Sunday, October 28, 2012

Veikkausliiga week 33 - HJK champions, Haka drop to Ykkönen

The final round of matches of the season begun in fields of freezing cold and snow. Winter is coming, and it while the main drama was at the foot of the table, things weren't 100% certain at the top. The mathematics were simple. An HJK win or draw in Jyväskylä would give them a fourth straight championship. If they lost by one goal, Inter would need to win at Honka by eight goals. Highly unlikely, and so it proved.

HJK had stumbled along this season, not leading for a lot of the year while Inter led the way. But the pretenders were dropping points, and HJK's experience and squad depth powered them through. Faced with a tricky finish at JJK, the snow and ice were cleared enough to allow the game to go ahead, and HJK flew out of the blocks, with three goals in the first twenty minutes, goals from Sebastian Mannström, Rasmus Schüller and Joel Pohjanpalo. The title was won, and they looked like they were enjoying themselves. They went 0-5 ahead in the second half, a smooth finish from Berat Sadik and a second for Pohjanpalo. JJK took advantage of some early celebrations, Antto Hilska got two goals in a minute, before another Sadik goal was answered with a third JJK goal by Topi Järvinen.

The proposed opening of the stands for the HJK fans went ahead, and only a few well behaved supporters reached the players, allaying fears of what was fearer to be an officially sanctioned pitch invasion. HJK were presented with their trophy, and start a new era next year under Sixten Boström, and hopefully a better showing in the 2013/14 Champions League.

Outgoing HJK boss Antti Muurinen

HJK's win made Inter's game at Honka fairly meaningless - They were guaranteed second place, as they were four points ahead of local rivals TPS. Cup winners Honka had no chance of reaching the top half of the table, but ended the season on a high with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Inter. Jussi Vasara gave them a first half lead, before goals from Mäkijärvi and Äijälä gave them the three points, and ensured Inter's season finished with a whimper. Irakli Sirbiladze couldn't add to his goal tally for the season, and ends on 17 goals (although there may be some complaints about his second at TPS in September). Mika Ojala said farewell to the Inter fans on Twitter after the game, he's set to move to Häcken in Sweden for 2013.

 Koskinen gets in the way without much fight

Inter's silver medal

The foot of the table is where the drama of the day was (not that the Finnish broadcasters thought so, Kutonen showed JJK v HJK while Urho showed Honka v Inter). Jaro were the ones with the advantage, although only a point. They were visiting third placed TPS, whose own title ambitions drifted away due to some poor form when it mattered. The hosts took the lead after 41 minutes, Konsta Rasimus with his first goal from the club. But the lead didn't last long, Jaro equalised after a goal two minutes later from Thomas Kula, and Egyptian loan signing (from HJK) Sherif Ashraf scored his third goal in three games to win the match 2-1, and preserve Jaro's top flight status for another year. Their recent form wasn't too bad, winning three of the last six games, but they will need to improve hugely in 2013 to survive another season.

Jaro will be playing in the Veikkausliiga in 2013

 TPS enjoy their bronze medals

Highlights of TPS 1-2 Jaro

Jaro's win meant that Haka were relegated no matter what. Haka had won their first match in three months last week, and started the day with a chance of staying up, but they had to rely on Jaro dropping points. Haka's visit to Vaasa was dangerous, knowing they had to win, but facing a team who had nothing to play for but pride. But the hosts were reduced to ten men on half an hour, with O'Brien Woodbine dismissed, shortly followed by a goal from Brazilian Dema, giving Haka the lead. Both teams had chances to score afterwards, but the match finished 0-1, and despite finishing 2012 with two wins, Haka will be playing in the Ykkönen next season.

 The travelling Haka fans keep singing

Highlights of VPS 0-1 Haka

While the other two matches had little influence on titles, relegation or medals, they still provided excitement. This season's new boys Lahti have finished the season strongly, and will get an extra game in 2013 thanks to a top half finish. They confirmed fifth place with a 2-1 victory over a KuPS team who will just be glad the season is over. The Kuopio side took the lead with a goal from 17yr old Jerry Voutilainen, but Lahti took the points with goals from Nikolai Alho and Ngueukam. KuPS finish tenth, only four points ahead of Haka. At least they won't have any European football to distract them next year...

