Nõmme Kalju secured an expectedly easy victory over bottom side Tallinna Kalev as they hit 7 against their cross-city opponents. The first half was saw Kalju require some patience in breaking down a stubborn Kalev defence, but once the third goal came in the 56th minute it was plain sailing.
Temperatures dictated that the pitch be moved a few yards south to Kalev’s astro pitch, but this was clearly a footnote in what was a routine victory for Kalju.
Kalev made two changes from the 4-1 defeat at Paide; Edgars Butlers and Juri Gavrilov both failed to make the squad, with Johannes Kukebal and Oliver Heliste replacing them. Lasha Omanidze and Ionel Armean were both available after suspension, but neither of them were included in the squad in any capacity to put them on the back foot before the match had even begun.
Kalju welcomed back Alo Barengrub and Jorge Rodrigues in the centre of defence following the suspensions that ruled them out of the 1-0 win over Narva last week. Hendrik Purg retained his place and moved out to right back, with Karl Mool dropping to the bench and Tihhon Sisov also denied a starting berth. Damiano Quintieri’s injury paved the way for Tarmo Neemelo to return to the starting line-up, with Robert Kirss moving on to the right of midfield, and Felipe Nunes taking his place on the left. Martin Vunk returned from suspension and had to be content with a place on the bench.
Kalju began in control of the ball, and managed to carve out an early opening as Wakui’s shot was pushed over the bar from close range following a good right-wing cross from Robert Kirss.
The visitors were forced to be patient as Kalev kept themselves tight in the middle, denying their opponents much time and space. Fabio Prates’ 25-yard strike skimmed the top of the bar in the 9th minute in what was Kalju’s only other chance early on.
Kalev struggled to create anything substantial in the opening exchanges, but they managed to get the ball into the Kalju half on a couple of occasions before seeing their play break down.
Felipe Nunes was caught offside following a lovely ball through the Kalev defence by Wakui in the 11th minute, as Kalju tried to find some success down the flanks, with Nunes and Kallaste trying to get things moving.
Kalev seemed a little susceptible to direct balls on the counter, allowing Kalju some space out wide following their own attacks breaking down just over the halfway line.
Wakui and Neemelo began to link up well as first half developed, with a couple of neat one-two’s almost earning them some shooting positions. Kalev’s defence was resisting, however, and Kalju continued to have to knock the ball around patiently, waiting for an opening.
On 20 minutes, Kallaste played a neat one-two to find himself on the central edge of the box, before playing a neat through ball to the charging Neemelo. The Kalju striker’s shot was blocked by the keeper, but the ball rebounded off Neemelo’s legs and into the back of the net. Fortunately for Kalev, Kallaste’s ball had found Neemelo in an offside position and the game remained level, but it was certainly a warning sign for the league’s bottom side.
A minute later, Wakui danced with the ball on the edge of the box to try to find some space, and his eventual shot was heading wide before striking Neemelo, who found himself in a heap on the floor, but Levizi was equal to the goal-bound deflection.
Kalju finally made the breakthrough two minutes later, however, as their increased pressure on the Kalev goal paid off. Kallaste’s cross from out wide on the left was flicked goal-wards by Kirss, before Neemelo pounced on the ball at the far post to make sure, giving Kalju a lead that had certainly been coming.
The goal didn’t slow Kalju’s momentum down, and they looked keen for more straight from the kick-off. Prates’ long-range free kick was easily collected by Levizi, before Felipe Nunes smashed over from a similar range.
Kalju were pinning Kalev in their own half, effectively nullifying their attacking threat, and the goal seemed to have lifted a little pressure off of Kalju’s shoulders as they rectified an opening period of play that had probably been expected to produce another goal or two.
The best Kalev could produce was a cross from the left on 31 minutes that was swept tamely into the hands of Teles by Heliste, as their seeming plan of keeping their opponents at bay for as long as possible had been torn up by the opening goal.
Kalju began to turn the screw a little tighter following Kalev’s brief foray into enemy territory, and on 34 minutes Neemelo found Nunes out on the left in acres of space, but the Brazilian’s shot after cutting in was struck disappointingly over the bar.
Moments later, Neemelo again found Nunes on the left, who squared it to Kirss in the centre for the young attacker to tap home. Once again, Kalju fell foul of the linesman’s flag as their eagerness had got the better of them.
