Rumori di Spogliatoio

Estonian underground football

Angelo PalmeriComment

Diplomat Cup 2015

Angelo PalmeriComment
Turkey won't defend the title earned last year against Armenia

Turkey won't defend the title earned last year against Armenia


-         Saku Suurhall is the venue for the 5th edition of the annual tournament
-         Defending Champions, Turkey, have withdrawn at the last minute
-         Return of Ukraine, with Armenia the clear favourites

Spring in Tallinn means also ‘Diplomat Cup’, a futsal tournament promoted by Sport Promotion OÜ since 2012 and involving embassies and expats in the Estonian capital.

The event has a good cause:

raising funds for the Haapsalu Welfare Center
 (SA Haapsalu Hoolekandekeskus), therefore the entire proceeds of the entrance fees will go to this charity.

The entrance is 5€ and you can buy your ticket in advance here.

The event is organized in collaboration with the Estonian FA and Kalev/Cramo basketball club.
‘Rumori di Spogliatoio’ is the English media partner of the event.

Save the date: 18th of April 2015.

Initially Turkey had to play Armenia on the opening game, but the Champions have withdrawn at the last minute (Sport Promotion)

Initially Turkey had to play Armenia on the opening game, but the Champions have withdrawn at the last minute (Sport Promotion)


Compared to the previous editions, this time the 8 participants will not be parted in groups. They will all play to each other once in a round-robin tournament type.

The winner will be the team with the most points collected in the 7 games of 12 minutes each.


The opening ceremony is set for 12pm and the match kicking off the tournament will be Armenia (2014 runners-up at penalties) against Georgia in what will be a hot Caucasian derby between the two neighbouring countries.



The participating teams were initially nine, however Turkey withdrew at the last moment leaving their place empty.

The organization, in fact, has decided not to fill their hole in.

Second time in a row that defending Champions are not showing up.  
Ukraine instead are returning to the competition after one-year break (they have been 2012-Autumn Champions).

Last year's Estonian MP's reached an unprecedented third place thanks to Ralf Rogov (front row, middle)

Last year's Estonian MP's reached an unprecedented third place thanks to Ralf Rogov (front row, middle)


There will be two representatives for Estonia: the members of parliament and the football veterans. The former did very well in 2014 as they clinched an unprecedented third place thanks to the professional futsal player Ralf Rogov.

Ralf suffered from an injury last season and has recently resumed trainings, will they cope without his goals was the striker going to miss this year?

The veterans will offer a display of passing football, however do not expect them to sprint too much.

2014 runners-up Armenia are the clear favourites of this edition. Moldova will present the usual variegated team including some elements from Italy, Slovenia and Peru in the attempt of making better than the 4th place reached last season.

France and Great Britain will complete the framework of participants.



Our football club, Rumori Calcio, will count most of its players representing their own countries (and not!) here and there. Italians Angelo Palmeri, Samuele De Pizzol and Marco Manzini will represent Moldova together with Slovenian striker Dejan Selishek (also a footballer at IV.Liiga side JalgpalliHaigla); Yenal Turan, best striker of 2014 edition of Diplomat Cup, will join forces with Georgia led by Rumori Calcio captain, Archil Chochia, and by Rati Mamporia, member of the Georgian embassy. A valid last-minute addition was Rumori's Italian goalkeeper Domenico Cianci.
Guillaume Fevrier will try to bring France as high as possible in the table. 

Tony Pedivellano, the Captain of Italy in 2012, put all the team on his shoulders. Literally.

Tony Pedivellano, the Captain of Italy in 2012, put all the team on his shoulders. Literally.


Italy, the very first winner, are missing for the third edition running. 

We contacted their legendary Captain and organizer, Tony Pedivellano, who now works at the Italian consulate in Melbourne, Australia.

I couldn’t expect Italy missing for such a long time from the competition,’ admitted the 52-year-old Italian ‘we have always climbed on the podium in the first two editions.

Tony admitted he was expecting someone to take the initiative from the Italian community of expats in a way to try and fill the lack of interest from the present-day Italian diplomacy in the football event with a charity purpose. 

His memories from 2012 success are indelible. ‘We went to compete there with a team put together at the very last moment, and we managed to perform and win,’ told Tony to Rumori proudly ‘there were a lot of teams who could have won, we were glad to represent the Italian Embassy and Italy for a charity event.

That’s indeed the point Tony stressed most during our chat, the fundraising scope he was glad to take part into together with all the Italian expats who took part into the 2012 feat.

At the same time we are curious to know how he sees the upcoming tournament from the sporting point of view.

The new formula might be interesting, however I think the group stage is better,’ told Tony about the round-robin stage that will keep the teams busy from 12pm until 6:30pm without knock-out stage following.

Tony, who is the favourite for the final victory?

Seeing Ukraine back in the roster reminds me of a great goal Angelo (Palmeri) scored from his own box (see video below –edit). Armenia have always been a tough opponent to play with, they could definitely win. I cannot say much about the Estonian veterans.
The members of parliament are a tough nut to crack. I remember we played an entire game without being able to score and we ended up at penalties…we could have played other 3 hours without scoring!

My heart will be with Moldova, for obvious reasons…

How long will you stay in Australia?

Two and a half years more, but I am trying to get closer to Europe, Australia is too far (smiles –edit)

We know you still play football there but you’re injured now. What happened?

Yes, I play for the Juventus Old Boys, a U-35 veterans team…not bad for a 52-year-old chap like me, isn’t it?! Yes, the injury…it happened two weeks ago when I crashed with (John) Markovsky (former Australian international who represented Socceroos 19 times –edit). He knocked my knee and now I have some problems with the menisc. I’m looking forward to resume playing, the tournament starts in few weeks and I want to be there!

The Pedivellano football dynasty goes on as your son, Michael, seems to have well accustomed to Australian football…

Yes, he plays for Moreland Zebras U-20.  
The first team is in the NPL 1 of Victoria state (second tier of Australian soccer system after A-League organized regionally - edit).
He’s doing very well since he’s only 18 and plays with older kids.

Let’s hope he gets some playing time with the first team this season.

Michael Pedivellan in action with the white-blacks (private collection)

Michael Pedivellan in action with the white-blacks (private collection)

When will we see you back in Estonia?

I’m dying to see Tallinn again and all the friends there, maybe I’ll manage to come in the Summer. I just send a special greeting to Juri (Tsurilkin, head of Sport Promotion OÜ organizing the Diplomat Cup –edit) and I wish him good luck with this year’s tournament.
I hope people will just come, help rising funds and enjoy the show. We're amateurs, but we're fun, trust me!

Thank you Tony and good luck!


2012 (Spring) ITALY              (runners up: France, 3rd Ukraine)

2012 (Autumn) UKRAINE      (runners up: Russia, 3rd Italy)
2013 RUSSIA                           (runners up: Hungary, 3rd Latvia)
2014 TURKEY                          (runners up: Armenia, 3rd Estonia)

Among the best attractions of the tournament are certainly Kalev/Cramo cheerleaders

Among the best attractions of the tournament are certainly Kalev/Cramo cheerleaders

Calendar of games and events

12:00  Opening Ceremony

12:10 Armenia-Georgia    

12:24 Moldova - Great Britain
12:38  Estonia – Ukraine  
12:52 Estonian football veterans - France    
13:06 Armenia - Moldova  
13:20 Estonia - Georgia     
13:34 Estonian football veterans - Great Britain      
13:48 France - Ukraine   
14:02 Armenia- Estonia
14:16 Estonian football veterans - Moldova     
14:30 France - Georgia   
14:44 Ukraine - Great Britain
14:58 Armenia- Estonian football veterans    
15:12  France - Estonia
15:26 Ukraine - Moldova
15:40 Great Britain - Georgia     
15:54 Armenia- France      
16:08 Ukraine - Estonian football veterans     
16:22 Great Britain - Estonia   
16:36 Georgia - Moldova    
16:50 Armenia- Ukraine
17:04 Great Britain - France
DanceAct Kalev/Cramo Dance Team
17:18 Georgia - Estonian football veterans

DanceAct Kalev/Cramo Dance Team
17:32 Moldova - Estonia
DanceAct Kalev/Cramo Dance Team
17:46 Armenia- Great Britain
DanceAct Kalev/Cramo Dance Team
18:00 Georgia - Ukraine
DanceAct Kalev/Cramo Dance Team
18:14 Moldova - France

DanceAct Kalev/Cramo Dance Team
18:28 Estonia - Estonian football veterans  

Award ceremony will follow soon after the final with the event ending around 7pm.
Come and bring your friends!

Full gallery of 2014 edition 

SEM: Salute Futsal Tour, a new concept

Angelo PalmeriComment

Mid-season. You and your football team are not doing well in the non-league amateur championship that you have joined.

Opening the website and checking the table it is one of the most depressing things on an already depressing winter day.

Your side sits at the bottom of the table, 20-something points adrift from the top.

The only target of the remaining half is to concede as many little goals as possible.

In fact, notwithstanding the amount of points available is still huge, it will be quite hard to cover the gap hoping the one on top will lose them all.

Immediately a deafening sense of having wasted your time assault you. ‘It will go better next year,’ you tell yourself in the attempt of seeking relief.

Why waiting next season to boost your morale?

SEM gives a great opportunity to all the amateur teams who are about to take on the indoor 2014-15 season: Salute Futsal Tour.


Why would it be any different from the other competitions?

The newness is in the format of the tournament. Contrary to the round robin season with the traditional three-point system, Salute Futsal Tour offers a new formula of awarding teams based on a ranking system.

First of all, it should be said this tournament is not connected with SEM Grandliiga Championship therefore it will not generate promotions into the main traditional round-robin Championship. Salute Futsal Tour is a unique football concept which ‘Rumori’ is quite thrilled to introduce to its readers and will be a stand-alone in the offers of football tournaments in Estonia.

Inspired by the tennis ATP ranking or by the FIFA ranking to stay within football, teams earn special points for challenging each other. In fact, not all the games will matter just for the mere 3 points.

On the 5th of November SEM will draw the starting ranking based exclusively on mere blindfolded Fortune. After that, teams will start challenging each other from the 8th of November until the 5th of April.

The Salute Football Tour will last 20 weeks during which, teams are free to take on each other within set dates and times by the SEM organization. Each game will have to end up with a winner as draws are not provided. If at final whistle the two sides are even, a thrilling penalty shoot-out will break the tie.

Each team can decide which other team from the ranking to take on.

The highest the opponent, the biggest the reward in case of winning.

Let’s say your team sits 7th in the ranking, 8 points from the top. Challenging the 6th, would earn a standard three points if win. The highest you challenge, the greatest the reward. Challenging either the 2nd or directly the top of the able would earn you 11 points, meaning a good chance to bounce on top in just one single game (more info about the points system here).

If you’re that guy looking at the table during mid-season, with such a system, you don’t have to seek relief in something else but you just have to get the lads together and challenge who is higher than you in the ranking.

Are you still doubtful about this new system?
Rome was not built in a day. SEM gives you the chance for a ‘try-before-you-buy’ to the first 10 registered teams as they will have the chance to play the first game free of any charge. Additionally, teams are not compelled to play every week and they can take a break. Each team has also the option to quit if needed, but why would you once the competition gets going? 