 Alho celebrates his first goal

The final match was in Mariehamn, fourth placed IFK hosting MYPA. The visitors took the lead after just seven minutes, Pekka Sihvola's 14th goal of the season. But IFK hit back through Mattias Wiklöf on 26 minutes, and an early second half penalty from Aleksei Kangaskolkka. But MYPA equalised, Canadian Riley O'Neill's goal making it 2-2, and that's how it finished. IFK stay 4th, but MYPA dropped to sixth after Lahti's win.

 Kangaskolkka puts his penalty away for goal number 16

Highlights of IFKM 2-2 MYPA

So that's the final round of matches, and a full season review will follow. HJK are the champions, Inter, TPS and Honka will enter the Europa League, while Haka will be playing in the second division in 2013, to be replaced by RoPS.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Veikkausliiga week 32 - HJK champions-elect, Jaro stumble, Haka find a lifeline

HJK have one hand and four fingers on the their fourth consecutive title, and the thumb merely hopes for a point at JJK, or if they lose, Inter to win at Honka with a goal difference swing of eight goals or fewer. Given that Betfair are currently quoting odds of 1/100 that they'll win the title, they're being charitable to Inter's chances.

HJK hadn't lost at home in the league since 2010, anything other than a home win was unlikely, despite Lahti's impressive late season form. Two wins and the title was staying in Helsinki. In the end, it was about as routine as a home 2-0 gets - a penalty early in the second half, converted by Berat Sadik, and a late confirmation from Demba Savage. A maximum points total of 64, is still a huge drop on last year's 81 under the same structure.

 Opening scorer Berat Sadik in action

It was Antti Muurinen's final home game in charge, he's to be replaced by former HJK player Sixten Boström for 2013, and at the end of the match he was hoisted around the ground by his players. Will the change lead to an improvement in HJK's European fortunes? HJK's final match is away to JJK on Saturday, before the party, and the hard work starting again. Lahti are at least assured of a top half finish, a good return to the top division, they end the season at home to KuPS.

 Muurinen bids farewell to the HJK fans

Highlights of HJK 2-0 Lahti

Inter meanwhile knew that they'd need to beat TPS to keep any realistic chance of the title - the intro of this review gives away that they failed. A stalemate, a red card, and a silver medal are all they have to show. The knowledge that rotten form when it counted cost them the title, that having the league's top scorer (Sirbiladze) and top assist provider (Mika Ojala) wasn't enough. Another crack at the Europa League will have been the minimum requirement, and Job Dragtsma will have to work hard to do better in 2013, without Ojala at least. The red card for Antunez for a shove won't have helped, but it will be a footnote in another missed chance for Inter.

Antunez before his red card

Highlights of Inter 0-0 TPS

At the foot of the table, the battle may have been further from the radar, but was no less keenly fought. Haka had failed to win since the 15th of July, since then they've suffered a 9-2 humiliation to TPS, and the subsequent change of manager... They were at home to Suomen Cup winners Honka, who have been undergoing their own problems (see previous review about financial peril) since their triumph. Nothing but a win would do (as results elsewhere proved). It was a tough match, seven bookings (two of them went to Haka captain, and player of the year, Shane Robinson), but only one goal, a neat finish from Juha Pirinen. Haka are still in the fight, and have one last match at VPS. The mathematics will be covered after the review of Jaro's match...

Haka enjoy a rare triumph

Highlights of Haka 1-0 Honka

So to Jaro... A home game against an IFK team who still had a chance of qualifying for Europe. Jaro were three points clear of Haka, with a superior goal difference. A win would give them as much chance of staying up as HJK have of winning the league - almost definite. Could things have started any better? It took eleven seconds for loan signing Sherif Ashraf to put Jaro ahead, before Jonas Emet made it 2-0 after twenty minutes with a low drive from outside the box. It all looked over for Haka, and perhaps Jaro knew it. Mariehamn pulled a goal back before the break through Jagne after a poor keeper error, but Frank Jonke re-established the two goal cushion four minutes into the second half. A fairly soft penalty award gave Kangaskolkka a goal on 82', and a late deflected strike from Amos Ekhalie deep into injury time took Jaro's win away.

Highlights of Jaro 3-3 IFK Mariehamn

The situation at the bottom is this: Jaro are away to TPS on Saturday. Win, and they stay up. Draw, and a Haka win will keep Haka up. If Jaro lose, and Haka draw, then it comes down to goal difference. Jaro are currently on -24, Haka on -26. It's going to be more exciting at the bottom than the top this weekend.

