Thursday, 28 April 2011

Trans to meet Flora in Estonian Cup final

Sillamäe v Trans

Two very different semi final matches on Tuesday night have resulted in a Flora v Trans Estonian Cup final at the A.Le Coq Arena on Tuesday 10th May. Flora made light work of FC Ajax with a 6-0 win, goals coming from Rauno Alliku, Hannes Anier (2), Sergei Moskinov, Zakaria Beglarisvili and Markus Jurgenson. Trans and Sillamäe could not be separated after drawing 1-1 at the end of extra time - Aleksandrs Cekulajevs put Trans in front just before the hour only for Aleksandr Tarassenkov to equalise for Sillamäe five minutes later. Trans eventually triumphed after an epic penalty shoot out - Maksim Paponov missed for Sillamäe allowing Stanislav Kitto to convert the winning penalty to make the score 17-16. Crazy stuff. 

There are some highlights of the Trans v Sillamäe match above and at SekundomerSport but have been unable to find any footage of the penalties unfortunately.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Meistriliiga week 8 - Flora and Levadia show their consistency

Trans 0-2 Flora

The Meistriliiga table has taken a familiar shape with Flora and Levadia occupying the top two spots. Flora took their time but eventually saw off Trans with a 2-0 win in Narva. Both sides had a number of good chances before Valeri Minkenen coolly scored from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute. Henri Anier made the points safe in the 87th minute when he turned well in the box and slotted home. Meanwhile, Levadia blew away Sillamäe with four first half goals, two apiece from Taijo Teniste and Nikita Kolyaev. Sillamäe's consolation came from Pavel Aleksejev in the 89th minute.

Nõmme Kalju are in third and just a point behind Levadia following a 4-0 win over FC Ajax Lasnamäe. Three goals from Nõmme in seven minutes shortly after half time ended the game as a contest. The first came from Tarmo Neemelo who profited when the FC Ajax defence were caught overplaying in defence - Neemelo lashed home from the edge of the box. Eino Puri doubled the lead two minutes later and Neemelo made it three with a close range finish in the 59th minute. Juri Jevdokimov rounded off the win in the 65th minute. FC Ajax remain rooted to the bottom of the table still searching for their first win. 

Elsewhere, Viljandi moved up to sixth with a 1-0 win at home to Paide - a goal just after the hour from Stanislav Goldberg was enough to seal the win. Tammeka also moved up one place after a 2-1 win at home to Kuressaare. Albert Prosa gave Tammeka the lead midway through the first half with Kaarel Saar equalising for Kuressaare with a near post header seven minutes into the second half. Captain Kaarel Kiidron scored Tammeka's winner 12 minutes from time.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Litmanen doesn't sign for Nõmme Kalju

It's not often you'll hear a story about a player not signing for a club, but after much speculation about Finnish legend Jari Litmanen coming to the Meistriliiga by signing for Nõmme Kalju, he has decided to sign a short term contract with current Veikkausliiga champions HJK Helsinki. So he definitely won't be signing for Nõmme Kalju. So there won't be any more speculation. What a story.

Flora and Levadia crash out of Baltic League

Estonia's representation in the TrioBet Baltic League ended this week as both Flora and Levadia were defeated without scoring a goal over both legs. Flora were comprehensively beaten 4-0 (5-0 on aggregate) against Ventspils in Latvia on Tuesday night. Levadia lost 1-0 at home to Šiauliai (1-0 on aggregate) - a first minute goal from Edvinas Jasaityis was enough to see the Lithuanians through. 

Šiauliai join three Latvian teams in the semi finals - Skonto, Ventspils and Metalurgs with the games to be played throughout May. The final is on Sunday 19th June.