The game organization (reception, facilities, referees and statistical services) is the same standard as the Grandliiga with a couple of excellent facilities available: Loo Spordikeskus (in the outskirt village of Loo, just out of Lasnamäe suburb) and Tallinna Humanitaargümnasium (in the Tallinn’s city center, Uus Maailm district). However, SEM will allow clubs to use their usual facilities and invite opponents on their ‘home’ grounds upon agreement.

Newness, flexibility and a thrilling formula. There is all for having fun across the winter season without the pressure to deliver at every game.
Apply confidently here and be ready for the draw!

Full info about the tournament here (EST)

Rumori Calcio debut in IAFA futsal season with no joy

Angelo PalmeriComment

Rumori Calcio have gathered strengths and new faces for the 2014-15 futsal campaign within the IAFA Winter Season.

IAFA has been putting together 24 teams divided into 4 groups. Each team in the group will play the other once and at the end, there will be promotions and relegations to and from each of the four groups.

Rumori Calcio has been drawn with Reval AFC, Partizan, Energy, Kopli City and La Strada.

The debut was set last Saturday at the Tallinn Humanistic Gymnasium located in the city center.

The White-Black-Gold showed up with a 6-man squad. Angelo Palmeri was in the goal, Georgian Erekle Dzotsenidze and Turkish Olgun Cakabey in defence (both at their official debut with Rumori Calcio after the first featured in a couple of pre-season friendlies) Türker Certmek as midfielder (debutant) and strikers Yenal Tural and Giorgi Balakhadze having ther 3rd and 4th appearance with Rumori Calcio.

The game started well with Rumori Calcio controlling and trying to bring a discrete pressure on the yellow-black opposition. However, goalkeeper Solovljov (MVP for Reval at final whistle) was stopping all the attempts.

A futsal line-up for Rumori Calcio in pre-season friendly against Jõgeva Wolves (12-6 win for RC) - photo Jana Pipar

A futsal line-up for Rumori Calcio in pre-season friendly against Jõgeva Wolves (12-6 win for RC) - photo Jana Pipar

Notwithstanding the good start, the score was opened by Reval. Denis Samoilov received a ball on the left flank. The sphere apparently crossed the touchline causing Rumori Calcio to claim for a throw-in.

However, the referee did not see anything irregular and let the game continue. The whole Rumori side stopped playing and allowed the opposition to score an easy goal with Palmeri attempt to parry being too soft. 1-0 and it was only three minutes into the game.

A lesson learnt for Rumori Calcio: the game is stopped only when the ref whistles.

Notwithstanding the circumstance, Rumori Calcio was willing to be back into the game and increased the pressure to pull level. Eventually the striking line missed brilliance with Turan trying often to create space for the finishing and Balakhadze going too often on a solo against the direct opponent (about 7 lost balls counted during first half).

With time passing and frustration increasing, also fatigue came along and Palmeri had to make go with few counters compelling him to come out of the box. Notwithstanding a few good saves, he had to surrender to Narek Vardanyan and Samoilov again: 3-0 at half time whistle.

Giorgi Balakhadze was MVP for Rumori Calcio according to IAFA. Exception made for the goal, still room for improvement.

Giorgi Balakhadze was MVP for Rumori Calcio according to IAFA. Exception made for the goal, still room for improvement.

On the resume, Dmitri Raja made it 4-0 (25’) only for Giorgi Balakhadze to score his third goal with Rumori Calcio jersey three minutes later.

On 4-1 and with ten minutes to go, Rumori pushed to make it back into the game. However, the fatigue increased further and there were not enough changes (just one) to feed the effort.

Consequently, Rumori Calcio capitulated quickly in 7 minutes conceding other 4 goals.

On 8-1, Palmeri picked the only card of the game for badly fouling outside of the box. Considering it was a one-on-one with no defenders ready behind his back, he was lucky the colour of the card was only yellow.

On the free-kick take, Marenkov made it 9-1 through the wall that opened like the sliding doors of a hotel lobby.

It was a harsh debut for the Rumori Calcio side even though it should be mentioned that most of the regulars were missing including the tested defensive pair Chochia-De Pizzol. The usual problems came up: lack of defensive cohesion and a couple of players going constantly in useless one-on-one’s and forgetting it is a team game.

Rumori Calcio are now expected to take on Energy who won 4-3 at the debut with Kopli City. Game scheduled for the 1st of November at 12:50.

Reval AFC vs. Rumori Calcio 9-1 scorecard

IAFA home page
IAFA Winter Season
IAFA Winter Season Calendar
Rumori Calcio on IAFA

SEM Grandliiga Cup - Centurion crowned Champions!

Angelo PalmeriComment

‘There are no specific secrets but only one clear aim that we need to reach by fighting all together as a team.’

These were the words that Mauro Caneglias, the player-coach at Centurion, left to Rumori before taking on JK Tondi in the Grandliiga Cup Final.

And it was indeed by fighting as a team, and suffering as one, that the yellow-blues managed to reach the bottom of the competition and finally rise the trophy in the sky over Maarjamäe sporting complex.

Mauro. first from left bottom row, with his team and the Grandliiga Cup 2014 

Mauro. first from left bottom row, with his team and the Grandliiga Cup 2014 

The match was hard, as I completely expected’ talked Mauro again after the tight 2-2 draw that led the two teams to the extra time and eventually the bingo lottery of the penalty shoot-outs. ‘I do believe that penalties are a separate game inside a match. A manager cannot prepare much. I could only entrust all my firm believes in my players and make them understand I completely trusted each one of them.’

However, this is just the end of the movie. We need to rewind the tape to what the game was in its regular time (25 minutes X 2).

The game started off well for Centurion since Spanish striker, Jordi Federico, opened the score immediately for the yellow-blues (6’). A promising start that filled the gap with the titleholders JK Tondi, champions of everything.

However, here came the experience and cold blood of the veterans who managed to turn the game on its head before half-time.

First Sergei Kljuev pulled one back eight minutes later (14’) and then, just before the break, Denis Mettus killed Centurion’s hopes to reach the interval on an even ground (25’).

Mauro had to pull the strings together and push his side to start over again in the second half. ‘When you are in need to equalize it always seems that time runs faster’ explained the Sardinian manager to Rumori ‘you don't even have time to think properly. But this time we had to go over our limits.

At odds with the clock, Mauro had to take firm decisions without losing grab with the score, still favourable to a comeback. ‘My main plan was to introduce an additional striker to the game and while I was trying to support the team, I was also trying to understand how to make the change and who to take out.’

Never an easy decision for a coach to tell a lad to come off, however, it’s part of the job. ‘It's never easy. Especially when you see every single one giving his best’ explained Mauro, praising each and every team member ‘there was also a risk to suffer Tondi’s counters since they are masters at.

What was the final solution then? ‘I asked the guys to push more and to let the ball run faster by passing it quicker in order to try to open spaces. In the end, we managed to find that tiny hole to equalize.’ Indeed, on 41’ minutes, Anatoli Boźko pulled level with JK Tondi, 14 minutes to time.

However, when things go well, time never ends. The priority for Centurion was not to compromise the achieved result and, eventually, try to obtain something more before the final whistle. The attitude of the team explains once and again how they could hold until time. ‘I was totally aware this match was going to be strictly tactical and I was prepared it could end at penalties’ confessed Mauro about how he expected this game to be.

Nevertheless, the team entered the pitch with the perfect attitude. They went over their limits. On Friday, there weren't single players on a pitch. There was one single Group (he stressed the capital ‘g’ –edit) fighting till the very end to reach the target. And our 2 goals show exactly that: we reached the aim by building all together each single action.

The last step was taking on the penalty shoot-outs (see video at the bottom).

In regards to choose who had to shoot, well, I based the decision on my previous experiences. Sometimes a look in the eyes tells hundred things more than a conversation.

The Rumori Calcio team in their last outfit at Grandliiga Cup - the team will return in the futsal season.

The Rumori Calcio team in their last outfit at Grandliiga Cup - the team will return in the futsal season.

The only player a coach cannot choose is the goalkeeper. Unless you are Van Gaal.

However, Mauro entrusted totally Adrian Aniśtśenko.

Adrian made 2 incredible and unforgettable penalty saves, which I am still struggling to choose which one was best.’

When you see your goalkeeper stopping two shoot-outs, the temptation to feel you have managed it, it is great. Mauro kept his aplomb: ‘I didn't think it was over. I did honestly sense Jose (Page, the last penalty take –edit) was going to make it. But I could not give vent to joy until the moment I could see the ball in.’

Once the last penalty hit the back of the net, Mauro could let his emotions flow. ‘There is no real word that can describe how I really feel’ told Mauro to Rumori ‘few days have passed and I can't really help watching now and again what we managed to achieve last Friday. For this, I can only thank each single one of my Players, everyone! From those who entered the pitch on Friday, to those who helped to reach the final but could not play, without forgetting who was there on Friday helping me and those who came to support and everyone else that did not take part in the cup, but contributed to make this season exceptional. A huge Thank You goes to everyone involved somehow in this.

What is the next step for Centurion considering we are about to enter the indoor season? ‘First of all, the outdoor season is not over yet. There is still a match to go in the League, then the Super Cup (on the 9th of October at 19:30 in A.LeCoq Sisehall, the covered pitch in the A.LeCoq Arena sport complex) and then we will go indoor’ told Mauro setting the calendar his team will have to duly observe before switching to futsal.

Before that, we need to reset all. We need to start everything back from scratch being humble. The biggest mistake we could do is to become presumptuous. The main thing I want the Team to keep in mind is the awareness. The awareness that if we play as a Team, we can make great things. Besides this, we need to be always hungry and willing to grow.

Stay hungry, stay fool.

SEM will celebrate the end of the outdoor season with an award ceremony that will be held at Violet Lounge on the 10th of October at 21:00.

SEM Grandliiga Cup - The Final

Angelo PalmeriComment

After ‘Rumori Calcio’ exited the SEM Grandliiga Cup (check full report here) we have been observing the development of the one-month tournament from the touchline.

Most of the games have been tight (the largest result was 4-0) and two ties required penalty shoot-outs to decide the winner.

The final will take place tonight in Maarjamäe (Levadia’s training complex) and it will be one of the first final acts of the outdoor season.

The SEM competitions will move indoor with the futsal season.

Who will be the protagonists of the final?

On one side we have the usual suspects: JK Tondi, needless to say, they are the cupholders.

JK Tondi are being handled the cup by gentle hands back in 2013

JK Tondi are being handled the cup by gentle hands back in 2013

We know this side very well from the feats of the 2013-14 futsal season that saw them clinching the treble at the expenses of Kopli City (Cup and Supercup finals were played both against them: check each match report, Cup final and Supercup final )

They have reached the final by beating Fitness Line (3-2), Baltika II (4-0), Norma (2-0) and Centurion (1-0).

The latters will be the opponents in the final kicking off at 20:00 EEST.

The Blue-Yellows have reached the final game by beating Remniku (4-3 after penalties), Maccabi (7-1) and, after losing to JK Tondi, they managed to access the final through another tie against Remniku (the format is double elimination). This time it was enough the regular time to get rid of the opposition with a smooth 4-1. Great protagonist of the game was Ilja Kulikov who scored a brace that helped Centurion creating the gap till time.

Mauro (right) is also a player of Centurion

Mauro (right) is also a player of Centurion

Who are Centurion?

We try to discover more from the words of their coach, Sardinian Mauro Caneglias.