Two other matches remained, and forgive me for not giving them a huge amount of coverage. KuPS were mathematically safe as a result of Jaro's defeat at the weekend, and after a season which had great highs (beating Bursaspor in the Europa League), a tenth placed finish and cup runners-up is a pretty poor showing. A home match against VPS meant more to the visitors, who needed to win to keep a chance of finishing in the top half, but it ended up with three points to KuPS. Ali Koljonen opened the scoring, before Steven Morrissey's fifteenth goal of the season levelled the match. The winning goal came from Dudu, and that was it.

 Dudu gets the praise (courtesy of Futisblogi Puoliaika)

The final match was MYPA versus JJK. The hosts were made safe in the top half by VPS's defeat, but needed to make sure an extra home game for 2013. But the nerves were frayed by an early goal by Mikko Manninen, and it took until the 74th minute for MYPA to get level, an own goal by Tuomanen, before Pekka Sihvola's 13th league goal of the season sealed the win. Sihvola is now fourth in the Goal King race, a decent return in his first season since his move from Haka.

Highlights of MYPA 2-1 JJK

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Veikkausliiga week 31 - Last gasp Ojala keeps Inter involved

While the FIFA calendar ensures international football comes at the most inconvenient times for all nations, the scheduling of the Veikkausliiga meant that only three rounds of fixtures remained on the return to domestic matches.

After the relatively low-key games at the top of the table, where each of the three title contenders won their home ties 1-0, all three had to travel. Leaders HJK played VPS, Inter at bottom side Haka, and TPS to Mariehamn.

HJK's visit to VPS had the potential for a banana skin, with VPS having had a poor record against the top teams, but always dangerous with Steven Morrissey on fourteen goals for the season. HJK dominated the first half, winning corner after corner... But two goals before half time, a lovely run and finish by Joel Pohjanpalo and an unfortunate own goal from Denis Abdulahi, gave HJK a lead they weren't likely to surrender. A Parikka penalty in the second half gave VPS a chance, but HJK clinched the win with a Berat Sadik goal on the hour. HJK now have 58 points, VPS are in seventh place on 43. Outgoing HJK coach praised the team's attitude afterwards, but will be concerned at more poor finishing.

Pohjanpalo scored the opening goal

Highlights of VPS 1-3 HJK

Meanwhile... Inter's appointment with Haka would be difficult as the hosts were fighting to remain in the league, as they started the game three points behind Jaro. It was Haka that took the lead through Brazilian Dema after 21 minutes, and they would have been hoping for a first win since mid-July. They made it to half-time with the lead, and Inter were getting nervous, with Bouwman and Kauko picking up bookings before the break. But Inter saved their season in the end, thanks to Hacken-bound Mike Ojala. He scored twice in the second half, including the winner in injury time, to keep the Turku team a point behind HJK. Kauko was sent off for a second booking, and will miss the next match. That match is a huge derby against TPS on Monday evening. More to come on that later. Haka remain on 26 points, rooted at the bottom, with their last two matches at home to Honka and away to VPS.

Inter celebrate their comeback

Third placed TPS meanwhile started the day two points behind HJK, and had a tricky trip to fourth place IFKM. IFK were in contention themselves not long ago, and needed a win to give themselves an outside chance of Europa League football next summer. The first half was goalless, but IFK were in danger of throwing the game away through poor discipline, three bookings followed by a red card for Canadian Mason Trafford. But there was one goal, and it was for the home side, Saihou Jagne with his fifth goal of the season. So IFK take the points, and pretty much end the hopes of TPS. IFK need to win their last two games, at Jaro and at home to MYPA, for a chance of continental football. TPS still have a say in the title race, a win over rivals Inter will virtually gift the title to HJK. They need two points from two games to guarantee at least third place and the bronze medal position.