Highlights of Levadia v Šiauliai

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Meistriliiga week 7 - Tammeka score surprise first win

Sillamäe v Tammeka

Tammeka won their first Meistriliiga game of the season with an excellent 3-2 win at early pacesetters, Sillamäe. In a game of many chances, Sillamäe took the lead on 10 minutes through Maksim Paponov but Tammeka were level after 19 minutes when Albert Prosa headed home from close range after Sillamäe failed to clear a corner. Tammeka took the lead two minutes after half time when Prosa tapped home but they were pegged back shortly after when top scorer Alexey Alekseev side footed home from ten yards for Sillamäe. Tammeka's winner came from Heiko Tamm in the 64th minute - Tamm latched on to a long ball out of defence and lobbed the onrushing goalkeeper Michael Kaltenhauser from 30 yards. Tempers flared towards the end as Sillamäe coach Vladimir Kazachyonok was sent from the dugout by the referee Hannes Kaasik. 

Levadia v Trans

Levadia egded out Narva Trans in the early televised kick off. Igor Subbotin put Levadia ahead in the 10th minute when he headed home Taijo Teniste's left wing cross at the back post. Konstantin Nahk made it two in the 68th minute from the penalty spot. Maksim Bazjukin's pulled one back on 82 minutes following a nice through ball by Sergei Kazakov to ensure a nervy ending, but Levadia held on.

Flora did enough to take the three points at Paide. Simon Luts and Henri Anier put Flora in control with goals early in the second half. Carl Tubarik reduced the deficit for Paide but they couldn't find an equaliser. Flora go top following Sillamäe's defeat. And Nomme Kalju took the points at Kuressaare - a goal from Cuban defender Alain Garcia Gutierrez just before half time was all they needed.

FC Ajax v Viljandi

FC Ajax Lasnamäe shared a goalless draw with Viljandi. FC Ajax had to play the last 23 minutes with ten men following the dismissal of Sergei Tasso for a second yellow card.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Estonian Cup - Semi Final draw

Levadia celebrate winning last year's Estonian Cup

This afternoon's draw pitched Flora against FC Ajax Lasnamäe in the semi final of the Estonian Cup, a match FC Ajax won't be looking forward to following their 6-0 drubbing at the hands of Flora at the weekend. The match will take place on the evening of Tuesday 26th April at the A.Le Coq Arena. 

The other semi final has paired Sillamäe and Trans, both having struggled past lower league opposition earlier this week. Sillamäe beat HUJK Emmaste of II Liiga (third tier) 1-0 thanks to a goal from Alexander Nikulin, though Sillamäe did play more than a half with ten men following Sergey Gorbunov's dimissal. Trans needed extra time to progress after a 1-0 win over JK Tallinna Kalev of the Esiliiga. Aleksandrs Cekulajev's strike in the 112th minute was enough to see Trans through. Sillamäe and Trans also meet on the evening of 26th April with the final played at some point in May. Haven't quite been able to find a date for that yet.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Goals from Meistriliiga week 6

All the goals from week 6 of the Meistriliiga, including Flora's first match of the season at the A.Le Coq Arena - a 6-0 win over FC Ajax.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Meistriliiga round 6 - Sillamäe stay top

Nõmme Kalju v Sillamäe

Sillamäe edged out Nõmme Kalju 2-1 in the big match of the day at the Hiiu kunstmurustaadion in front of over 400 fans. Second half goals from Alexander Nikulin and Alexey Alekseev put Sillamäe in charge before a late header from Hidetoshi Wakui reduced the deficit. The result means that Sillamäe stay top of the Meistriliiga on goals scored. 

Flora and Levadia both recorded emphatic wins - Flora winning 6-0 against FC Ajax and Levadia winning 5-0 at Tammeka. Viljandi scored their first win of the season with a 2-0 win at home to Kuressaare. 

Viljandi v Kuressaare

Tammeka v Levadia

Trans move up to third after a 3-0 win over Paide. All the goals came after half time, with Latvian Aleksandrs Cekulajevs netting twice. Midfielder Viktor Plotnikov grabbed the other goal.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

TrioBet Baltic League

Flora lost 1-0 to Ventspils of Latvia at the A.Le Coq Arena tonight in the first leg of the quarter final of the TrioBet Baltic League. Striker Romans Bespalovs scored the only goal of the game for Ventspils just after half time. Flora go to Latvia on Tuesday 19th April with the tie still in the balance. Levadia drew 0-0 last night at FK Šiauliai in northern Lithuania. Their second leg is at Maarjamäe on Wednesday 20th April. 