Centurion is a multicultural "family" ‘ tells the ‘father’ Mauro. The team has undergone big changes within its squad since some players from Maxima Kingz entered the squad.

Mauro explains the developments: ‘After almost 9 years of tournaments in SEM it has become quite common for me to see changes. I can assure that each single season I participated has seen some newcomer to the team and maybe someone going away. And each single newcomer to the team has always brought something additional to the team. Something that has helped the team and me to grow.’

Whether he is happy with the changes or not, he explains soon: ‘despite all difficulties, despite each single change that has happen in the team throughout the years, we have been able to create a real and strong team spirit that has helped us to go over individual limits.’

He doesn’t speak about any player individually, he has just one word in his mouth: the team.

Mauro on the touchline with his distinctive gree windcoat

Mauro on the touchline with his distinctive gree windcoat

Therefore, we asked him what the situation of his team is ahead of such important game. It is the first time Centurion go to a final and Mauro has the concrete chance to rise his first trophy after a lot of efforts. ‘It has been a quite long and challenging season this year’ Mauro does see the goal close but does not feel like jumping the gun yet. ‘I think all the team members have a mixed feeling in these days. A lot of energies have been spent  on the pitch since May. Not only physical energies but also mental ones.

Centurion have been also busy in the Grandliiga Championship. They are 3rd on the table (out of 8 teams) and 12 points clear of JK Tondi (35 vs. 23). One last game expects Centurion, against GEP on Tuesday. But if they win the final, Baltika (the Championship champions) will expect them in the Supercup final.

The morale is high after the 4-1 win on Wednesday, and Mauro shows to trust his side totally: ‘at the end of the match I watched my players’ eyes. I didn’t see joy. I saw awareness. Awareness of still having to do one step. And that's how we approach tonight’s game.

The precedents during the current outdoor season with Tondi has seen a substantial balance: 1 win for the latters (3-0) 1 win for Centurion (4-2) and one draw (0-0).

Time to break the tie and rise the cup.
What will be the secret to stop JK Tondi this time? Mauro doesn’t resort to any superstition but tightens up with an old say learned from his best friend: ‘a secret, to remain as such, cannot be shared with anyone’ tells to Rumori. ‘Jokes aside JK Tondi is a tough and well organized team. A team we totally respect. But yet we are talking about a final. So there are no specific secrets but only one clear aim that we need to reach by fighting all together as a team.’

The team, once again. The secret of Centurion successful path so far.

The game will be officiated by referee Andrei Brõtkin (he can boasts several appearances in Estonian Esiliiga as linesman and also an Estonian Cup tie of FC Flora in A.LeCoq Arena). The assistant on the touchline will be Andres Jahimaa.

'Rumori Calcio' exits the SEM Grandliiga Cup - presentation of club jerseys

Angelo PalmeriComment

Rumori Calcio adventure in the Grandliiga Cup ended yesterday in a sunny Sunday afternoon at Maarjmäe football complex.

When referee Andres Jähimaa whistle the end of the game, the score could not hint at any misunderstanding: 9-1 for LFC, who progressed onto the next tie where they will face Remniku.

However, the game was not a one-way one as the result might suggest, especially during the first half.

LFC started at a slow rhythm as coming from the Lasnamäe Cup one-day tournament and allowed many spaces to Rumori Calcio. The gold-blacks had three clear one-on-one chances with both available strikers, Yenal Turan and Giorgi Balakhadze. The hero of the 2-1 win against Icebears, Mustafa Celik, was held by work duties.

The very first chance happened on Balakhadze’s feet who was quick to penetrate in the high defence only to find Marko Ostnik and his outstanding save that helped LFC to hold the goalless draw.

Rumori Calcio had other two similar chances and it was incredible how they were both squandered. On 7’ minutes, when Konstantin Tjutiazov opened the score for LFC, it could have been already 2-0 for Rumori Calcio.

The gold-blacks were keen in presenting a defensive formation with a 4-man defence line and two strikers up front dropping in turns. In the first twenty minutes of play, the team tacticts worked well and the opener came from a counterattack with Angelo Palmeri (yesterday in goal) left alone against two in the box. The Italian shot stopper almost managed to catch the tap-in while switching quickly from one opponent to the other.

He was not lucky and could not do anything when, on 21’ minutes, the same Tjutiazov rebounded his save in goal. The Italian goalkeeper managed to stop a header but could not hold the ball while falling. The defence slept over and the 2-0 was baked. Two clear chances, two goals for LFC; three clear chances, zero goals for Rumori Calcio. As Marko Kristal would say, football is about scoring goals.

Three minutes later, one minute to half-time, Denis Andrejev invented a shot from distance that hit the back of the net with Palmeri unable to oppose himself to the curled trajectory taken by the ball. 3-0 at half time was probably a penalizing result for the team who had the best chances and could count on only one substitute due to a couple of team members guiltily not showing on game day.

On the resume, Rumori Calcio switched to a 3-man defence in the attempt to have a man controlling the middle of the park. However, the decision was immediately reverted after 3 minutes into second half as Rumori Calcio suffered two goals in two consecutive minutes (27’ and 28’) making the score much rounder for the hosts.

As Rumori Calcio tiredness pulled level with LFC one but was not compensated by team organization (it was only the third game for the newly born club), the gold-blacks collapsed and conceded another one before Balakhadze scored Rumori’s only goal (36’). It’s the Georgian striker’s second personal goal in the competition.

On 6-1 no one was thinking Rumori Calcio could have come back, unless another couple of goals were quickly scored soon after. Instead, LFC scored other three with Andrei Marnaussov (39’) and Daniil Balatsevtsev (46’) completing a brace each with Kirill Kalinin only goal in between (37’).

It was the farewell from Rumori Calcio to the competition, however also an important moment since the club presented the new jerseys sponsored by Optibet and supplied by Errea-Spordipunkt (see gallery below).

Rumori Calcio will now set a series of friendlies in order to prepare for the upcoming futsal season during the winter.

LFC vs. Rumori Calcio 9-1
Scorecard here 

'Rumori Calcio' suffers but reaches the next round after extra time

Angelo PalmeriComment

If you were expecting an ‘all-in’ game, last night Rumori Calcio vs. Ice Bears did not delude the expectations.

There was everything needed: sport drama, rain pouring, great goals and lucky ones.

Both sides put a lot of effort to avoid a loss that would have meant the automatic elimination from the ‘Grandliiga Cup’.

Compared to the game against FC Liikur, Rumori Calcio fielded new faces: Italian defender Samuele De Pizzol, midfielders Heliand Dema (Albania) and Deni Delev (Macedonia).

The theme of the game was already clear since the early minutes as the Ice Bears did not care so much about the build-up and enhanced a classical ‘hit-and-run’ football in the Estonian version. They basically gave up to any midfield to simply reach the strikers (usually one or two) with long balls. The conditions of the pitch (wet and slicky) did not favour this tactics as the ball travelled often much faster than it should have had.

Rumori offered a disciplined 3-2-1.
However, in second half, they realized there was no need for numerical superiority in the middle of the park and left a man behind two strikers, alternating Angelo Palmeri with Mustafa Celik and giving Giorgi Balakhadze a chance to go more deep in the defence of the greens.

The game started with a quick pace and Rumori Calcio scored the lead just after 6 minutes when Samuele De Pizzol put a perfect ball from set-piece for Archil Chochia header past Henri Hunt, the Ice Bears goalkeeper. It was a great way to start the evening for the guests and it looked like a prelude to the possibility of keep the game under control and scoring another few ones.

Celik, with the Diplomat Cup back in Spring

Celik, with the Diplomat Cup back in Spring

Instead, only three minutes later, nr.28, Indrek Surajev, found an incredible goal that was like a bucket of ice water on the heads of Rumori Calcio.

Busy in getting rid of De Pizzol’s control on the flank, he kicked the ball in the box before his fuel was over. The attempt looked more like a cross for the upcoming teammates than a shot on goal. However, the ball took a weird trajectory. Goalkeeper Andi Kasmi, assuming it might just slip over the bar or past the second post, let the ball fall down only to realize he had to pick it up from the back of the net. 1-1

With the rain starting to pour, the game took the features of proper Wednesday-night cup game when skills and technique clash with the hard conditions of a slick pitch. Considering this was artificial turf, the ball was often spurting very fast and accounting for both teams spending energies in controlling, especially Rumori Calcio.

The regular time (50 minutes) finished with Rumori Calcio unable to score a second goal. Good attempts on target by Balakhadze, Palmeri and Celik. Hunt, on a one-on-one chance, stopped the latter in the dying minutes of the second half.

Andi Kasmi managed to control all the remaining attempts by the Ice Bears who brought little danger as both Chochia and De Pizzol sealed the defensive wall with the help in turns of Palmeri, Dema and Delev.

Another great defensive performance for Chochia

Another great defensive performance for Chochia

When referee Andrei Brõtkin whistled the full time, the drama was brought forward to extra time. A drama in the drama, considering everything was due to be decided in 10 minutes (5 for each half) and the game looked already like a ‘who scores first, wins’.

In the first half Palmeri had a great chance to close the match when, after a nice combination Celik-Balakhadze, he found himself alone in front of Hunt. Instead of entrusting his right foot to shoot straight on goal, he decided to take the time to stop with the left, adjust the ball and then aim at the Ice Bears shot stopper. However, it all stayed in the intentions since the ball slipped from the sole of his foot to die over the bottom line leaving the Italian player hands in hair.

It looked like a cursed night, however there was no doubt for an average spectator to understand where the better quality lied. Rumori Calcio tried to play the ball in difficult conditions and in the end, their quality effort, was awarded.

In second half the lack of midfield among the Ice Bears was even more evident with Rumori Calcio confidently opting for a 3-3 without taking the hassle to add more defenders and having several time an unmarked man ready to collect from defence.

Notwithstanding his long-time flirting with rugby, De Pizzol can offer great performance in the back line of a football team.

Notwithstanding his long-time flirting with rugby, De Pizzol can offer great performance in the back line of a football team.

On the counterattacks, they had already three men ready to attack the spaces and give to the Ice Bears back line some troubles. In one of these situations, Palmeri had a good run in the box from the right side, however could not reach the fast ball sent in by Celik.

It was just a wake-up call for the Ice Bears, however Rumori Calcio’s winning goal did not come from build-up but from an authentic ballistic feat by Celik.

On 59’ minutes, just one minute before the penalties, he collected the ball from the defence and started to run against the recoiling Ice Bears defence. Meanwhile, both Balakhadze and Palmeri were helping the foray by keeping busy the back line with their runs. With enough space to look and aim at the goal, Celik guessed the right angle and with an exceptional shot from distance gifted Rumori Calcio with their first historical win and the chance to play the next round.

Rumori Calcio will face the losing side of LFC vs. Maccabi and follow their path in the 'consolation bracket' (check here for the full plan of the tournament)

A special greeting to Andi Kasmi (left).
The Albanian shot stopper will return to Italy where he is resident (photo by Gertrud Alatare Photography).


Ice Bears vs. Rumori Calcio 1-2 (AET)
Scorecard available here.

'Rumori Calcio' collects a bitter loss in SEM Grandliiga Cup debut

Angelo PalmeriComment

Rumori Calcio’s debut into the Grandliiga Cup was definitely far from something to remember.

The VII put together last night in Maarjamäe complex (the same premises where Levadia trains) offered a fair performance in first half until a much-discussed penalty was assigned by referee Brõtkin (in the team of Estonian Esilliga whistles) to FC Liikur.