IFK scorer Jagne in action

Highlights of IFKM 1-0 TPS

Cup winners Honka have been subject of speculation as to whether they will be able to afford a license to compete in next season's top flight, despite their recent glory. Ykkönen runners up SJK are rumoured to have been asked to prepare to fund an application should Honka fail, but Honka had a chance to distract the fans for ninety minutes at least, with a Cup final rematch against KuPS. KuPS were still mathematically in danger of relegation, but that would have required Haka to win all their remaining games, which as we covered earlier, didn't happen. 717 people paid to watch the game live, and saw Honka take the lead, a deflected strike from Jusso Simpanen finding the net. KuPS equalised in first half injury time thanks to a great free kick from Miikka Ilo, but Honka scored an 80th minute winner, substitute Youness Rahimi beating Joonas Pöntinen (he should have done better). KuPS are now safely stuck in tenth place, unlikely to move from there, while Honka stay eighth, and unlikely to make the top half, although off-the-pitch decision makers may rule on whether they stay in the division at all for 2013.

Duarte Tammilehto tries the Schmeichel

Highlights of Honka 2-1 KuPS

The second bottom club Jaro were three points ahead of Haka, and travelled to Jyväskylä hoping for a win that would virtually preserve their Veikkausliiga status, against JJK. Jaro weren't in bad form, with only one defeat in six games since the signings of Steven Irwin and Sherif Ashraf, but JJK have scored plenty of goals at home this season, and it was no different - Mikko Innanen scored twice, and goals from Manninen and Markkanen made it four goals for JJK. Emet and Ashraf got goals for Jaro, but the result was 4-2. Not ideal for Jaro, but with Haka losing, they know that a win against Mariehamn or TPS will pretty much mean they're safe, assuming Haka pick up points. JJK are ninth, again unlikely to make it into the top half. Like KuPS, JJK appear to have sufferered from European involvement, and will be looking to improve next year.

 JJK wore pink to raise awareness of breast cancer

The final match saw Lahti return to form with a home win against MYPA. Lahti have now picked up 19 points out of 24, and have made a late surge into the top half. With this win, they have overtaken MYPA into fifth, and could yet have a say in the title race, as they visit Helsinki on Monday. Lahti's early goal by Hietanen was cancelled by Olajide Williams, but Lahti scored twice more, through Mero and substitute Rafael (subject of a Guardian article last weekend about Brazilians abroad, see here). Lahti have ended the season fantastically, and are likely to earn the extra home game in 2013 that a top half spot brings.

Lahti and MYPA weren't briefed about facing the camera

So the preview for week 32 is this: If HJK win at home to Lahti, and Inter fail to beat TPS, then the title will remain in Helsinki, bar a huge goal difference swing on the final day. An Inter win will keep things going to the final day.

At the bottom, a Haka defeat (at home to Honka) will almost certainly relegate them. A Jaro win at home to IFK will also pretty much relegate Haka. A Haka win and a Jaro defeat... The goal difference is similar, Haka currently -27, Jaro -24...

We'll know more on Monday evening, make sure you follow @escapetosuomi on Twitter for more updates.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Veikkausliiga week 30 review - 1-0 to the top three

(Apologies for the delay, work/man-flu/puppy getting in the way - this will just be a short round-up, followed by a very short week 31 preview).

Week 30 in the Veikkausliiga threatened be just as unpredictable as the rest of the season. The top of the table has been close, and it seems like the team at the top gets stage-fright and drops points, allowing the rest of the pack to catch up. Inter were threatening to run away with the title, but their form between internationals was played 6, won 1, drew 4, lost 1, for just seven points. Over the same period, HJK took twelve points, and TPS thirteen.

As it was, the fixtures for all three were about as kind as they could, almost designed to keep things steady going into the latest FIFA enforced break. TPS at home to a JJK. Inter at home to a fading Mariehamn. HJK hosting cup winners Honka. All three games ended 1-0 to the home team.

Demba Savage celebrates HJK's winner against Honka

HJK struggled their way to their victory, where perhaps the pressure of needing to win weighed heavily. A bad-tempered game saw six yellow cards, but it was a goal from Demba Savage against his former club (his eleventh of the season) that kept HJK's noses in front. In the interests of fairness, I've embedded Honka's highlights of the game...

Highlights of HJK 1-0 Honka

Second placed Inter were facing IFK Mariehamn, who not long ago had title ambitions of their own... Inter's form was rotten, although IFK's wasn't any better (one win in five). An early goal from the Goal King to be Irakli Sirbiladze was enough to give Inter the win, but it's safe to say that IFK keeper Simon Nurme will be having nightmares about the goal for a while... Inter face a tricky match away to strugglers Haka next, and will have to deal with a lot more resistance.