The competition comprises 16 teams from across Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania playing two legged ties until the final on 19th June. Sillamäe, Narva Trans and Nõmme Kalju were all knocked out at the first stage. Ventspils are the current holders following a win on penalties over FK Sūduva of Lithuania in 2010.

Highlights of Siauliai v Levadia

Estonians Abroad #3 - Tarmo Kink

The 25 year old winger/striker is currently struggling to make the starting eleven of a Middlesbrough team struggling in the wrong half of the Championship. He made the move to the north east of England last summer following a prolific spell with Győri ETO in Hungary for a fee of around £750,000. It was former Middlesbrough manager Gordon Strachan who made the signing, but new manager Tony Mowbray has challenged Kink to gain a regular place in the side following a long term virus during the winter. His career in England has started well, scoring both goals in a 2-1 win against Burnley in September, including this 94th minute free kick

He started out in Tallinn and was picked up by Spartak Moscow at the age of 17. After failing to make an impact in Russia, he moved back to Tallinn with Levadia where he scored a hatful of goals thanks to his rocket of a left foot. He picked up three Meistriliiga titles between 2006 and 2008 and earned a move to Hungary.

Kink is nearing a half century of caps for the national team - the highlight of his international career thus far is surely his goal against Serbia in Belgrade

Goals from Meistriliiga round 5

Goals from Saturday's matches.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Meistriliiga round 5 - Kalju signal intent

Nõmme Kalju laid down a marker for their season with a 3-1 win over Levadia at Maarjamäe. Kalju are hoping to challenge with Flora and Levadia this season following and showed their quality this win. Finnish striker Kaarlo Rantanen put Kalju ahead before half time with Tarmo Neemelo adding a second in the 66th minute. Levadia pulled one back as Lithuanian Valerijus Mižigurskis scored his first goal for the club, but Juri Jevdokimov made the points safe for Kalju with ten minutes remaining. It was Levadia captain Konstantin Nahk's 400th Meistriliiga appearance but not a result he'll want to remember.

Sillamäe v Viljandi

Sillamäe stay top of the table on goal difference after a 2-0 win at home to Viljandi in the day's 2pm kick off. Sillamäe were ahead just after half time as defender Aleksandr Kulik poked home following a corner. Alexander Nikulin wrapped up the win on 72 minutes. Flora are second following a narrow 1-0 win at Kuressaare - captain Karl Palatu netting the only goal on 49 minutes after following up on a free kick. 

Kuressaare v Flora

Tammeka and Trans shared the points in a 1-1 draw. Alar Alve opened the scoring for Tammeka with a strike from 20 yards in the 35th minute. Anton Epikhin finished off a well worked move to equalise for Trans midway through the second half.

Tammeka v Trans

The final game of the day saw Paide continue their good early season form with a 2-1 win at FC Ajax Lasnamäe. FC Ajax went ahead through a first half Sergei Tasso penalty, but two goals in five second half minutes from Tiit Tikenberg and Ervin Kõll won the points for Paide. The game turned nasty in the last 20 minutes as three players were sent off - Aleks Mones and Dzmitry Papichyts for FC Ajax and Eerik Reinsoo in injury time for Paide. 

Friday, 1 April 2011

Post leaves Flora for Norway

Flora striker Sander Post has left Tallinn for a three year contract with FK Aalesunds on the west coast of Norway. The transfer fee is undisclosed. Post was the Meistriliiga's top scorer last season with 24 goals and will link up with fellow Estonian international Enar Jääger who rejoined Aalesunds last season. Legendary former Norwegian international Kjetil Rekdal is currently in charge at Aalesund as the Norwegian Tippeligaen season has only just got underway. Post may make his debut against Valerenga tomorrow.

The transfer may leave Flora slightly light up front ahead of tomorrow's match at Kuressaare, though Henri Anier's recent good form has been encouraging.