The good Albanian shot stopper, Andi Kasmi, guessed the side but could not prevent Fjodor Uvarov from scoring the lead (13’).

Until that moment, Rumori Calcio had had the best chances. 

Turkish winger Yenal Turan and young striker from Georgia, Giorgi Balakhade ,did not manage to aim on target from good positions. Dmitri Korzinski (Liikur’s goalkeeper) could only thank his good luck if Rumori did not open the score.

Andi Kasmi's saves helped Rumori Calcio's goals suffered tally to be smaller than it could have actually been

Andi Kasmi's saves helped Rumori Calcio's goals suffered tally to be smaller than it could have actually been

The second goal came four minutes later when defender Angelo Palmeri missed the ball in the attempt of anticipating Dmitri Korneev about to receive the ball. His wrong move opened a prairie to the Liikur’s number 9 and the ball soon reached Aleksandr Polevtsov (17’).

Rumori Calcio was probably punished too harshly after having shown they could have brought danger to the opposition goal.

On 2-0, the home team had to uncover to try and pull one goal before half time. Balakhadze showed good individual skills but failed to cooperate with his teammates. Good on going past the man on one-on-one’s, he should have passed the ball onto either Turan or other Turkish offensive player, Mustafa Celik, who looked in better position to finish during a couple of times. On the contrary, the ball went often lost.
As on 25’ when it triggered a deadly counter that left Rumori’s back uncovered and Kasmi an easy target for Korneev.

That was enough to close the first half.

Georgian central defender, Archil Chochia, offered a good performance and one interesting box-to-box foray

Georgian central defender, Archil Chochia, offered a good performance and one interesting box-to-box foray

On the resume, Liikur closed the game as they managed to score the 4-0 and the 5-0 on the early minutes (Juri Katśan on 27’ and Denis Nikolaev one minute later).

With the fatigue increasing and the morale under the toes, Rumori let another one in (Korneev, 32’) before Balakhadze transformed a penalty allowed by Brõtkin for a foul committed on the same Georgian striker.

However, it was not the start of a comeback as Liikur scored other 4 in less than 8 minutes. Most of the goals where one-on-one situations with Kasmi completely left alone at the mercy of the yellow jerseys. Korneev completed his poker of goals (42’ and 48’), Nikolaev and Uvarov their respective brace (40’).

In the long run, FC Liikur deserved the win already snatched in first half.

The yellows will continue in the winners’ bracket whereas Rumori Calcio drops in the consolation one and will clash with the Ice Bears. The latters have suffered a 9-0 loss against Baltika II.

Who loses, will be definitely eliminated from the competition. 

Good luck Rumori Calcio!

Our editor-in-chief replied to One Nil Up #IceBucketChallenge

22nd of August, Grandliiga Cup by SEM
Rumori Calcio vs. FC Liikur 1-10
Scorecard available here

SEM outdoor season with Grandliiga Cup 2014

Angelo PalmeriComment

Summertime is the moment when, in Estonia, almost all the indoor activities move outside.

Football makes not exception as the walls and parquets of the indoor gyms are abandoned to roam free in the open air and on the green grass, either real or artificial.

‘Rumori’ reported you about the final acts of the enthusing 2013-14 indoor SEM campaign.

JK Tondi secured an amazing double ( Cup and Supercup ) at the expenses of Kopli City.

Now we are glad to give voice to another opportunity to compete at a fair level with other amateur non-league sides and exploit the joys that this amazing Estonian summer is bestowing upon us.
Take the chance, because it won’t last long.

SEM is opening the ‘Grandliiga Cup 2014’ for the period between the 15th of August and the 26th of September, just before the autumn will kick in.

As for the ‘Tallinn Futsal Cup’, the formula is based on ‘double elimination’ format (for an extended explanation check here).

The indoor cup was their business. JK Tondi's 'Wasps' are ready to bite back in the outdoors (

The indoor cup was their business. JK Tondi's 'Wasps' are ready to bite back in the outdoors (

Dealing with an amateur tournament among non-league teams, there are some usual restrictions for players’ eligibility.

The limits are set by taking into account the Estonian football pyramid and excluding any players registered and active from the first tier (Premium Liiga) till the fourth (II.Liiga). Cheating it’s not nice, so take this into account when you want to help your friends winning some silverware: in the end, you might just damage them.

However, for oldies like your reporter (35 and older), the restriction is lifted regardless the Estonian FA tier they are playing in.
To give an example: if your friend is Kristen Viikmäe (35 years old, 115 caps and 15 goals in the Estonian national team, a youth coach at Nõmme Kalju) he is certainly eligible. Great signing if you manage to convince him!

An exception to the tiers of the Estonian football system is made only for II.Liiga. In fact, five II.Liiga players can be registered into the squad but only two are allowed to show up on game day.

Keep these basic rules in mind and everything will go well.

When we talked about ‘roaming free in the open air on grass pitch’ we can now refer to the venue of the tournament which will be no less than Levadia’s training complex in Maarjemäe.

One of the most pleasant football locations in Tallinn, set in the green area of the homonymous hill overlooking Pirita Tee. If you don’t know, the training complex was inaugurated in 2007 by no less than the legendary Portuguese player, Eusebio. ‘The Black Pearl’ was a guest of Levadia and attended the grand opening of the Estonian ‘Milanello’ which has also hosted several Premium Liiga games and hot Levadia-Flora derbies.

Levadia's paron, Viktor Levada, gifts Eusebio with a club jersey (

Levadia's paron, Viktor Levada, gifts Eusebio with a club jersey (

The closing time for you and your friends to register a team is the 11th of August, therefore we suggest to apply as soon as you can as the draw of the ties will take place the day immediately after.

No need to mention that the cupholders are the usual suspects: JK Tondi.

After another tight game on the 4th of October 2013 (4-3 against Doker), they managed to bring home one of the many pieces of SEM silverware they have been able to collect in the past months. The Zidkov Bros & Co. are still the men to beat if you want to bring home something to proudly show to relatives and friends in your living room cabinet.

Take the chance and subscribe now!
Call 585 03 849 or send your application confidently in English via e-mail to

More info about the terms available here.


Good luck!

UEFA Regions' Cup: Kazakhistan side 'Dostyk' with non-eligible players in Tallinn

Angelo PalmeriComment

The Regions’ Cup is a UEFA frame competition held every two years and involving amateur footballers around Europe.

The rules of the competition (check here from are quite strict as far as concerns the eligibility of players. Chapter XII, point 18.05 is quite clear:

Players must have never played in UEFA competition matches

The only exception is made for youth competitions as Euro U-17 and U-21 including previous experiences in Regions’ Cup.

Ca va sans dire, players who have participated into UEFA Europa League and Champions League, would never be eligible under the existing rule.

On top of that, professional footballers are not allowed to participate (point 18.02 b, stating players must have never signed a professional contract).

Clear rules but that don’t seem to have had a grasp on the Kazakhistan FA (KFF).

In fact, the regional side ‘Dostyk’ presented several players in their line-up that have participated into international football and UEFA competition.

It is the case of Captain, Maksim Zhalmagambetov. As you can realize yourself from the page here, he debuted with Astana 64 in 2007 Champions League preliminary. Additionally, he debuted in a Euro qualifier with the Kazhakistan national team in 2006 in a goalless draw against Belgium. He was played 11 games as international in UEFA competitions. With Astana 64, he has even scored a goal.

'Ref! He's not eligible' seems to cry out the Estonian lads fingering at Zhalmagambetov (Gertrud Alatare 2014) - click to enlarge

Other examples are Vadim Borovsky, Timur Khalmuratov and Olzhas Spanov. The former, has scored two goals during the preliminary round of the Regions' Cup held in Estonia.

‘Dostyk’ progressed to the next round at the expenses of Welsh ‘North Wales’ and Estonian ‘Põhja-Eesti’ however, their sport result should be cancelled under the existing rules. The responsibility for the respect of the rules are upon each FA, therefore we could foresee also a penalty for the KFF.

'The Estonian FA is aware of the issue' declared Mihkel Uiboleht, Estonian FA press official 'and we have already addressed in writing the UEFA authorities'. Mr. Uiboleht added that Janno Kivisild (Estonia national team assistant coach) already spot the players during the game as he was assistant coach of Kazakhstan in 2006 and 2007.

Lower tiers foreign legion

Angelo Palmeri1 Comment

In a small football world as the Estonian one, none you would think to find foreigners also in lower leagues (last 3 tiers of the 6-tier pyramid).

Wrong assumption.

Since many years there have been few foreigners playing football in Estonia at amateur level. It’s natural: you live and work here, and if The Game is your passion, you start sooner or later to look for a club where to play.

It’s usually a word of mouth: a friend plays in the club A and you decide to go there and try. Or, with the internet, you reach a club representative and ask if you could join trainings and maybe later on decide to compete.

In other cases we’re talking about young kids, probably children of expats, who have started to play here in the local academies (Flora, Levadia, Martin Reim etc.).

There are 19 foreigners registered in the Estonian lower leagues and we will introduce all of them.

‘IV.Liiga’ – the ‘beer league’

Our editor-in-chief, Angelo Palmeri, busy defending the ball with FCF Tallinna Ülikool II black jersey - 7th and last season as active footballer in Estonia

Our editor-in-chief, Angelo Palmeri, busy defending the ball with FCF Tallinna Ülikool II black jersey - 7th and last season as active footballer in Estonia

Known for years as the ‘õlle-liiga’ – the beer league – the level has actually improved thanks to the many youngsters repopulating the lowest step of the Estonian 6-flight ladder. Divided into 4 groups recently geographically reformed, it counts foreigners only in Tallinn’s clubs with Southern and Eastern group not counting any.

Angelo Palmeri (FCF Tallinna Ülikool II - ITA)

Mustafa Celik (right) recently conquered the 'Diplomat Cup' futsal trophy - since few years JK Piiraja striker, in everyday life an ETV cameraman

Mustafa Celik (right) recently conquered the 'Diplomat Cup' futsal trophy - since few years JK Piiraja striker, in everyday life an ETV cameraman





Alberto-Florin Lupescu (FC Twister - ROM)
Mustafa Celik (Piiraja II - TUR)
Dejan Seliśek (Jalgpallihaigla - SLO)
Ricardo Jorge Pereira De Sousa Coelho (Eston Villa - POR)

‘III.Liiga’ – more foreigners and an international coach

The highest density of foreigners (9) is to be found in the 5th tier of Estonian football.
Here, besides some old acquaintance like Kristiine Japanese midfielder Taro Kageyama, we can find some youngsters (British Oskar William Quirk and Italian Giacomo Piron, both 1996 born) and the Estonian U-17 coach, German Lars Hopp.