An embarrassed Sirbiladze celebrates his winner

Highlights of Inter 1-0 IFK

Inter's local rivals TPS opened the weekend with their home match against JJK, who had won the previous meetings between the two in 2012... But TPS have a title to fight for this time, and Dennis Okaru's eighth goal of the season secured a vital home win. Dennis gave an interview to UrhoTV about his dream of playing for Real Madrid, and while it may be a distant hope, he's doing his bit to get some silverware.

The Turku crowd go wild

Highlights of TPS 1-0 JJK

Without meaning to gloss over the rest of the league too much, MYPA drew 1-1 with VPS in a mid-table match, where nothing particularly exciting or controversial happened... 

The two clubs fighting to avoid relegation were both in action, Haka at KuPS and Jaro at home to in-form Lahti. Haka went 1-0 up and were looking great value for an unlikely win through Juha Pirinen's first half goal, but KuPS virtually preserved their own Veikkausliiga status with an 88th minute equaliser by Pietari Holopainen (two in two games now!). Haka now remain on 26 points...

Jaro are three points clear of Haka, thanks to a 2-1 win over Lahti, who had won 5 of their last 6 games. Lahti took the lead through Drilon Shila in the first half, but Jaro came from behind to secure a huge victory through Papa Niang and Frank Jonke. Jaro's recent form has been good, with just one defeat in six.

Highlights of Jaro 2-1 Lahti

And so to week 31. Not too many of the contenders were involved in international action, and matches resume this Friday (19th). Leaders HJK travel to VPS, Inter are at Haka, and TPS go to Mariehamn. Jaro will look to virtually confirm their stay in the top flight by travelling to JJK, and Lahti could go as high as fourth with a win over MYPA.

Three games to go, could this be the week that says goodbye to Haka, or almost crown HJK? Friday night football is on the menu, and the weekend begins here.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Veikkausliiga week 29 - Inter choke after HJK controversy

This week has seen a huge interest in Finnish football from across the world, although perhaps not for the reasons the marketing department within the Finnish FA would have hoped. It was not for a tremendous piece of skill, or for the emergence of a great talent. This was for a controversial moment in a huge game which had an impact at both ends of the table, and one which has made it's way onto millions of computers and smartphones, retweeted by popular websites, and analysed to death.

The match was Haka v HJK, bottom v top. Monday night saw the resumption of league football after the Suomen Cup final took pride of place. Haka had already beaten TPS at home this season, and were hoping to repeat the feat against the champions. Things were looking fantastic, as Haka took a two goal lead, through goals from Shane Robinson and Kris Bright, before controversy struck...

The ref didn't get the updated dress code

Now plenty of people have been quick to quote the rules stating that technically the goal was correct as the referee deemed that the throw-in nearer the halfway line was not interfering with play... But does that console the players, officials or fans of Haka? To be 2-0 up against the leaders, and to concede a goal like that is galling. The goal was credited to Juho Mäkelä, and to rub it in, Valtteri Moren then equalised eight minutes later. Some may say justice was done thanks to a late penalty miss by Akseli Pelvas, but it's no consolation, and the game finished 2-2. Not ideal for either, with Haka still bottom, and HJK only gaining a point.

The video has come to light in several guises, with this blog from Futisblogi Puoliaika (in Finnish) analysing the incident in fantastic detail. Much like the famous beach ball incident in the game between Sunderland and Liverpool, it has highlighted a little known rule of the game, and created huge debate. Is it for the better? Hard to say.

HJK's day took a greater turn with the match between in-form Lahti and title challengers TPS. Lahti had won 13 out of 15 points, elevating themselves into the top half of the table; while TPS had only lost one game in ten, albeit at home to HJK. In the end, a late goal from Drilon Shala won the game 1-0 for Lahti, who sit in fifth after the week's games. TPS meanwhile lie in third, two points behind HJK. Their manager Marc Rajamäki said that his team are just trying to collect as many points as they can, but there is still hope, and they still have the best goal difference.

Goalscorer Shala

The other contender was Inter, with what looked like a simple home game against Suomen Cup runners-up KuPS. Or so they thought... Inter's recent form was stinking the league out, with four consecutive draws costing them their lead, while KuPS have been unpredictable all season, interspersed with their European campaign. But it was the visitors who took the lead, Purje with a goal just before the break. Amazingly, KuPS went 2-0 up through Pietari Holopainen, before a consolation from leading goalscorer Irakli Sirbiladze (now on 16 for the season). Chris James sealed a shock result with two goals, KuPS winning 4-1. Inter now haven't won in over a month, while KuPS have opened a gap of seven points between them and bottom placed Haka.

