Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Meistriliiga week 19: Kuressaare pick up valuable win

Kuressaare 2-1 Tallinna Kalev

Kuressaare notched up a very important win on Saturday in their bid to move away from relegation troubles. It was just their second win of the season (the first being the memorable win away to Flora) and puts three points between them and Viljandi in ninth - it also leaves them just three points off Tallinna Kalev in seventh while Kuressaare have three games in hand. It didn't start well for the islanders, as a monumental blunder from goalkeeper Mihhail Lavrentjev allowed Kalev's French striker Kassim Aidara to tap home. Kalev's lead lasted only a minute though as pint-sized midfielder Margus Rajaver equalised for Kuressaare with a shot across Stanislav Tokarev into the far corner. The winner, on 71 minutes, was a scrappy affair as Kalev failed to clear the ball following a left wing free kick. The ball eventually fell to Gregor Könninge after Tokarev had palmed a shot away, and the midfielder tapped home. 

With neither Flora or Levadia playing this weekend, Kalju had an opportunity to put distance between themselves and their Tallinn rivals as they faced bottom of the table Tammeka in Tartu. What sounded like a routine win was a little less so in reality as late goals gave Kalju a 4-1 win. Sergei Terehhov had given Kalju the lead midway through the first half, but they had to wait until the 78th minute for Hidetoshi Wakui to make things more comfortable. Even then, Tammeka's Mikk Valtna pulled one back with nine minutes remaining leaving Kalju edgy until further goals from Oliver Konsa and Siim Valtna (og) sealed the win. 

Sillamäe and Viljandi shared four goals, all coming in an action packed period just after half time. Vladislav Ivanov put Sillamäe ahead with his tenth goal of the season two minutes after the break, but Viljandi hit back to go 2-1 ahead after quickfire goals from Martin Tšegodajev and Taavi Laurits turned things around. Sillamäe's equaliser came from Aleksandr Volodin on 69 minutes to make it 2-2. A decent point for Viljandi but they will have been disappointed to see Kuressaare win above them.

Tonight sees Flora take on Basel in their Champions League qualifier, a game in which the Swiss team are heavy favourites. Flora then face Kalju on Saturday, a big match in the title race. Levadia play Tallinna Kalev on Monday night. 


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