Oskar William Quirk (Keila JK II - GBR)

Imants Grants (Valga FC Warrior - LVA)
Marco Palezuela Zancza (FC Tartu - SPA)
Andras Gelencser (Vastseelina FC Aspen - HUN)

When not coaching Estonian young hopes, Lars Hopp puts the boots on and helps JK Retro in the Northern group  of 5th tier (

When not coaching Estonian young hopes, Lars Hopp puts the boots on and helps JK Retro in the Northern group  of 5th tier (

Lars Hopp (JK Retro - GER)
Jose Manuel Soto Navarro (Kalev Tallinn II - SPA)
Taro Kageyama (Kristiine JK - JAP)

Giacomo Piron (TTÜ Ararat FC II - ITA)
Diego Fabian Moreira Preto (FC Järva-Jaani - POR)

‘II.Liiga’ – one step away from the pro

Andrea Castelnovo in action against Welco Elekter in Tartu (Welco Facebook)

Andrea Castelnovo in action against Welco Elekter in Tartu (Welco Facebook)

The top tier of the lower leagues features a couple Finns, one Nigerian, one French and one Italian. The latter, Andrea Castelnovo, is also becoming a regular in the FC Puuma side (an Esiliiga club – second tier of the pyramid) and he has challenged Premium Liiga FC Infonet in last week Estonian Cup semifinal).

Rauno Esaul (FCF Tallinn Ülikool - FIN)
Vincent Ray Lambin (Saue JK Laagri - FIN)
Eric Ntambue Tshibangu (Keila JK - FRA)

Andrea Castelnovo (Kaitseliit Kalev - ITA)
Azeez Adewuyi Ibisomi (Visadus JK - NIG)

Italy 3
Spain, Portugal, Finland 2
Nigeria, France, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Great Britain, Slovenia, Turkey and Romania 1

(NB: ethnic slavic and caucasian have not been counted as assumingly born in Estonia and opted for another nationality)

The Futsal Marathon: Estonian amateur futsal player will go in Guinness book

Angelo PalmeriComment

There’s an old Estonian adage saying that you can find an Estonian in every port.

Oxford is not by the sea but by the river (Thames) and takes its name from that: ox-ford is a compound word meaning what it means, oxen fording a river.

Oxford is obviously well known for its renown University where several World personalities have graduated and for the annual ‘Boat Race’, the Oxford-Cambridge rowing challenge on the river Thames.

In football Oxford is represented by Oxford United FC, challenging Estonian international Sander Puri and his York City FC in League Two (4th tier of English football).

In their short history belonging to League Football (since 1962) they account for the unlucky circumstance of not being able to play the UEFA Cup as League Cup winners in 1987. It was the year when the ‘Iron Lady’, Margareth Thatcher , imposed a ban on English clubs to join European competitions following the notorious hooligans behaviour. It was one of the unluckiest circumstances in the history of football of the Varsity city as in 1988 OUFC was relegated starting a slow decline.
Ironically, 'Maggie' was an Oxford graduate in Chemistry.  

However, almost 30 years after 1987, football in Oxford has now the chance to enter the Guinness Book of Records thanks to the initiative of one of the many Varsity clubs: Oxford Brookes Futsal Club.

The game of futsal (known also as 5-a-side football or indoor football – the word ‘futsal’ comes from the Brazilian ‘futebol de sala’ ) is becoming more and more popular in the UK, traditionally tied to outdoor football and to the kick-and-run style of play of their Sunday leagues.

The futsal tradition has spread in countries technically upskilled (Brazil, Spain, Italy, Russia). One rule particularly – sliding tackles are forbidden – has never found the favours of the English, typically attached to the possibility of stealing the ball with this technique.

However, things are changing also in Albion.

The Varsity club originates from
Oxford Brookes University an institutiond that can trace its origins to 1865 when the former Oxford School of Art was established. The university was renamed in 1992 to honour its former principal, John Brookes.

The university's 
School of Architecture is one of the largest in Britain.

One Estonian student, Tarvo Kunz, studies IT management for business and he is at his second year, according to a short interview released to, the Estonian FA official website.

He joined Oxford Brookes Futsal Club last autumn. Tarvo has been playing futsal since he was a child in Võru JK, the local club of Võru town. Since January, he intensified his trainings to prepare for the event that will have his name along to the one of the Oxford club inscribed in the Guinness Book of Records: the longest futsal match ever, 45 hours of play!


The clock was ticking down 34 hours to go... (Facebook/Tarvo Kunz)

The clock was ticking down 34 hours to go... (Facebook/Tarvo Kunz)

The initiative had the main aim to raise funds for charities involved in the fight against cancer and alzheimer.
A scope that was well reached as the event collected 5,174£.

‘’I am glad I managed to participate to this event’’ said Tarvo to ‘’because such chances don’t happen often during your life, I think any player can agree with me’’ concluded the Estonia student-footballer stressing the fact that the final result was not important considering the main goal was to do a good thing.

Football like an assembly line: shifts were painstakingly organized (Facebook/Tarvo Kunz)

Football like an assembly line: shifts were painstakingly organized (Facebook/Tarvo Kunz)

However, what could have been a final result after 45 hours of play?

Oxford Brookes Fut.C. ‘sparring partners’ were the guys at, a website/company founded by Charlie Sole with ‘aim to provide a high quality mobile Futsal service allowing customers to play affordable Futsal in convenient locations

Their mission is to bring this ‘new’ game into UK and make it more popular via affordable ways.

With the motto ‘Find your inner Brazilian’, Charlie&Co. went on to challenge Tarvo and his University mates. The initiative, actually, came from Charlie himself as he is also a student of the Brookes University.

Writing a match report of a 45-hour game it would be too much for any of us at RdS and probably worth a Guinness itself. This time we will be happy with the final result: 804-776 for Oxford Brookes.

'Sweating the shirt' when it really means it..Tarvo proudly showing his second skin for 45h and the memorial trophy (Facebook/Tarvo Kunz)

'Sweating the shirt' when it really means it..Tarvo proudly showing his second skin for 45h and the memorial trophy (Facebook/Tarvo Kunz)

Tarvo played 22 hours (yes, t w e n t y-t w o!) and scored 76 goals in the 45 hours of play. Obviously each player had a chance to rest and recover properly as a substitute was ready to come on every 10 minutes. Of the last 6 hours of play, Tarvo played five.


According to Tarvo’s words, the hardest hours were from the 9th till the 35th and the night shifts.

‘’When we were 13 hours from time, I was at this stage when I thought I am not going to make it’’ said Tarvo to the official website of the Estonian FA ‘’I had been up for 40 hours and slept maybe about a hour’’ revealed Tarvo.

Obviously his young age helped him as Tarvo is only 22 years old. A big push came from the crowd ‘’when people started to come in the morning, it was much better as it’s always better to play in front of someone’’

The record set in Oxford, once ratified by the Guinness organization, will beat the Norwegian one of 40 hours with final time score 889-557.

It will take two months for that.

The below stats shows who were the goals authors. Tarvo made Estonia proud being the 4th best topscorer. There was space for 10 own goals too.

SEM Tallinn Amateur Super Cup Final - JK Tondi vs Kopli City, 7-2

Chris JohnsComment

JK Tondi secured another piece of silverware with a 7-2 defeat of Kopli City in the SEM Tallinn Futsal Super Cup Final.


Tondi had already won the Grandliiga title and cup, winning the latter on penalties against Kopli, and took the honours here with a clinical display. The Futsal was fast and frenetic from the off, with both sides playing at a high tempo and creating a number of chances. 

The game was finely balanced until the 14th minute, when Tondi broke the deadlock via an Andrei Tsurikov free kick, and it proved to be the game’s decisive moment as they stormed into a 4-0 half time lead. Two more goals followed in the second half to make it 6-0 before Kopli pulled a consolation goal back. Tondi restored their 6-goal cushion soon after before Kopli managed a second consolation in a match that had effectively been put to bed before half time.

Tondi lined up as expected, with Mihhail Meshkov between the sticks, protected by Maksim and Dmitri Zidkov. Boriss Sipunov and Boris Poddubnoi provided the early firepower.

Kopli also caused no surprises with their line-up, starting with Ivan Orehhovski in goal, with Sergii Mitin and Vitali Mihhasev in defence. Captain Erik Grigorjev partnered Vitali Gussev in attack.

The match began at breakneck speed and rarely relented. Both sides made regular rolling substitutions and made use of them early on. 

The game’s first chance fell Kopli’s way, as Gussev started what would become an all too familiar trend for them by hitting both posts. Grigorjev’s free kick was struck low into the penalty area and Gussev’s cheeky flick diverted the ball on to the keeper’s right post, before rolling along the line to strike the other.

Kopli then had a double chance as Stanislav Zigalov’s strike was blocked by the keeper and Dmitri Kurjanov struck his shot wide from outside the box. 

Tondi responded as the impressive Poddubnoi was brought down by Orehhovski on the edge of the box. 

Andrei Tsurikov played the free kick to Poddubnoi who saw his shot blocked on the line by the Kopli defence.

The end-to-end action continued as Mihhasev struck the outside of the post for Kopli, while at the other end Mettus had the game’s best chance so far as he tried to chip the onrushing keeper, who was equal to it and tipped the ball round the post.

Both sides were countering well and had several shots from the edge of the box that failed to find the back of the net. Tsurikov and Poddubnoi were tormenting the Kopli defence as the former’s strength and power carved open the Kopli defence on a number of occasions. 

Kopli’s biggest threat was coming from Grigorjev and Gaidajenko, who were finding themselves some space in good positions, but were up against a Mihhail Meshkov in inspired form.

Big chances then came for both sides, as Tondi’s Kulakov struck a low shot across goal and on to the face of the post, before Vitali Solovjev led a Kopli charge down the other end, playing a neat 1-2 with Mihhasev before scooping his shot disappointingly over the bar.

Tsurikov (TON) was a constant menace throughout the game Image: SEM

Tsurikov (TON) was a constant menace throughout the game
Image: SEM

It was a missed opportunity for Kopli and they were made to pay shortly after. Poddubnoi was brought down by Orehhovski on the edge of the box and Tsurikov was on hand to smash the free kick low, through the legs of Orehhovski, and into the back of the net to give Tondi a 1-0 lead. A goal had certainly been coming and the biggest surprise was that it had taken 14 minutes to do so.

“You wait a lifetime for a goal, then four come along at once”

It was the start of things to come for Tondi, as less than 60 seconds later they made it 2-0. Poddubnoi picked the ball up on the right-hand side, drifted inside on to his left, and drilled a low shot into the net in spite of the efforts of the Kopli defence to shackle him.

Up until the goals, Kopli had been well in the tie, and suddenly found themselves in a sticky situation. Matters were quickly made worse for them as Gussev was forced off with an injury and Tondi shifted up another gear to pile the misery on.

Denis Mettus drove down the left-hand side before playing the ball into the box towards Vjatsheslav Kulakov, who couldn’t control it. Fortunately for Tondi, the ball trickled to the feet of Poddubnoi, who was loitering at the back post, and he took advantage of the goalkeeper’s helpless position on the floor to simply flick the ball into the net from point blank range to make it 3-0.

Poddubnoi was clearly delighted with the simplicity of the goal, using his confidence to dribble past almost every member of the Kopli squad before being thwarted by the goalkeeper. His side were suddenly riding the crest of a wave that had hit Kopli with unstoppable force. 

Kopli managed to respond; Mitin played a nice 1-2 with Gussev before seeing his chipped shot land wide of the far post. Grigorjev then struck the outside of the post with a fierce shot as they tried to restore some balance before half time.

With less than two minutes to go before the break, however, Tondi as good as finished the game off. Tsurikov grabbed his second of the game from the left side of the box after Maksim Zidkov’s cross pitch pass had found him unmarked. 4-0 to Tondi.