Highlights of Inter 1-4 KuPS

Meanwhile, the cup winners (and fourth entrant to the 2013/14 Europa League) entertained MYPA on Thursday evening. Did the recent glory of a first ever Suomen Cup victory bring the crowds in from all over Espoo? Er, no. 604 people were in attendance, meaning the Tapiolan Urheilupuisto, capacity 5500, meaning only 11% of the stadium was occupied. Pretty poor form really, but also indicative of the fact that in league terms, the game meant very little. The match itself saw the home team take the lead in the first half, Antti Mäkijärvi's free kick flying over the MYPA keeper and into the top corner - one for the video scrapbook. Honka had plenty of chances to finish the match off, but a low drive from substitute Ville Saxman secured a point for MYPA. The result leaves Honka in 8th place, MYPA in 5th.

Highlight of Honka 1-1 MYPA

Jaro travelled to Vaasa having not lost in four matches, beating Honka most recently. But their good run was to come to an end against a Steven Morrissey-inspired VPS. The Jamaican bagged his 14th league goal of the season after 17 minutes, pouncing on a defensive mix-up. Morrissey then turned provider, playing a nice through ball for Robin Lod to score after more poor play in the Jaro defence. A last minute consolation from Frank Jonke could still be important for goal difference, with Jaro just one point ahead of Haka, and a GD advantage of three goals.

Highlights of VPS 2-1 Jaro

The other match of the week was in Jyväskylä, where JJK hosted an IFK Mariehamn team with dwindling title ambitions. JJK were looking for a first win in five, starting the match in ninth place; while Mariehamn were losing touch with the leading three teams, despite a recent run which almost took them back into contention. JJK scored twice in the first half, Markkanen and Innanen with the goals - but IFKM levelled through second half goals from Robin Östlind and Kangaskolkka with his 14th league goal. But the goal jolted JJK back into life, Eero Markkanen scored again in the 82nd minute to seal the win for JJK, and a ninth goal in 12 games.

After a controversial week, the league table remains unchanged. But two points cover the top three teams, and only ten points cover the top seven. At the bottom, KuPS now have a seven point gap, but Haka have narrowed the abyss to one point.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Veikkausliiga top scorer - the contenders

Midway through week 29, with games spread across the week, it seems fitting to look at the top three contenders for this season's top scorer, and who stands in the way between them and glory.

Irakli Sirbiladze (Inter)

Sirbiladze has made such an impact in his first season in Turku that he has recently received his first call-ups for the Georgian national team. Fifteen league goals in twenty-eight games has been a fantastic return for the much travelled striker, and with five matches to play (at the time of writing), Inter have a fantastic chance to win the championship, and Irakli is currently leading the race to finish as top scorer.

Inter's final five games are: KuPS (h), IFK Mariehamn (h), Haka (a), TPS (h), Honka (a).

Aleksei Kangaskolkka (IFK)

Aleksei's season has been quite eventful - fourteen league goals, six yellow cards and one red in twenty-four games says it all. The improvement on last season's four goals in seventeen games has been fantastic, and despite his club's patchy form, they managed to keep on the coattails of the leaders for the majority of the season. The former Finnish U-21 forward has one fewer game to play than Sirbiladze, but has had a good personal season.

Mariehamn's final four games are: Inter (a), TPS (h), Jaro (a), MYPA (h).

Steven Morrissey - VPS

Steven's season was doing fantastically, before being struck down with myocarditis in July. That he is still in contention for top scorer shows how vital he is for VPS. Fourteen goals in twenty-four games has rocketed Morrissey into contention for a full Jamaican debut. For someone who claimed he preferred cricket as a young man (see YLE interview here), he's done fantastically well, and appears to have suffered no ill effects, including a goal and assist in the win over Jaro on Monday night.

VPS's final four games are: MYPA (a), HJK (h), KuPS (a), Haka (h).

That none of the three men have any penalties in their totals for the season is a credit, and while football is a team sport, and individual awards shouldn't be the final goal, the top scorer award would be richly deserved by either of these.