Thursday, 23 August 2012

Levadia 5-4 Flora

Levadia 5-4 Flora

Levadia kept their title hopes alive with a momentous win in a ridiculous match at the Kadrioru Staadion on Monday night. Flora came into the match in third place knowing that only a win would realistically keep their slim title hopes alive as Levadia and Kalju had were creeping further away at the top of the table. A crowd of 2150 saw the daft encounter. 

It was Levadia who struck first in the fourth minute as Ingemar Teever finished from close range following a long throw that really should have been dealt with by the Flora defence. However, Flora were back on level terms in the eighth minute when a good move down the right involving Zakaria Beglarišvili and Gert Kams was tapped home by Valeri Minkenen for his seventh goal of the season. Then, shortly before half time, an inexplicable handball from Flora defender Markus Jürgenson gifted Levadia a penalty, which captain Igor Morozov duly coverted to restore Levadia's lead. The second half wasn't a minute old when referee Kristo Tohver was pointing to the Flora penalty spot again, this time for a mistimed tackle by Nikita Baranov on Levadia's Albert Taar. Morozov again dispatched the penalty with ease to make it 3-1.

And it was 4-1 just after the hour when Taar won the ball in midfield and was allowed far too much time to fire home from 22 yards - a great strike though. Flora had some hope restored three minutes later when Beglarišvili curled home a lovely left footed shot from inside the penalty area. There was further hope in the 77th minute when Beglarišvili again fired home, this time from the edge of the box to make it 4-3. Flora's tails were up and Gert Kams completed an unlikely comeback hitting home after Roman Smiško in the Levadia goal had saved an initial header. The crashmat behind the goal proved a handy meeting point for the post-goal celebrations. 

But there was one final twist as the game went deep into injury time. As Flora were seconds away from a memorable point, they conceded possession near the edge of their penalty area and the ball was slipped through to Igor Subbotin. As he was about to shoot, what looked to be a great challenge came in from Karol Mets putting the ball out for a corner. Referee Tohver had other ideas and awarded a penalty to Levadia. Angry Flora players surrounded Tohver as he went over to consult with his assistant - the penalty stood and to add insult to injury, Mets was sent off for the challenge. There was still a penalty to be taken and Morozov completed his hat trick in the sixth minute of injury time with the final whistle blowing as soon as the ball hit the back of the net. 

Flora players continued to confront Tohver following the final whistle and Gert Kams could find himself in trouble for laying hands on the referee and then getting into a heated dispute with the Levadia physio who was on the pitch tending to Subbotin following the award of the penalty. Football can be a cruel mistress.

Elsewhere, Trans won 1-0 at Tallinna Kalev in an altogether less exciting match. Aleksandr Dubokin with the only goal of the game midway through the second half. 

Levadia travel to Sillamäe this weekend with Kalju not playing. Flora host bottom of the table Tammeka.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Meistriliiga August catch up

I have once again been pretty slack in keeping up to date with events in the Meistriliiga over the past few weeks - I guess this is what happens when the powers that be very selfishly schedule a number of sporting events during the same summer. They just don't think about the part time blogger covering the least popular league in Europe. As I say, selfish. Anyway, below are most of the goals from the past few weeks. 

Goals from week 22 (Saturday 4th August)

Goals from week 23 (Saturday 11th August)

'Highlights' from Viljandi 0-0 Tammeka (Sat 18th August)

Kalju have kept themselves ahead at the top of the table with three wins and three clean sheets against Trans, Viljandi and Paide while Levadia, who remain the only unbeaten team in the league, have gone goal crazy of late winning 7-0 against Kuressaare, 5-0 at Viljandi and 3-0 at Tammeka. Rimo Hunt and Albert Taar in particular have hit purple patches scoring eight goals between them in their last three games. Artur Pikk's free kick against Viljandi is also worth a watch. Levadia face third placed Flora at the Kadrioru tonight as they look to close the gap on Kalju to two points. Flora have drifted off the pace and a draw at Tallinna Kalev didn't help their cause. 

Preview of tonight's match is available on the EJL website

Tammeka are looking doomed at the bottom of the table having won just one game all season, though there looks to be a three way battle to avoid the relegation play off place for finishing ninth. Kuressaare currently occupy that spot but have games in hand on Viljandi and Tallinna Kalev above them.

The Estonian national team also fitted in a friendly against Poland last week, grabbing a good 1-0 win thanks for an injury time free kick from Konstantin Vassiljev. The starting line up featured three Meistriliiga players, defenders Igor Morozov, Tihhon Šišov and Alo Bärengrub who all completed 90 minutes.

Estonia 1-0 Poland (Wednesday 15th August)