Sunday, April 13, 2014

Veikkausliiga week 2 - HJK roll on, SJK off the mark

The second weekend of Veikkausliiga 2014 brought the first full round of fixtures spread over two days. Unfortunately I didn't watch either of the televised games live (FA Cup semi-final and visiting family...) but here are quick summaries along with match highlights.

HJK 3-1 KuPS

KuPS opened the scoring after just five minutes through Miikka Ilo. But a fine turn and shot from Senegalese debutant Macoumba Kandji on 28mins levelled it, and HJK moved in front eleven minutes later through Robin Lod. A Mikael Forssell penalty on 57 minutes made it 3-1, and two wins from two for the champions.

Kandji celebrates his equaliser (via HJK's Facebook)

TPS 0-1 Honka

The skint derby was settled by a headed goal from Honka's Roni Porokara just before half time. Honka midfielder Mehmet Hetemaj was sent off in the second half for a second booking.

RoPS 1-1 SJK

SJK's first Veikkausliiga game ended with a creditable draw at RoPS. The hosts took the lead through a scramble from Kokko after 36 minutes. The visitors got their point through Serbian defender Milosavljević on 65mins, sending the travelling fans wild.

Highlights of Saturday's games

IFK Mariehamn 1-0 VPS

Mariehamn's season began with three points against early contenders VPS. but they left it late - a 93rd minute winner from Tomas Hradecky, heading in a free kick from Petteri Forsell. My clean sheet bonus for VPS keeper Henri Sillanpää goes begging.

Jaro 0-2 Inter

Jaro's wretched start continued with another blank and another defeat, this time to Inter Turku. Inter benefitted from early goals, a looping header from Gruborovics and a cheeky panenka penalty from the returning Mika Ojala.

MYPA 1-1 Lahti

Not quite an effort to match last week's drama (MYPA beat Honka 4-3)... But honours even. MYPA took the lead through Valeri Minkenen's smart volley on 62 minutes, before Lahti equalised via Drilon Shala's deflected free kick.

Highlights of Sunday's matches

See you next week! 

Monday, April 07, 2014

Veikkausliiga week 1 - Sexy football is back!

After a loooooong winter, with nearly six months since the last round of 2013, the new season is finally under way. In typical style, the start has been split - this week saw half of the teams start early, hosted on artificial pitches.

In perhaps a warning for the year, my day job has become a lot busier, so there may not be the epic week reviews that I did in 2012/13... Anyway, here is a brief recap on Sunday. The video below is a compilation of all of the goals, so hopefully easier to load.

MYPA 4-3 Honka

Antti Muurinen's new charges at MYPA started with a bang - eventually. Honka, now under Shefki Kuqi's management, took the lead three times, each time pegged back by MYPA, before they scored an injury time winner. MYPA's new Brazilian loanees remained on the bench, while a much-changed Honka debuted Fulham loanee Alex Brister in defence. An interesting welcome to Finland!

MYPA overcame Honka the hard way

HJK 1-0 Jaro

A steady start from the champions, but they were made to work. A goal from new captain Teemu Tainio secured the points, while various other efforts came close - but Jaro did ok, and some of their new signings look quite promising. HJK have been busy signing forwards, and will be without Demba Savage for a number of weeks.

Tainio celebrates the winner

RoPS 0-2 VPS

A great start to 2014 for last year's bronze medallists VPS, but it came at a cost. Goals from Koskimaa and Strandvall gave them the points, but they lost striker Steven Morrissey to a fractured arm and he'll be out for two months. Meanwhile RoPS begin their new era under Juha Malinen with an insipid performance, and need a big improvement ahead of their match with SJK next weekend.

Steven Morrissey in pain - ouch

All of Sunday's goals