Thursday, 26 April 2012

Estonian Cup quarter finals: No shocks here

Flora 3-0 Viljandi

Flora progressed comfortably into the semi-finals of the 2011-12 Estonian Cup with a 3-0 win over Viljandi at the A.Le Coq Arena on Tuesday night. They had to wait until the 65th minute for the first goal from Valeri Minkenen who fired home from the edge of the box. Nikolai Mašitšev and Zakaria Beglarišvili added further goals to make the last few minutes panic free for Flora.

Trans 2-1 Tammeka

Following their dreadful start to the season, Trans secured a much needed win over Tammeka in a very wet Narva. Sergei Kazakov put Trans ahead early on after collecting a ball cleared from a corner and steering a left footed shot home. In an open first half, Tammeka were level just before half time when Trans defender Emmanuel Mbia Ekobena sliced a Rauno Tutk cross into his own net. Tammeka's Martin Hurt was sent off for picking up two yellow cards in quick succession around the hour mark, and Trans made their numerical advantage count when Sergei Leontovitš volleyed home from close range to make it 2-1.

In the remaining matches, Paide saw off Pärnu 4-0 and Levadia beat Flora II 2-0 with goals from Janar Toomet and Rimo Hunt. That win for Levadia sees them into the qualifying round of the 2012-13 Europa League as Trans and Flora have already qualified for Europe due to their league positions and Paide do not have a licence to play in European competition. The semi-finals are:

Tuesday 8th May
Paide v Trans (at Paide linnastaadion)
Levadia v Flora (at Maarjamäe)

The Estonian Cup is also known as the Evald Tipner Cup, after the legendary Estonian goalkeeper/striker (and all round athlete). The EJL has put together this nice little video in Tipner's honour and there is also a good article on

Evald Tipner: Estonian legend

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Meistriliiga week 9: Pohlak inspires comeback for Kuressaare

Pelle Pohlak: Kuressaare's saviour

Pelle Pohlak, son of EJL President Aivar, scored two late goals to save a point for Kuressaare at home to Tallinna Kalev in the Meistriliiga yesterday afternoon. Kuressaare had taken an early lead through striker Raido Reinsalu but were behind before half time as Kalev fought back. Japanese midfielder Hiroyuki Mitsuyama scored the equaliser on 32 minutes and Edwin Stüf put them into the lead on 39 minutes. Mitsuyama looked to have wrapped up the points for Kalev with his second of the match midway through the second half to make it 3-1. But Pohlak had other ideas, and his two goals in the last five minutes gave Kuressaare an unlikely point. 

Kuressaare defender (on loan from Flora) Märten Pajunurm is looking for improved concentration: "The game started exactly as our game away at Viljandi [where Kuressaare went 1-0 up early on only to lose 3-1] - we took an early lead then created good opportunities but failed to exploit them....I guess it's a psychological thing, we need to be strong and stay disciplined throughout the entire match." Kalev coach Daniel Meijel was also not happy: "The second half was completely under our control....and then a simple error, a communication problem...the Levadia game was exactly the same story." It was the second time Kalev had conceded two late goals after Levadia came back from a goal down last week to win 2-1.

Tammeka 0-4 Kalju

Kalju continued their imperious early season form with a 4-0 drubbing of Tammeka in Tartu. Juri Jevdokimov opened the scoring, sending Tammeka goalkeeper Andrus Lukjanov the wrong way from the penalty spot following a foul in the box. It was 2-0 shortly after half time via comedy own goal from defender Uku Lilleväli following a mix up with Lukjanov. Kalju captain Alo Bärengrub then added two goals to make it more comfortable, the first a header from an Oliver Konsa cross and the second a tap in following a corner. 

Trans's terrible start to the season continued with a fourth loss in five games at Flora. Flora were 2-0 up in 20 minutes with goals from Karl-Eerik Luigend and Albert Prosa. Sergei Kazakov reduced the deficit just before half time but Trans couldn't find an equaliser in the second half. Trans defender Erik Grigoryev feels his side have improved since Flora beat them 4-0 in the Superkarika at the beginning of the season but there are still improvements to be made: "We lost the midfield again, the second goal was not normal." Trans remain bottom of the table, albeit with some games in hand. 

In a game of few clear cut chances, Rimo Hunt scored the only goal with a good shot on the turn in a 1-0 win for Levadia over Paide at Maarjamäe - highlights available at Sport.err. As a clear 'top 3' looks to be developing, Sillamäe sit in fourth following a 2-0 win at home to Viljandi. Maksim Paponov scored on the stroke of half time and Vladislav Ivanov scored his fifth goal of the season to double the lead with 12 minutes remaining. 

Monday, 16 April 2012

Meistriliiga week 8: Kalju make title ambitions clear

Kalju 2-0 Flora

A slightly late round up of the weekend's Meistriliiga matches as I've been on my travels so haven't had time to look through all the matches, but thought I'd post up the goals. Kalju made a real statement with their win over Flora and could be six points clear of their rivals should they win their game in hand. Levadia are still in touch after two very late goals (below) gave them a 2-1 win having been a goal down for most of the game. And the goals from the games between Paide and Tammeka and Viljandi and Kuressaare are also included. No sign of the goals from Sillamäe's win at Trans just yet. 

Tallinna Kalev 1-2 Levadia

Paide 2-0 Tammeka

Viljandi 3-1 Kuressaare

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Meistriliiga round 7: Leitan puts Kuressaare to the sword

Levadia hat trick hero: Vitali Leitan

Levadia put in a devastating second half performance last night to thrash Kuressaare 5-0 at Maarjamäe. With the score goalless at half time, Kuressaare looked like they might pull off another shock in the capital following their recent win over Flora. But Vitali Leitan came off the bench to replace Taavi Laurits just after the half hour and scored a second half hat trick  to quash any hopes Kuressaare had of gaining at least a point. Leitan's goals were supplemented by two from Janar Toomet as Levadia continue to show their quality. 