In just six minutes, the game had gone from being a balanced and enthralling affair, to a seemingly one-sided whitewash. In truth, Kopli hadn’t been overwhelmed by their opposition, Tondi had simply been far more clinical with the ball at their feet. To add further insult to injury for Kopli, Gussev was forced off the pitch again with a recurrence of the injury he had picked up earlier in the game.

The referee’s whistle brought the first half to a close and gave both sides to reflect on their situations. Tsuirkov and Poddubnoi were on fire for Tondi, and they were making the difference with their clinical play.

Gussev proved to be one of Kopli's main threats Image: SEM

Gussev proved to be one of Kopli's main threats
Image: SEM

Gussev and Grigorjev were Kopli’s biggest threats, but neither were able to make their shots count. Solovjev was seeing a fair amount of the ball aswell, but his wastefulness on occasion was contributing to their failure in front of goal.

Kopli needed to start taking their chances, but with an added impetus on attack comes a potential negligence of defensive responsibility; this point was hammered home less than two minutes into the second 20-minute period.

Poddubnoi, well in his stride now, struck a shot low towards the keeper, who couldn’t get enough behind the ball to stop it from squirming under his body. Time froze as the ball rolled towards the line, and Orehhovski scrambled in vain to stop its inevitable breach of the goal. He couldn’t get there and any hopes of a miraculous second half comeback looked to have vanished as Tondi led 5-0 and Poddubnoi had his hat trick.

Kopli were not without fight, however. Gaidajenko drive forward before flicking the ball to Gussev, who shot wide of the post. Gaidajenko was then involved again as his toe-poke from the edge of the box met the frame of the goal once more.

Back up the other end of the pitch, the marauding duo of Poddubnoi and Tsurikov combined again, with the latter charging down the right side before seeing his vicious shot saved.

The woodwork then denied Kopli again, with Gussev’s endeavour failing to garner any end results as the pace of the game refused to let up.

Solovjev stole the ball from Tondi’s Sipunov, but sliced his shot wide of the post, before a further nail was driven into Kopli’s coffin.

Tsurikov and Poddubnoi once again combined, with the former breaking away from the defence before playing in the latter, who had the simple task of slotting home to make it three for him, and the scoreline 6-0 to Tondi.

It was rough justice for Kopli, who didn’t deserve to be on the end of such a comprehensive scoreline, but they did manage to restore some pride moments later.

Zigalov found himself with time on the edge of the box and smashed a crisp shot into the top corner of the net to make it 6-1. Having been thwarted by the woodwork and an in-form Meshkov on a number of occasions, Kopli finally had something to celebrate. 

The goal gave them some more impetus, but Kopli found their overall luck hadn’t changed. Mitin and Grigorjev both saw their efforts hit the bar, either side of a Solovjev shot that was saved by the keeper after being played in by Grigorjev.

Kopli’s momentum was broken once more shortly after. Dmitri Zidkov found himself in space near the left-hand by-line and, with Tsurikov unmarked in the centre, Zidkov toe-poked the ball into the net from a seemingly impossible angle to restore Tondi’s six-goal cushion and give them a 7-1 lead.

Showing great spirit and determination, Kopli promptly responded. Solovjev led a three-against-one charge into the Tondi half, before playing the ball right to Zigalov. His pass to the far post was met by Grigorjev who tapped home to make it 7-2. The Kopli captain had been their best player on the evening and the strike was no less than he deserved.

Poddibnoi's four goals set Tondi on their way Image: SEM

Poddibnoi's four goals set Tondi on their way
Image: SEM

Poddubnoi missed a final chance to increase his side’s lead, but the post was Tondi’s enemy this time and it kept the striker at bay.

The referee brought the match to a close and gave Tondi another piece of silverware. Kopli will feel a little hard done by, as they created chances throughout the match, but were unable to convert them.

Tondi were clinical, organised and deserved their win, despite the flattering scoreline. Poddubnoi and Tsurikov were unstoppable and proved the difference between the two sides.

Man of the Match: Poddubnoi (TON) – Four goals and was a constant menace, linking up with Tsurikov throughout.

SEM Tallinn Futsal Super CUP 2014: JK Tondi vs Kopli City match preview

Deni DelevComment

Spring is just around the corner (even though according to the calendar it was supposed to be here few weeks ago) in Estonia and that means we are moving the football season outdoors and mark the end of the futsal season. 

This time, we are bracing ourselves for the final game of the season, the Tallinn Futsal Super Cup 2014 in organization of SEM. Similarly to the Cup final, it will be the teams of JK Tondi and Kopli City that will face each other. JK Tondi as winners of both Grandliiga and the Cup and Kopli City as runners-up from the Cup.

The two teams know each other very well, having played in the Cup final two weeks ago. That time JK Tondi came out as winners after the penalty shootout (see how that match went here). However, one thing we can be sure of is that we can expect at least 40 more minutes of exciting futsal and Kopli City will definitely be the ones looking for revenge.

Let’s see what we can expect from both teams and which players will get coaches’ nods to start the big Super Cup.

JK Tondi – Grandliiga and Cup winners

Numbers communicated immediately before game

As the title itself suggests, on one side we have a team that was dominant this year in SEM organized events. JK Tondi is an excellent mixture of veterans boosted by the presence of the 26 year-old Podubbnõi as well as few players from FC Raketa (the runners-up of the Futsal Meistriliiga). For this Super Cup, we could expect them to start with the same team that challenged Kopli City in the previous match and that was: Meshkov on the goal, the brothers Maksim and Dmitri Zhidkov in front of him, and Amosov with Podubbnõi forming the attacking line of the Grandliiga and Cup champions. Lukastsuk, Embrich, Kulakov and Shipunov should wait for their chance to contribute from the bench.

Kopli City – attractive players thirsty for revenge

On the other side, we have the much younger team of Kopli City. One name in their squad will definitely ring a bell in the years of people familiar with Estonian football and that is Vitali Gussev who has one game in the national team and top scorer title from 2009 when he won the league with Levadia, scoring 26 goals in the campaign. 

Maksim Zidkov (17, TON, left) and Vitali Gussev (9, KOP, right) will be among the Supercup final protagonists

However, most of the people remember him, and his teammate in this case, Grigorjev, for the scandal when they were suspected of match-fixing which marked the end of their professional career, so we can expect to see them in the starting line-up of Kopli City for this match. The rest of the first V consists of Orehhovski between the sticks and Mihassev and Mitin in front of him. Kopli’s bench is a bit longer than Tondi’s, so Grosev, Solovjev, Zigalov, Gadajenko and Kurjanov will certainly get their chance to shine in this final.

Even though JK Tondi are the favourites for the treble, the least we can expect after their previous clashes is a tight match with lots of exciting moments. Kopli City has a lot of quality players in their squad and will certainly try to steal one away from their opponents and end the season in a winning fashion.

The referees for this match are EJL licensed Roland Meritee and Dmitri Kulikov. The match format is as usual, two halves lasting 20 minutes each. If there is no winner in the regular 40 minutes, the match continues in extra time (2x5 minutes), followed by penalties (of course, if the game is still a draw).The venue of the match is Tallinna Humanitaargümnaasium at 19:00 EEST and our Chris Jones will be there to cover the whole event for you. You can expect his match report here.

After the match, there will be a small ceremony by the organizers SEM where the best ones will get their prizes for the successful season. There will be awards for the best three teams in Grandliiga, for the top scorer, best player and best goalkeeper. The best two teams in the Cup (Tallinn Futsal Cup 2014) will also be rewarded again together with the top scorer, the best player and the best goalkeeper as well as the winners of the Super Cup.

Post by SEM.

Estonian lower leagues: refreshing kits thanks to Errea and A.LeCoq

Angelo PalmeriComment

This article written by Angelo Palmeri originally appeared in Estonian football magazine ‘Jalka’ (issue December 2013).

click to enlarge

The most familiar nickname of Estonian lower football tiers, especially league, is the ‘beer league’.

Since start of summer 2013 this letter of intent has literally been printed out on amateur clubs jersey.

A project launched in spring has allowed clubs from III.rd and league (5th and 6th tier of Estonian football pyramid - edit) to either wear new kits or, as in the case of (former) FC Pokkeriprod, to add an away kit to the existing one.

'We had no problems or complex to play away games with pink kits reveals Pokkeriprod’s captain and representative, Lauri Hanstin, about the unusual choice made by a democratic poll among club members ‘I think that the home teams were disappointed at losing to a team who wears pink. It was quite an amusing experience.’

A similar amusing experience should have enjoyed also the other 40 amateur clubs that were involved by the project: either they had the chance to renew their worn-out kits or to give themselves the luxury to choose another jersey when travelling away. ‘
The quality of the product is very good’ Lauri admits ’the kit is very light and comfortable to play with.’

A club from souther Estonia, FC Tartu, in their Errea kits (FC Tartu)

Toomas Järvet, strategy director at Taevas, the PR and communication agency behind the project sponsored by A.LeCoq, explains how the idea was bornI have played football myself at amateur levels for many years’ recounts ‘and I know one big cost for a club is to get every two years, if not every year, the kits for the footballers’ recognizes a former amateur footballer at FC Concordia.

How the idea came out of a meeting room to reach hundreds of players? ‘It came from one of those workshops we have with A.LeCoq (the beer brand is their client almost since the agency was born in 1998 – A.P.). The idea was to go beyond the mere passive sponsorship of the Estonian FA and the national football team.’  

Toomas proposal was on the table and A.LeCoq picked it up as the opportunity to involve more the lower leagues participants: now it was the time to look for a supplier. ‘Errea had really the best possible offer no one could compete with’ repeatedly admits Toomas hinting at the fact that choosing the Italian brand of sport clothing founded in 1988, it was much easier than anyone can think. ‘Errea was really approachable, eager for cooperation and interested in being part of this project. Additionally, they offered two tickets to go watching an FC Parma’s Serie A game in Italy (Parma-Inter which will take place on the 19th of April - edit) to those clubs who would have subscribed to the fair play challenge’.

The lucky winner will watch Cassano live at 'Stadio Ennio Tardini', home venue of FC Parma (internet)

The lucky winner will watch Cassano live at 'Stadio Ennio Tardini', home venue of FC Parma (internet)

The contest was among those clubs who would have submitted their team picture wearing the new kit: at the end of the season, the fairest player (on games played/cards received ratio) has received the award during the Estonian FA end-of-season football gala at Nokia Concert Hall.

The fair play campaign attached to the project was a good idea’ admits Siim Juks from the Estonian FA
Public Relations and Partnerships Department.

We were surprised and asked why they decided to invest at amateur level and their answer was that besides investing in top football they wanted in lower tiers too. As a marketing responsible, I must admit this was a great tool considering the geography and target group of lower leagues’. 

The ‘beer league’ indeed.

click to enlarge

What was the Estonian FA role in this project? ‘Previously we have negotiated with A.LeCoq about national team and Meistriliiga, with the latter being renamed ‘Premium Liiga’ at the start of 2013 season. The amateur clubs project came unexpectedly and it reflects the fact that such idea came from the grassroots level as conceived by a former amateur footballerreveals Siim who instead has not played football at amateur level.

The FA actually offered to be given the money allocated for this project in order to implement something like decreasing the registration fee’ admits Siim ‘However, A.LeCoq were already determined to go on with the kits project. Therefore, we agreed with their project and gave the green light.’ 