Nunes then played Kallaste in down the left-hand side, and his low drag back from the by-line found the onrushing Wakui, but the Japanese’s shot could only find the body of Levizi in the Kalev goal.
Much of Kalju’s best play was coming down the left side, with Kallaste getting forward to support Nunes well, and Neemelo offering himself as a target in the centre. Wakui was coming in and out of the match, but offered himself as a good support option in the box.
Three minutes before the break, Kirss found himself played in behind the Kalev defence, but his shot when running away from goal was blocked well by the onrushing Levizi.
Wakui then threatened to end the half in spectacular fashion, as Prates’ lofted ball over a stagnant Kalev defence was latched onto by the Japanese, but his audacious overhead kick fell kindly into the hands of Levizi as the final action of the first half was stubbed out.
The half time break saw Kalju make a change, with Nicolas Galpin coming on to replace Ken Kallaste, who had been one of Kalju’s biggest threat in the first 45 minutes.
Kalju started the second half as they finished the first; Neemelo raced onto a through ball behind the Kalev defence, only to be once more deemed offside.
Four minutes in and Kalev managed to breach the Kalju defence, albeit relatively unthreateningly as Brolin’s shot from the edge of the box spun harmlessly wide. They did manage to get in behind Kalju’s defence on a couple of occasions at the start of the second period, but again without really causing trouble to Teles between the sticks.
Wakui was almost gifted an extraordinary goal on 51 minutes, as Levizi inexplicably played the ball straight to the Japanese’s feet from his safe position on the ball on the edge of his box. Wakui’s inability to strike the ball first time into the empty net left him needing to escape the attention of the defender in his way, and after doing so his shot could only find the retreating body of Levizi on the goal-line to save the keeper’s blushes.
Kalev were under the cosh as it was and didn’t need to gift Kalju anything, but they were punished for some slack defending on 56 minutes as the visitors doubled their lead.
A simple in-swinging free kick from Prates out wide on the right was met by Kirss, who easily swept the ball into the corner of the net to give his side the greater lead they deserved.
Neemelo had the chance to add a quick third just minutes later, but his mis-control from a Galpin centre bounced up and struck him on the hand before managing to get his shot away.
Kalev made their first change on 61 minutes, with Gregor Wahl coming on to replace Hansberg in attack.
The change preceded a scoring spree for Kalju, as they hit their third goal of the match, and their first of four goals in nine minutes, on 64 minutes. Kirss managed to sweep the ball from the edge of the box to the left-hand side, where Nunes charged on to it before striking a powerful across goal and into the corner of the net.
Kalev had made it difficult at times for Kalju to break through, but it seemed as though their resistance was breaking with each attack, and Kirss added a fourth just two minutes later. Wakui found himself beyond the Kalev defence, and he played a simple ball square for Kirss to tap into an empty net.
Just two more minutes later and it was five. Neemelo rushed on to a through ball that cut straight through the heart of the Kalev defence, and he managed to flick the ball past Levizi to heap further misery on the home side.
Kalju made a change on 70 minutes, with Eino Puri coming on to replace Reginald in the centre of the park, and Kalev also took the opportunity to shuffle their team, with Innar Paal replacing Brolin.
Neither change stopped Kalju’s momentum, as Neemelo bagged his hat-trick on 73 minutes by turning away from his defender on the right side of the box and striking a shot into the goal off the opposite post to make it 6-0.
Kalju’s second change saw Karl Mool replace hat-trick hero Neemelo on 76 minutes, as Kalju continued to pepper the Kalev goal.
Kalev’s final change saw Larin replaced by Priidu Aruste on 79 minutes, as Kalju’s lethal attack finally slowed down somewhat.
Karl Mool excellent collected a long pass on his chest before smashing a shot wide of the near post on 84 minutes, but a minute later Wakui latched on to a through ball, nipped it past the onrushing Levizi, and smashed it into the empty net to make it seven.
Karpov then managed to carve out a chance for Kalev, but his shot from outside the box swerved away from Teles and out for a goal kick.
Kalju continued to press Kalev all the way to the final whistle, and almost grabbed an eighth when Puri’s low cross from the right found Wakui, but he couldn’t find a way past Levizi and the match ended without further damage.
It had taken Kalju a while to really break down a stubborn Kalev defence, but once the hosts started to fall apart in the second half it was simply a question of how many the visitors would score. The result leaves Kalju well in touch with the title race following Levadia’s surprise defeat to Infonet last night.