Flora recovered from an early setback to beat Paide 1-0 in Tallinn. Flora goalkeeper Stanislav Pedõk was sent off on 12 minutes for a clash with Paide defender Mait Nõmme, an incident in which Nõmme was also booked. I am yet to see a video of the incident, but I am guessing it was for handbags of some sort. Substitute goalkeeper Mait Toom came off the bench replacing striker Martti Pukk as Flora changed shape. But Paide could not make their numerical advantage count and Flora netted a late winner through Gert Kams. 

Jubilant scenes following Kams's winner for Flora (Photo: Gertrud Alatare)

Tammeka picked up their first win of the season beating Tallinna Kalev 2-1 in Tartu. Marek Tšernjavski put Tammeka ahead after 12 minutes only for Edwin Stüf to equalise for Kalev shortly before half time. Tammeka kept pushing and were rewarded with a winning goal from Janno Saks on 85 minutes. 

Kalju stay top of the Meistriliiga table with their fifth win from their first six matches, a routine 2-0 win at Sillamäe. The goals came from Damiano Quinteri, his third of the season already, and Oliver Konsa. 

No goals or highlights have surfaced yet (that I can find) but will post up when available.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Meistriliiga week 6: Kalju continue to impress, Flora bounce back

Kalju 4-1 Trans

Kalju continued to look good in a comfortable dismantling of a Trans team very short on confidence following a poor start to the season. Kalju were ahead within two minutes of the kick off when Tarmo Neemelo scored with a left foot shot following a corner. They were in control for the rest of the half without adding to their advantage, and were pegged back shortly before half time when Dmitrijs Medeckis steered home a right wing cross at the back post. Kalju were back in front just after the hour when Oliver Konsa finished nicely following Neemelo's pass from the left of the penalty area. The scoreline was improved further through two late goals - Damiano Quinteri scored his second goal for the club with a tidy finish after running in from the left wing and he then provided the cross for Neemelo to head home his second of the match on 82 minutes. There was still time for Juri Jevdokimov to have a penalty saved in injury time following a handball - Vladimir Malkov looking suspiciously off his line as he saved the spot kick. 

Flora reacted well to last week's surprise defeat at home to Kuressaare as they won 3-0 at Tallinna Kalev. They were 2-0 up within 15 minutes with goals from Andre Frolov and Valeri Minkenen (from the penalty spot). Minkenen added a third early in the second half to secure the win. Kalev then had substitute Rejal Alijev sent off within four minutes of coming off the bench for pushing Markus Jürgenson. Kalev coach Sergei Ratnikov rued the two early goals despite having asked his players to get tight early on: "The opening minutes are very important. I told the players that we must press Flora from the outset but we could not get close enough to them."

Viljandi 0-3 Levadia

Levadia continued their run with a 3-0 win in Viljandi as they threaten to be involved in a three way title battle with Flora and Kalju. Captain Igor Morozov put Levadia ahead on 34 minutes with a good header from a corner. Rimo Hunt scored his first Levadia goal since signing from Tallinna Kalev, slotting home on 80 minutes. Janar Toomet made it 3-0 in injury time but the highlight appeared to be a flabby, topless Ricky Hatton-alike fan invading the pitch to join in the Levadia celebrations. One can only hope he is proud of himself, something to tell the grandchildren.

Paide picked up a decent point at home to Sillamäe. Maksim Paponov had put Sillamäe ahead in the first half but Stanislav Goldberg equalised for Paide early in the second half. Sillamäe's hero from last week, Vladislav Ivanov, was sent off late on.

There are four matches on Tuesday evening as well as Kalju travel to Sillamäe and Flora host Paide. Tallinna Kalev play Tammeka in Tartu and Levadia are at home to Kuressaare, who play only their third game of the season.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Meistriliiga week 5 - more goals

More goals from Saturday's games - Ivanov's second for Sillamäe and Kägo's for Tallinna Kalev are particularly worth a look. It sounded windy in Tartu:

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Meistriliiga week 5: Kalju hit their stride

Kalju 4-0 Viljandi

Following Kuressaare's unexpected win against Flora, Kalju won at a canter against Viljandi at the Sportland Arena yesterday. They scored four without reply but it could have been a lot more. Andres Koogas came back into the side for Kalju after starting on the bench in the midweek win at Paide, and he opened the scoring on 39 minutes with a free kick expertly curled around the wall and into the top corner. It was two before half time as Tarmo Neemelo scored his first of the season, a tidy finish at the near post following a left wing cross. 

Kristen Viikmäe made it three half way through the second half, blasting home from eight yards and Neemelo got his second of the game from close range on 77 minutes. It could have been nearer to ten had Kalju taken more of the hatful of chances they created, as Viljandi rarely threatened. 

Sillamäe undid Tallinna Kalev's good early season form, scoring their first goals of the season in a 4-1 victory in Sillamäe. They were 3-0 up by half time with two goals from Russian midfielder Vladislav Ivanov and another from Sergei Vihrov. Risto Kägo reduced the arrears for Tallinna Kalev late on but Vladimir Malinin restored Sillamäe's three goal advantage before the final whistle. A good first win of the season for Sillamäe.

Levadia continued their good start to the season with a 1-0 win over Tammeka in Tartu - Igor Subbotin scoring the only goal of the game in the first half.