A.LeCoq supports Estonian football since 2001 and it is not only a name given to a stadium. ‘One of the many initiatives was the one that installed those mini-football pitches for kids around Estonia, like the one outside of A.LeCoq Arena: they are about 40’ recounts Toomas about the past before hinting at a plan for the future: ‘At the end of the year, we will draw conclusions about what we achieved through this project. Probably we will ask the clubs’ feedback and from those conclusions, we will decide what to do next year.’

What is the club’s feedback then? 

Lauri Hanstin (right) in Errea pink kit at FC Pokkeriprod (now FCF Tallinn Ülikool double team) - the Errea kit has been used a lot in pre-season and will continue to be the club's away kit

This campaign was very positive’ says Lauri Hanstin at (former) Pokkeriprod adding a suggestion for future action ‘experience tells we are struggling with footballs. Quality ones are quite expensive and you need approximately 10-15 of those for regular trainings. I’d happily take the chance to buy footballs with a discount

Will Errea be the partner for a future initiative? For the moment, Tartu-based Latvian owner of the Baltic distributor (Sportapunkts), Maris Robeznieks, is happy with the outcomes of the partnership: ‘the most important thing was that we established contacts in Estonian top-level football, something that did not happen before even though Errea was known in other sports (handball, volleyball – A.P.)’ 

Errea managed to reach Estonia as last of the Baltic countries over the past few years: ‘
Previously, a Finnish distributor covered the Estonian market; we convinced Errea that we could do a job better. A.LeCoq informed us about their project, we made an offer they found it convenient. In our opinion it was a very successful initiative, both for the Estonian amateur football and for Errea to make itself visible in the country.’ concludes Maris very satisfied; he reveals that soon a Premium Liiga club might wear Errea kits too: ‘we had already negotiations with some clubs during last season, however due to previous contractual obligations they had, we have to wait these to end before finalizing a new Errea supply.’

The article as originally appeared on Jalka (click to enlarge)

Going back to the amateur football realm, Siim Juks sets the target for the next campaign ‘The FA opinion is that the initiative could be used as a motivation for Rahvaliiga clubs to upgrade themselves to IV.league’ explains Siim clarifying that the FA main target is to increase the number of registered players in the country every season. 

'Running initiatives at amateur football level is already in A.LeCoq’s priority list
’ assures Toomas on behalf of their client ‘in the preliminary stage of the implemented project, Rahvaliiga was also included’ reveals Toomas ‘however, the costs were too high: it might be an option for the future though’.


A rosy future expects amateur football.
Maybe not really literally this time.

Diplomat Cup 2014: Turkey's first joy

Angelo PalmeriComment

Team Turkey celebration their first success (Facebook) - click to enlarge

There is always a first time for everyone. At the 2014 Diplomat Cup organized by Sport Promotion it was a time for many first times.

First time a non-European country (USA) participated into the tournament.


There would have actually been two, however South Africa withdrew at the last moment for their place to be taken by Estonian Football Veterans, a mighty combo over-60’s gathered by the common love for the game that really doesn’t have any age limit.

It was a first time for Estonia (represented by MP Rainer Vakra and others) to reach a medal.

The first time for Armenia and Turkey to reach the final.

The first time for Turkey to rise the trophy in the ‘Saku Suurhall’.

After Italy, the Turkish squad is the second Mediterranean team to win the trophy following the Slavic kingdom of Ukraine and Russia.

Ambassador Victor Guzun opposing Turkey's Mustafa Celik during the Turkey-Moldova semifinal (Viorica Guzun) - click to enlarge

Turkey deserved to win the trophy after dominating the group stage.

In the semi-final they came across the 
surprising Moldova.
The tiny republic put the future Champions into troubles as they opened the score with 
Dimitrie Manevksi, Macedonian loan for Moldova. The nr.9 headed past the Turkish goalkeeper a long ball served by our editor-in-chief, Angelo Palmeri, Italian loan of the Moldovan combo.

Notwithstanding the disadvantage and the little time to recover (each game lasted 12 minutes) 
the Turkish side in white jerseys did not dishearten and took over little by little. When Yenal Turan pulled level thanks to a perfect diagonal shot from outside the box, Turkey’s comeback was half completed as the whites overcame Moldova 3-1 to reach their first ever final in the tournament.

Armenia had an easier job with Estonia, sending the MP’s to battle with Moldova for the third place.

A moment of Estonia-Moldova 2-0 (Viorica Guzun)

A moment of Estonia-Moldova 2-0 (Viorica Guzun)

The ‘small final’ had the Moldovan team playing soon after the semifinal.

Tired and psychologically proved by the previous tight battles (in the group stage Moldova had lost just 0-1 to Armenia, won 1-0 with UK and France and drew 0-0 with Georgia in second-place decider), the surprising Reds gave up the third place to the home team by losing 2-0. A goal from corner kick situation and 
a great set-piece taken by Ralf Rogov (tournament topscorer) gave Estonia the first placement in the history of the tournament.

Chris Johns (left) and Angelo Palmeri, with UK and Moldova colours (Viorca Guzun) - click to enlarge

What about the other RdS member at the tournament? Unfortunately for Chris Johns and his Team UK, there was not a positive result to go back home with as the blues did not win a game and were bottom of their group (A) with 0 points. They were few seconds away from the only point in the game against Moldova when our editor-in-chief and goalkeeper, Angelo Palmeri, decided the game with what in basketball would be a three-point shot: a goal from Moldova’s half with a shot straight on target

Ca va sans dire, his feat was awarded as the tournament’s best goal as it already happened in spring 2012 when he did the same with Italy jersey.

A feat that probably pushed Moldova to reach the semifinal. The Moldovan side was also acknowledged in the person of
 Ambassador Victor Guzun, awarded as ‘Best Diplomat’ on the pitch.

The Turkey-Armenia final was one of the tightest ever seen at the Diplomat Cup since 2012.

Yenal Turan (left) and Mustafa Celik proudly showing the trophy conquered (Facebook)

Both sides had great chances however with Mustafa Celik hitting the umpteenth woodwork.

After 12 minutes, the balance was as at kick-off whistle: 

With no extra time to decide the winner, both teams took the way of the penalties.

Turkey started first and transformed. Armenia, on the first take, hit the bar. Which only meant Turkey travelling back home with the trophy in the trunk of the car.


The tournament's breaks were warmed up by the Kalev/Cramo dance team. RdS is  happy to offer a video of.

Diplomat Cup 2014

Angelo PalmeriComment
Italian Captain and team organizer Tony Pedivellano, proudly showing the trophy back in 2012 at the Italian embassy  (Facebook)

Italian Captain and team organizer Tony Pedivellano, proudly showing the trophy back in 2012 at the Italian embassy  (Facebook)

It’s again this time of the year when a small but meaningful event takes place in the biggest sports palais of Tallinn. Usually a temple for basketball, the ‘Saku Suurhall’ palais is lent for one day to Sport Promotion and their ‘Diplomat Cup’, a futsal tournament between embassies of the countries represented in the capital of Estonia.

Entrance for the day tournament is 5€ (buy here ). The most important thing about this event is that is for charity as the entire proceeds of the entrance fees will go to Haapsalu Orphanage.

It is already the 4th edition with a schedule that shall have one event in Spring (March-April) and the other one in Autum (September-October.

The previous four editions were won by Italy, Ukraine and Russia.

Quite curiously, and it never happened before, the cup holders are not represented in this edition. Additionally, also the previous winners have not entered the competition.

Defections by Russia and Ukraine at the same time can be easily understood as the international political situation has made the relationships between the two countries tense, to say the least.

Italy will be missing for the second edition running after winning the trophy (Spring 2012) and a bronze medal after a tight third place final against Turkey  (1-0, Autumn 2012).

Russia, cup holders, will be absent (

Russia, cup holders, will be absent (

The countries taking part are divided into two groups:

A: Georgia, Armenia, France, Great Britain, Moldova
B: South Africa, USA, Hungary, Estonia, Turkey

Other big absent are the Latvian neighbours who animated fierce derbies with Estonia in the past editions.
The Estonian members of parliament will represent Estonia in the group B.
First time ever for non-European clubs as the tournament extends to Africa and the Americas as South Africa and USA will challenge Estonia in the same group.
The group B favourite is certainly Hungary who had a good display during last edition being beaten in the final by Russia. The ‘Aranycsapat’ in diplomatic sauce showed quality entertaining football as in the old tradition of Magyar maestro’s
In group A all hints at France (Spring 2012 finalist who lost 2-1 to Italy).

Contrary to previous editions when the group stage gave a placement in knock-out stage to each side, in this one only first and second places will give access to semifinals with the scheme A1 vs. B2 and B1 vs. A2.

Tournament opening ceremony is at 12:15 when usually all sides present themselves on the court and the national anthem of Estonia is played.

The opening game will be a Caucasian derby: Georgia vs. Armenia soon followed by an intriguing France-Great Britain (12:30). Estonia debut game will be at 13:15 against Austum 2013 runners-up Hungary.

Group stage will end at 17:15 with Turkey vs. South Africa.

The final game is at 18:30.
Full program here .

‘Rumori di Spogliatoio’ will be actively present there with its reporters, Angelo Palmeri and Chris Johns embedded in the tournament. Chris will play for Great Britain whereas Angelo will defend Moldova’s goal. When comes to help other, RdS is there!
Come and support Haapsalu Orphanage kids!

SEM Tallinn Futsal Cup 2014 Final - JK Tondi vs. Kopli City 6-5 (AP)

Angelo PalmeriComment

Promises of a tight game were kept.

Tondi and Kopli played their chances of winning the Tallinn Futsal Cup until the last penalty taken by Amosov (JKT) after Źigalov (KOP) had badly missed his attempt.

Zigalov decisive miss before Amosov transformation

Zigalov decisive miss before Amosov transformation

However, before reaching the nerve-consuming penalty shoot-out lottery, we shall rewind the movie of the game and see what happened in the previous 50 minutes of play (40 of regular time plus the 10 of extra time as it’s fashion in futsal).

The starting V’s were almost those announced in our preview.
Out of the 6 topscores of the competition, the top 3 were missing: Ilja Kulikov, for obvious reasons as he belongs to Maxima Kingz side, Erik Grigoriev (KOP, initially announced in the starting V)  and Vadim Dolinin (JKT). With Gaidajenko (KOP) starting from the bench, the task to increase their tally and try to bring the cup home was entrusted to Boriss Podubbnõi (JKT) and Vitali Gussev (KOP), 3 goals each – a better average per game for the Tondi striker as he scored a goal in each of the three games played.

The start is immediately for Kopli City as Sergii Mitin tried the ballistic solution which was off target. It’s just a preliminary warning for JK Tondi goalkeeper and captain, Mihhail Meshkov, whose bare hands are not able to parry Gussev’e precise on-target attempt hitting the back of the net. The former Levadia topscorer opened the score from a 10-meter distance (3’)

JK Tondi are not impressed by the early gap and after the kick-off resume go immediately to bring danger around Ivan Orehhovsky (KOP) box. The whites shot-stopper was one of the main protagonists of his side keeping Kopli City in the game several times with vital saves. Obviously, the first attempt came from the topscorer foot as Podubbnõi (JKT) tried to hit from distance with power and precision, Orehhovsky save was a great one to deny Tondi the first joy of the evening (4’).

Another off-target attempt was tried by Maksim Źidkov (JKT), probably the best of his team as at the end of the regular time he served one precious assist to his brother Dmitri and, most of all, he had a great performance back in defence solving several complicated one-on-one with attention, composure and cleanness.


