(Photo: Hendrik Osula)
Levadia continued their good early season form with a 1-1 draw with Tallinn rivals Flora at Maarjamäe this evening. Captain Karl Palatu and Nikolai Mashichev returned to the starting line up for Flora after missing Saturday's trip to Viljandi. Levadia also made two changes to the side that trounced Trans 4-0 as Vitali Leitan and Igor Subbotin came back in with Janar Toomet and Artur Rättel dropping out.
A handful of chances fell to either side by way of set pieces in an equal first half, the best of which was inexplicably headed over from close range by Levadia's Leitan after Igor Morozov had nodded the ball back across the goal following a corner. Leitan made amends though when he opened the scoring three minutes into the second half - the ball broke to him following a scramble in the box and his left foot shot looped over Stanislav Pedõk and into the net.
Flora equalised on 76 minutes when Andre Frolov flicked a header home from a left wing corner. Both sides will probably be happy with the result - Levadia's young team continue to show signs of improvement and the potential to mount a title challenge and Flora will be glad not to have conceded any ground to their rivals, no matter how early in the season.
Levadia coach Marko Kristal, who played over 300 games for Flora during his career, said to ETV: "When you're 1-0 ahead and draw, you will be disappointed not win. But it was a tough game and we are happy with a draw in the end. The quality of our attacking play is much improved. Our games so far have more or less gone to plan."
Highlights of the match are available via Sport.err.
In tonight's other match, Tallinna Kalev were held to a goalless draw at home to Trans, a result that Trans are probably happier with given their early season form. Newly promoted Kalev will be delighted with seven points from a possible nine. Both sides had a player sent off in the second half - Elbasan Kabashi for Kalev and Alekseijs Kuplovs-Oginnskis for Trans.