Monday, 28 May 2012

Evald Tipner Cup Final - Trans 0-3 Levadia

Trans 0-3 Levadia

Levadia took the first major trophy of the season in Estonia as they comfortably beat a struggling Trans side at the A. Le Coq Arena in the Evald Tipner Cup final on Saturday. After some sort of ceremony involving flag bearers, over 3,000 fans saw Levadia win the trophy for the seventh time, two ahead of Flora's five wins. 

Trans had a glorious opportunity to take the lead in the 18th minute when Aleksandr Alekseev broke clear of the Levadia defence but he was denied by the right foot of Roman Smiško. Maksim Gruznov then hit the woodwork for Trans from a resulting free kick. But Levadia took the lead five minutes before half time when Maksim Podholjuzin headed home a left wing free kick. Levadia doubled their lead midway through the second half through an unstoppable Artjom Artjunin free kick leaving Vladimir Malkov in the Trans goal with no chance.

It was fitting that Levadia captain Igor Morozov rounded off the win on 81 minutes with a back post header from a corner before the 22 year old lifted the trophy amid jubilant scenes.

It is Levadia's first trophy under Marko Kristal and their first since they last won this competition (before its rebranding) in 2010. The win sees them into the qualifying round of the Europa League. It also signifies Levadia's return to prominence following a poor season in 2011 as they look to maintain their Meistriliiga title challenge alongside Flora and Kalju. 

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Meistriliiga week 13: Kalju leave it late against 10 man Trans

Trans 1-2 Kalju

Kalju grabbed a late winner against the ten men of Trans to stay top of the Meistriliiga table. Kalju were ahead on 16 minutes when Oliver Konsa finished from close range but Trans were level minutes later when Maksim Gruznov was barged in the penalty area by Kalju's Andres Koogas. Vitali Gussev converted the penalty to make it 1-1. Trans were reduced to ten men following the sending off of Bi Sehi Elysee Irie just after half time and they fought valiantly until Hidetoshi Wakui scored the winner on 85 minutes following some nice footwork in the box. Cue jubilant celebrations and two rogue supporters violating all health and safety legislation by running onto the pitch to join in. One can only hope they receive the stiffest of punishments. Good to see the linesman intervening before any damage was done. Kudos to him. 

Levadia 2-0 Viljandi

Levadia beat Viljandi with two second half goals. I would describe the first goal but it probably wouldn't be accurate due to the patch camera work - Aleksandr Kulinitš scored it apparently. Janar Toomet got the second after a bad fumble from Viljandi goalkeeper Roman Dmitriev. 

The weekend's remaining goals 

And here's the other goals from Saturday including a 5-0 for Flora over Tallinna Kalev and a second hat trick in a week for Zakaria Beglarišvili. A goalless draw between Tammeka and Kuressaare does little for either side and Vladislav Ivanov gets a late equaliser for Sillamäe as they draw 1-1 with Paide.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Meistriliiga week 12: Tallinna Kalev continue impressive form

Tallinna Kalev 1-0 Tammeka

Tallinna Kalev grabbed a last gasp winner at home to Tammeka on Saturday to seal a 1-0 win as they continue to embed themselves safely in mid-table. The goal was controversial as Kalev's Rejal Alijev looked to go down very easily after a slight touch in the box in the 93rd minute - referee Eiko Saar pointed to the spot. Hiroyuki Mitsuyama kept his cool to convert the penalty and put Kalev level on points with Sillamäe in fourth place. 

Remaining week 12 goals

Kalju, Flora and Levadia all won comfortably to stay level on 28 points each at the top of the Meistriliiga table. Kalju made short work of Sillamäe as they were 3-0 up within 20 minutes, goals from Hidetoshi Wakui, Tanel Melts and Tarmo Neemelo. Sillamäe contributed to their own downfall through poor defending and giving the ball away - Neemelo scored his second on 55 minutes and Kristen Viikmäe wrapped up the rout on 77 minutes. Flora's 5-0 win at Paide was a harsh scoreline for the home side. With the game 0-0 at half time, Valeri Minkenen put Flora 1-0 just after half time with a well placed free kick and it remained 1-0 until the 85th minute. Then, a Zakaria Beglarišvili hat trick and a goal from Karl Mööl made the win more emphatic as Paide ran out of steam. Two goals, both from corners, from Rimo Hunt gave Levadia a straightforward win at Kuressaare.

Trans continued their resurgence with a 1-0 win at Viljandi, Sergei Leontovitš scoring the winner from six yards just after the hour. Already booked, Leontovitš then received a straight red card for barging a Viljandi defender to the ground following a heavy tackle. Bit silly. 

This Saturday sees Kalju travel to Trans, Flora host Tallinna Kalev and Levadia face Viljandi at Maarjamäe.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Meistriliiga week 11: Flora hit back

Flora 1-0 Kalju

Flora scored an important victory at the top of the Meistriliiga table as they defeated Kalju 1-0 at the A.Le Coq Arena on Saturday. A single goal just after half time from Rauno Alliku was enough to secure the points and ensure that Kalju did not increase the gap between the two sides. It was Kalju's first defeat of the season and they will feel aggrieved after Oliver Konsa had an equalising goal ruled for a soft foul by Hidetoshi Wakui. Kalju striker Tarmo Neemelo felt they missed new signing Damiano Quinteri who has made a great start at Kalju: "We cannot hide that we missed Quinteri, he is fast and technical and created the goal in the previous game." Flora now join Kalju and Levadia at the top of the table on 25 points, with Flora and Levadia meeting tomorrow night at Maarjamäe. Levadia drew 0-0 at home to Tallinna Kalev in a match that saw three red cards. Levadia's hat trick hero from last week, Artur Rättel, was shown a straight red card just before half time while Risto Kägo and Rasmus Tomson were both dismissed for Kalev in the second half for second yellow cards.

Trans 1-0 Sillamäe

Trans recorded a much needed first win of the season over Sillamäe in the Ida-Viru derby to move off the bottom of the table. The tense match was goalless until the 87th minute when a Trans corner wasn't properly cleared and the ball fell to Sergei Leontovitš who fired home from eight yards. Cue jubilant celebrations from the team who finished third in the Meistriliiga last season and they will hope this win kick starts their season.

Tammeka 1-2 Paide

Elsewhere, Paide were 2-0 up within twenty minutes against Tammeka in Tartu through goals from Teet Allas and Sander Rõivassepp. Tammeka pulled one back before half time through a nice half volley from Martin Hurt but couldn't find an equaliser in the second half and slide to the bottom of the table following Trans's win over Sillamäe. Kuressaare and Viljandi played out a goalless draw with Marten Mütt seeing red for Viljandi on 64 minutes.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Meistriliiga week 10: Artur Rättels Paide

Paide 1-5 Levadia

A slightly delayed (and short) round up of last Saturday's Meistriliiga matches. Artur Rättel scored a first half hat trick to help Levadia to a big win at Paide. Janar Toomet added the other two in the second half. Flora won in Narva (goals below) as Trans continue to struggle at the bottom of the table with just one point from their first six games. 

Trans 1-2 Flora

Remaining goals below from:

Viljandi 0-3 Sillamäe
Kalju 3-0 Tammeka
Tallinna Kalev 2-1 Kuressaare

This weekend sees the second meeting of the season between Flora and Kalju at the A.Le Coq Arena as Kalju will be looking to pull further ahead of their title rivals. Levadia host Tallinna Kalev in another all Tallinn match and Sillamäe travel to Trans for the 'Russian derby'.