JK Tondi increased pressure will eventually bring its fruits on 12’ when Podubbnõi finds the right touch in the box. Orehhovsky is ready to jump on the opponent’s feet however a weird bounce lets the ball flip over his head. It is too late for the Kopli City nr.87 to realize that the ball has already gone past him when Podubbonõi is already pushing it safely into the goal, 1-1. An unlucky circumstance for the shotstopper however the goal awarded JK Tondi supremacy in the past 10 minutes as Kopli City were keen to sit back and strike in counterattack with thei quick men.

After pulling level, JK Tondi calm down and try to manage the strengths (after all their average age is 37 compared to Kopli’s  34). From that moment on until the end of the game they will resort to long balls to Podubbnõi in order to exploit his physical game.

Fine performance from nr.9 Vitali Gussev

Fine performance from nr.9 Vitali Gussev

On 15 minutes Orehhovsky (KOP) has to outdo himself again to prevent JK Tondi to pull out another goal. Same story on 17 minutes when Podubbnõi breaks through in the box aware his attempt with the tip of the foot is too weak to go past the nr.87 already out of the goalline. The half time whistle by Mister Timofejev gave a deserved rest to both side. JK Tondi has been much slower in re-organizing counterttacks when regaining possession therefore resorted to long balls. On the contrary JK Tondi, more physical side, were always sharp when running towards Meshkov box.

The JK Tondi goalkeeper was less busy than his opposition’s colleague. The HT 1-1 is even as match stats tell us 16 attempts for JK Tondi against 14 for Kopli City. The Tondi side had the upper hand in the on-target count (8 vs. 5). Kopli City physicality came out with 3 fouls committed.

Meshkov (JKT) earned his rating most in second half and in the extra time as Kopli City added 13 attempts on target till time compared to Kopli mere 5. His performance was as worth as the one displayed by Orehhovsky making it difficult to evaluate who was the most valuable goalkeeper. The 40-years-old nr.1 is already busy in the early minutes of second half when Kurjanov (KOP) tried from distance with power.

However, as it often happens in football, it is the opposition to score as few minutes later Maksim Źidkov (JKT) served a precise cross in the ball for his brother Maksim to deflect past Orehhovsky (KOP).

JK Tondi managed to turn the game on its head and take the lead with patience and organized build up often entrusted to Maksim Źidkov’s feet. Kopli City do not agree with the turn of the events and tried to hit back, however, until 10 minutes into second half, Orehhovsky had to perform several great saves to avoid JK Tondi reaching a 3-1 lead that had probably killed off the challenge and delivered the cup to the yellow-black striped at time.

On 10 minutes into second half, Vitali Gussev had one of the finest chances of the game. His attempt to score a brace was well off-target from favourable position leaving the striker appalled.
He doesn’t despair and one minute later tries again to hit the target with the tip of his foot after a quick exchange on the edge of the box. This time he is more close however still not enough to pull level.

Maksim Źidkov was the MVP according to RdS

Maksim Źidkov was the MVP according to RdS

JK Tondi fires back with the usual Podubbnõi having a go at Orehhovsky (KOP), however, the two goals suffered will be enough for the nr.87 who is not caught unprepared until time.

A few minutes later Maksim Źidkov (JKT) is stopped on the edge with an illegal tackle. Mr. Timofejev granted an undebatable free-kick to JK Tondi however, he was lenient in not showing a card to the Kopli City offender. No relevant development from the set-piece. On the other side, Kopli earns also a free-kick. The developments bring a throw-in for the whites until Meshkov parries a powerful shot from distance with his body on the touchline.

It’s just the prelude to Gaiadajenko pulling level on 16 minutes into second half when he is completely left alone in the box to tap a low ball served in the box. Meshkov was completely put off by one of the rare defensive mistakes made by JK Tondi side.

Podubbnõi dwells in the box waiting for Kulakov final pass

Podubbnõi dwells in the box waiting for Kulakov final pass

The last 4 minutes are packed with emotions as now each team abandons prudence and tries to win before time.

First Meshkov has to outdo himself against Nikolajev (KOP) and later on Dmitri Źidkov saved with his head while replacing Meshkov on the goalline. It could have been 2-3 for Kopli, however the punctual defender was lucky as his deflection bounced on the bar and back into the pitch leaving Kopli’s players hands in hair. It was the very last emotion as Mr. Timofejev whistle the final time that brought the two sides into extra time. 2-2, as it was back some weeks ago in the ‘winners bracket’ semifinal of this double elimination tournament.

Extra time first half is barren with emotions as both teams are afraid of risking and allowing a lead to the opposition with little time to recover. Most of the attempts are off target and JK Tondi is quite stretched on the pitch as fatigue makes its way into the older side. The second extra time half gives us the chance to admire Maksim Źidkov (JKT) great defensive skills in a couple of clean last-man challenges and Vitali Gussev classy play which frees himself with a back-heel flip before progressing upfield and shooting from the edge of the box. His attempt was very close and it would have been a screamer.

However, it’s not the last emotion as a penalty kick is allowed to JK Tondi for aggregate fouling. Maksim Źidkov squanders the chance and the winner has to be decided on penalties.

Źidkov misses a good chance on penalty shot granted for aggregate fouling

Źidkov misses a good chance on penalty shot granted for aggregate fouling

Ivan Orehhovsky (KOP) a big number on the back and big performance on Friday night

Ivan Orehhovsky (KOP) a big number on the back and big performance on Friday night

Penalties never tell you, which is the best team out of a levelled game, as this final was. They are just a necessary tool to proclaim the winner.

The sides were balanced, both sharp in forward and well organized in defence with two excellent goalkeepers.

A couple of goals came either from a lucky bounce or from an occasional defensive mistake.

However, each side had its own peculiarity: JK Tondi more technical and paced, Kopli City more physical and pushed by quick bursts.

The 2-2 draw at extra time full time was a fair result and only a penalty miss allowed JK Tondi to beat their archrivals and rise the cup in front of about 70-people attendance.

You can relive the penalty shoot-out with SEM video of the sequence.

Full match stats available here

Post by SEM.

Amateur futsal in Tallinn: Tallinn Futsal CUP 2014 final, where veterans meet - a SEM tournament

Angelo PalmeriComment

Once a footballer, always a footballer.

Even if you retire or hang the boots to the famous nail, there will always be a small tournament, memorial, or friends training you will be invited to take part to and show your skills once again.

The offer of amateur tournaments in Tallinn has notably increased over the past seven years.

What before was the amateur level par excellence (the Estonian IV.league, last tier of the Estonian football pyramid) it was pulled alongside with several private organizations organizing outdoor and indoor tournament. The oldest one established in the capital is SEM, Sports Event Management.

Active since 2007, SEM has been organizing yearly both a futsal tournament (more suitable for the winter time) and an outdoor 7-a-side one.

With start of spring, it’s time to re-open doors for The Game to be played outside and lock the entrance to futsal courts got from school gyms around the capital. Before doing that, each competition needs to reach the proper epilogue by giving the winners the deserved accolade.

It is the case of Futsal Grandliiga, the round-robin tournament played over the winter under the SEM flag.

The competition is provided also with a cup tournament, as it’s fashion for any major tournament around Europe.

The same clubs from the Grandliiga have been contesting in a knock-out stages competition preceded by preliminary rounds of qualifiers.

The two clubs that have emerged through the past months clashes are JK Tondi and Kopli City.

The two rivals will play a one-tie final tonight in Viimsi school sports court at 20:45

Let’s go to check how the two clubs are equipped ahead of the clash and how they did get there.

Numbers communicated immediately before game

JK Tondi – a team of real veterans

Having a look at the JK Tondi’s squad list, you cannot help noticing that the youngest element is Boriss Podubbnõi, 26-years-old as all the rest of the team is composed by over-30's and over-40's  having two of the three goalkeepers enlisted (Dovlatbekjan and Hitrov) hitting 44 years old of age!

If you are familiar with the Futsal Meistriliiga, the Estonian top-flight for the indoor 5-a-side football, you will recognize the name of Viktor Tepljashin, the man behind FC Raketa, Raketa have been challenging 2014 Champions, FC Anzhi, until the last matchday (Raketa ended one point behind the 5-time-in-a-row Champions).

Some of the players of JK Tondi do actually come from FC Raketa: Juri Amosov (1 seasonal goal in Futsal ML), Vadim Dolinin (2), goalkeer Mihhail Meśkov, Andrei Tśurikov (a brace scored against Rummu Dinamo), Boriss Śipunov and the Źidkov brothers.

With such a bulk of experienced players, JK Tondi certainly can be held as the final favourites.


Kopli City – younger amateur side with ‘professional’ approach

For those familiar with Estonian top-flight football (Premium Liiga) the names of Vitali Gussev and Erik Grigorjev will not be new.

They have tied their name in the past to never-relegated side Narva Trans.

Vitali Gussev played also at Levadia where he was 2009 topscorer helping the ‘greens’ to win their 8th title with his 26 goals. Vitali has also played one game with the Estonian national team (against Wales under Tarmo Rüütli in 2009) and moved to Romania (Astra Giurgiu) in February 2010. In the past he has also played in Atlantas Klaipeda and FB Kaunas (Lithuania), Trelleborg IF and Enköpings SK (Sweden)

Unfortunately, his professional career and  Grigorjev’s one were interrupted by strong suspicions of match-fixing during their time at Narva Trans where he returned after the experience in Romania.

The judgement is still pending in Estonian courts.

The left full-back, Grigorjev, had a less rich career than Gussev having played only in Estonia (from Tartu to Narva).
In 2011 he scored his personal record of goals in Premium Liiga, 4.

One of those was scored in the 14-0 win against FC Ajax Lasnamäe, the largest final time score during that season.

Sergei Mitin is another former Narva Trans player from Ukraine however he has not been enlisted for the final game.
The responsibility to guide Kopli City against the experience of JK Tondi will be on Gussev and Grigorjev's shoulders.

The double-elimination formula and the brackets of the Tallinn Futsal Cup - click to enlarge

Road to the final

The tournament is organized with the formula of the double-elimination (check here for more info). The basic concept is that a team is eliminated from the tournament when he loses two games.

The brackets are composed of a ‘Winners bracket’ and ‘Losers bracket’.

Due to the particularity of the formula, JK Tondi and Kopli City have already clashed against each other in the ‘Winners bracket’ final. It was a dramatic clash as teams were levelled at final time (2-2). Tondi managed to win 4-3 at penalties and send Kopli City to the ‘Losers bracket’ where they had to defeat Maxima Kingz (4-2) to reach the Futsal Cup final at stake tonight.

A quality video of that 4-3 after penalties from SEM Facebook page:

JK Tondi had defeated Maxima Kings in the ‘Winners bracket’ semifinal 6-3 after being better than Rekato 9-6 in the quarter-finals. A total of 17 goals scored during regular times against 11 suffered.
Kopli City beat 9-5 Doker in the ‘Winners bracket’ quarter finals and 5-1 Jorma in the semi-final. 20 goals scored (including the 4 goals in the ‘Losers bracket) and 10 suffered.

Referees team
It will be a tight final and the direction will go in the experienced hands of former international referee from the Estonian FA, Mr. Oleg Timofejev. Gunnar Nuuma will support him in supervising the 40 minutes of the final game.