Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Meistriliiga week 25: Kalju draw level with Flora. Controversy at Maarjamäe.

Levadia 1-1 Flora

Ugly scenes after the final whistle marred Saturday's 1-1 draw between Levadia and Flora in front of over 500 supporters at Maarjamae. Levadia had looked to be heading to a second 1-0 win over Flora in the space of five days after Aleksandr Volodin's spurious long range strike was deflected past Stanislav Pedok in the Flora goal by the head of Karol Mets in the 19th minute. In the second minute of injury time at the end of the match, a hopeful ball was launched into the Levadia box and headed away comfortably. However, a tangle off the ball in the penalty area involving Flora midfielder Siim Luts and Levadia defender Andrei Kalimullin ended up with a penalty awarded to Flora and Kalimullin being given a straight red card, apparently for use of an elbow. Finnish midfielder Valeri Minkenen stepped up and expertly dispatched the penalty to give Flora a point. Tempers flared at full time with Levadia players and staff, led by captain Konstantin Nahk apparently making a Hitler gesture in response to something said by Flora captain Karl Palatu, all obviously angry at the penalty decision so late in the game. Some pushing and shoving followed with Flora's Markus Jurgenson going down a little too easily and everyone eventually traipsed off. The incident is due to be reviewed by an EJL disciplinary committee on Thursday 25th August looking into the actions of Nahk, Jurgenson, Kalimullin and also Levadia coach Sergei Hohlov-Simson. 

The hearing on Thursday may or may not iron out the detail of the incident, but it brings back to the fore the ethnic tensions between the two clubs with Nahk claiming to be on the end of anti-Russian abuse from the more nationalistic wing of Flora's fan base. 

The rest of the weekend's goals

Elsewhere, in less controversial circumstances, Kalju drew level on points with Flora at the top of the table following their 1-0 win against Trans at Hiiu Staadion. Tarmo Neemelo scored the winner on 73 minutes, firing home at the back post following a corner. Eyes will now turn to Flora's visit to the Hiiu on 10th September in what could prove a decisive game in the title race.

There were wins for Sillamae and Viljandi over Paide and Tammeka respectively - an Artjom Dmitrijev hat trick helping Sillamae to a 4-0 win and Andrei Veis scoring two very well taken goals for Viljandi in a 3-1 win in Tartu. Kuressaare and FC Ajax shared a goalless draw. There are some unnecessarily long highlights of that match above. 

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