Jim Rähn - FK Baltika Kaliningrad (Russia) 57(0)
Andrei Sidorenkov - Elite Sports SønderjyskE (Denmark) 20(0)
Tikhon Šišov - Hazar Lankaran FK (Azerbaijan) 27(0)


Alexander Dmitriev - FC Ural (Russia) 65(0)
Tarmo Kink - Middlesbrough (England) 49(4)
Sander Puri - Korona Kielce (Poland) 28(2)
Ats Sailing - AEP Paphos (Cyprus) 26(3)
Konstantin Vasilyev - FC Luka Koper (Slovenia) 39(9)
Martin Vunk - Nea Salami Famagusta FC (Cyprus) 32(0)


Jarmo Ahjupera - Újpest FC (Hungary) 5(0)
Andres Oper - AEK Larnaca (Cyprus) 119(36)
Kaimar Saw - Silkeborg IF (Denmark) 28(2)
Vyacheslav Zahovaiko - UD Leiria (Portugal) 38(7)

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Kuressaare content with a point

I managed to catch up with Miko Pupart, General Manager of FC Kuressaare, following their 1-1 draw with Sillamäe Kalev yesterday. This is what he had to say:

"Despite being clear underdogs against Sillamäe, we managed to get the first goal and are grateful to Sillamäe's new German goalkeeper, whose mistake allowed us to get in front. After that we had two superb chances to double the lead, but unluckily we didn't manage to score again and due to a miscommunication between our central midfielders, Kalev managed to equalise.

In the second half, Sillamäe put us under a lot of pressure and we had problems getting out of our own half. Luckily our goalkeeper made some great saves and the defence was great.

Of course we would like to win every match but as I have said, we were clear underdogs in this match and the first point and draw against Sillamäe is a great result for us."

On Kuressaare's objectives for the season, Pupart said: "Because we don't have any professional footballers in our squad, we are expected to fight at the bottom of the table and the first goal is to avoid relegation."

Levadia and Flora leave it late

Nikita Kolyaev celebrates scoring for Levadia

Both Levadia and Flora scored late goals to each take three points from their opening Meistiliiga matches. Levadia scored three goals in the last six minutes to break the stubborn resistance of newly promoted FC Ajax Lasnamäe. Nikita Kolyaev scored two on his league debut with Igor Subbotin adding the third to make it 3-0. More than 400 fans saw Sander Post's 87th minute flick give Flora a 1-0 win in their match against Nõmme Kalju. 

A crazy last twenty minutes between Tartu Tammeka and Paide saw it end in a 2-2 draw. Tammeka went two goals ahead with strikes from Kaarel Torop (73) and Alar Alve (82) but Paide scored twice in injury time through Ats Sillaste and Janek Kalde to take a point. Two first half goals saw Sillamäe Kalev and Kuressaare share the points. Martti Pukk put Kuressaare ahead after 16 minutes with Maksim Papanov equalising for Sillamäe five minutes before half time. Viljandi and Narva Trans ended goalless. 

Friday, 4 March 2011

Bärengrub moves to Nomme Kalju

Estonian international centre back Alo Bärengrub has signed for Nõmme Kalju on the eve of the new season. He has just spent three years in Norway with FK Bodø/Glimt and the former Flora defender joins an already impressive looking Kalju squad for the new season. The 27 year old has been capped 41 times by Estonia. 

In other transfer news, Turkish goalkeeper Gosku Hasancik has signed for Tammeka Tartu. The 24 year old former Bayern Munich trainee has made the transfer from Kayseri Erciyesspor in the second tier of Turkish football. 

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Flora take the Superkarika on penalties

Flora took the first silverware of the season in what sounds like a mind numbing Superkarika game at the snow-cleared Sportland Arena, Tallinn. Few real chances were created and it was goalless at the end of 120 minutes, before Flora came through 5-3 on penalties. Captain Konstantin Nahk missed the opening spot kick for Levadia and Flora’s perfect five meant the trophy was theirs for the sixth time.

Recently signed Ukrainian goalkeeper Roman Smiško made his debut for Levadia but, despite his clean sheet in open play, could not stop Flora in the shoot out. The 27 year old has signed on a one year deal from FK Chornomorets Odessa. Striker Nikita Koljajev also made his debut for Levadia.

The young Anier brothers, Henri and Hannes, played a fair chunk of the match up front together for Flora and they will hope to provide good support for Sander Post this season. The win will be a boost for Flora going into their opening game of the season against Nomme Kalju on Saturday.

Line ups:

FC Flora Tallinn
FC Levadia Tallinn
12. Marko Meerits
1. Roman Smiško
16. Markus Jürgenson
2. Andrei Kalimullin
6. Karol Mets
4. Igor Morozov
24. Karl Palatu
7. Aleksandr Volodin
5. Meelis Peitre
14. Povilas Sarunas
11. Siim Luts
8. Konstantin Nahk
41. Valeri Minkenen (Sub: A.Frolov 72mins)
20. Andero Pebre (Sub: M.Podholjuzin 78mins)
10. Sergei Mošnikov
27. Taijo Teniste
9. Rauno Alliku (Sub: A.Dupikov 103mins)
5. Vitali Leitan
7. Sander Post (Sub: Henri Anier 63mins)
9. Artur Rättel (Sub: A.Taar 85mins)
8. Hannes Anier
11. Nikita Koljajev
1. Stanislav Pedõk
30. Aleksei Matrossov
3. Nikita Baranov
17. Maksim Podholjuzin
4. Aleksei Jahhimovitš
13. Aleksandr Kulinitš
20. Alo Dupikov
6. Aleks Mones
25. Andre Frolov
18. Albert Taar
33. Sander Laht
16. Jevgeni Novikov
14. Henri Anier
25. Trevor Elhi

Attendance: 305