Cloudy Monday afternoon at the Kadriorg stadium as the protagonists were preparing for the derby match of round 13 from Premium Liiga between Levadia and Sillamäe. Both teams are in chase for the top of the table as they both haven’t been defeated in the last 5 rounds and it was a great opportunity for one of them to make a serious step towards top 2.
The match started with an active game on both sides. Levadia had a bit more possession, but it was Sillamäe who had the first chance of the match. Sidorenkov nicely sent a ball in the box from the left side, but Kvasov’s header went over the bar. In the 14th minute dangerous cross from Artur Pikk on the other side but Teever was few centimeters short. 3 minutes later Luts tried his luck from distance but his shot went wide. In the 19th minute new chance for Sillamäe and again Kvasov in the main role as the striker of the guests missed the ball by little. In the 22nd minute the biggest chance of the match so far as Peetson perfectly found Omar in the box, but the Egyptian couldn’t pull out a proper shot. In the 30th minute corner for Sillamäe from the left side and yet again Kvasov with a header over the bar. In the following 10 minutes both teams kind of lost breath and couldn’t create any chances that would endanger the goalkeepers on both sides. In the 40th minute after a mess in Starodubtsev’s box, the ball went in corner. Kruglov sent a nice curled ball towards the middle where Rakhmanov was left completely unmarked and almost effortlessly sent the ball in the net. 1-0 deserved lead for the hosts and super difficult situation for the guests. In the 44th minute the home team almost doubled their lead after Peetson again nicely found Omar at the edge of the box. This time El Hussieny managed to pull out a nice shot but Starodubtsev with a nice save denied him. Soon after that the referee Frischer blew the whistle to end the first 45 minutes.
Interesting match between two quality teams and certainly more action can be expected in the second half.
At the start of the second 45 minutes coach Frantcev decided to make changes so he introduced Toomet and Volkov instead of Silich and Kvasov. However, it was still Levadia the team that pressed higher, although without shots on target. In the 50th minute great ball for Teever at the edge of the box, but good save from Starodubtsev. In the 55th minute massive chance for Sillamäe, but Volkov’s header went just wide. It was definitely period for the guests as they tried hard to score, but Levadia was very dangerous on the counter. During one similar situation Levadia got a corner after which a mess was created in Starodubtsev’s box. The full-back Juuso Laitinen received the ball inside the box, created space for shot and with a small deflection managed to double the reigning champions’ lead. 2-0 and little chance for Sillamäe to come back in this one. In the 70th minute Omar nicely sent a ball inside the box towards Peetson, but his header went just over the bar. 2 minutes later the Egyptian tried himself after sneakily taking the ball away from Dubõkin, but his shot was off target. In the 76th minute Rakhmanov almost scored a brace after Starodubtsev didn’t react very well inside his box. Sidorenkov managed to clear the ball away. In the 81st minute Hindrek Ojamaa nicely made his way inside the box, but the goalkeeper of the guests this time with a well timed tackle managed to save his goal. Until the end of the match the reigning champions routinely kept the guests at bay to register their 3rd win in the last 5 matches and cement themselves on the third position.
After the shaky start of the season, Levadia have definitely found their rhythm and in the few rounds to come they will seriously push for the top. As for Sillamäe, this loss puts them in a bad position as they trail 3 points behind Levadia and 7 behind the leaders Kalju.
RdS Man of the match: Rasmus Peetson