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Matchday 5, Paide Linnameeskond vs. FC Infonet, 2-4

Chris JohnsComment

By Chris Johns

- Paide come back from 2-0 down late on

- Infonet score two late goals of their own to win 4-2
- No wins in 2015 for Paide. Two wins in two for Infonet


A dramatic end to the game saw four goals in the final 20 minutes after Infonet had looked to be in full control at 2-0. Jevgeni Harin and Nikolay Mashichev put Infonet 2-0 up as Paide struggled to create any real chances of note, before a superb Zahovaiko free kick preceded a far post header from the same culprit to somehow put the hosts back on level terms on 88 minutes. Infonet were not to be outdone, however, and late goals from sub Juri Jevdokimov and Tanel Melts secured the deserved points for the visitors.

Paide made two changes from their defeat at Levadia. Rene Puhke was replaced by Andre Veis in defence, with Rasmus Tomson getting the nod ahead of Sander Roivassepp on the left wing. Martin Ustaal moved to the right wing, with Kaspar Paur lining up alongside Sander Sinilaid in the centre of midfield.

 

Infonet made just one change from their 2-2 draw with Tammeka, as Trevol Elhi replaced Deniss Malov at right back. Their front six shuffled round a little, with Harin and Hajdari roaming along the front line, and Tanel Melts playing in a more right-sided role.
 

The majority of the opening period was played out in the Paide half, with the hosts knocking the ball around between themselves under some high tempo pressure from Infonet. Neither side managed to conjure up an early chance, but the two differing styles of build-up were evident.

 

Infonet set their stall out to attack with pace and directness. Paide's approach was a little more measured and possession-based. Any doubts as to which approach was to bear the first fruit were squashed in the 11th minute as Infonet opened the scoring.

 

Some poor defending by Leetma allowed Harin the steal the ball from him before charging towards goals. Niinepuu was quick off his line, but not quick enough to prevent Harin dancing round him and slotting the ball home.

 

It was the first real chance of the game, and a goal that Paide and Leetma in particular will not have been happy to concede.

 

Paide's response came three minutes later, as Uwa did well to chest down a left-wing cross from Sinilaid, but he couldn't make the most of the space afforded to him by Semakhin and Volodin as he smashed the ball over the bar under the pressure of the onrushing Lavrentjev.

 

Two minutes later Hajdari had the chance to make it two, but his scuffed shot rolled harmlessly wide after being played in by Harin. Just 60 seconds later and Hajdari was in again, but his powerful left-foot shot was just about dealt with by Niinepuu after another good flick on by Harin.

 

Infonet were keeping their early pace up, and on 18 minutes Hajdari was played in behind the Paide defence by Dmitrijev on the right-hand side, but his marauding run made his shooting angle too tight, and his shot from close in could only find the side netting under pressure from the retreating defence.

 

Hajdari scuffed another shot wide after again being played in by Harin, before Paide finally offered a response to the Infonet wave as Tomson smashed high and wide from the edge of the box after meeting a cross-field ball.

 

Infonet continued to enjoy their spell of attacking pressure, with Hajdari striking straight at the keeper from the edge of the box, before Harin dragged a low shot wide of the keeper's far post after finding space on the right side of the box.

 

A Martin Ustaal shot flew high over Lavrentjev's bar as Paide continued to struggle to match their opponent's attacking threat.

 

Trevor Elhi was being given license to press forward for Infonet as a number of their supporting players were getting in on the attacking party. It seemed only a matter of time before Infonet turned their dominance into a second goal, but as the first half drew to a close the last offerings Infonet could muster were a Hajdari strike that cleared Niinepuu's bar and a weak Elhi shot from the edge of the box before the referee's whistle sounded.

 

No changes at the break, and two minutes into the second half Kalimullin was inches away from making it 2-0, but he couldn't quite connect with an in-swinging corner.

 

Infonet were straight on the attack again, forcing two corners within three minutes of the restart. Paide were struggling to retain the ball, and their lack of bite in the tackle was contributing as much as Infonet's intensity, with Magi receiving a booking for a clinical foul as Infonet tried to attack.

 

Harin had a weak claim for a penalty turned down on 54 minutes after being sandwiched in the box, before Paide finally got the ball in to the Infonet penalty area, albeit via a long through ball to absolutely no-one.

 

Back at the other end, Dmitrijev had Niinepuu scrambling with a 20-yard strike that bobbled wide of the post, before Mashichev was bundled over on the edge of the box to give Infonet a dangerous free kick. Volodin stepped up and smashed a shot on to the outside of the keeper's left post.

 

Infonet finally bagged their second goal of the game just after the hour mark. Mashichev picked the ball up on the right edge of the box after a poor Martin Ustaal header away and his powerful shot flew past Niinepuu to emphatically give the visitors the two-goal cushion they had been threatening since taking the lead early on.

 

Harin was played in once again less than a minute after the restart, but his low shot was easily saved as Infonet refused to relent.

 

Paide's attacking threat had been non-existent since the break, and they made their way forward on 63 minutes as Jasper's pass on the edge of the box failed to find Zahovaiko as the hosts broke quickly.

 

Paide made the game's first change on 66 minutes with Michael Lilander coming on for Sillaste to try and liven things up. A soft Zahovaiko shot from outside the box followed as Paide managed a couple of brief forays into enemy territory.

 

The lively Hajdari was replaced by Juri Jevdokimov on 69 minutes as Infonet were afforded the luxury of resting their key players. Paide made their second change on 72 minutes as Sinilaid was replaced by Lauri Valja.

 

Aidara tried his luck from distance on 73 minutes, but his low shot was saved by Niinepuu.

 

Zahovaiko then worked himself some space on the edge of the Infonet box, but his shot was blocked before it posed any danger to the goal. The Paide front man was then brought down on the box shortly after by Kalimullin, who was awarded a yellow card for his troubles as the hosts had a rare shooting opportunity 25 yards from goal. And what an opportunity it turned out to be....

 

It seemed that open play was not going to work for Paide, and it was down to Zahovaiko to work his magic from the set piece by curling home a wonderful strike to drag Paide back into a match they had looked out of for huge periods of the preceding 75 minutes.

 

Suddenly Infonet were treading dangerous waters, and Paide could sense the faint smell of blood after going hungry all afternoon. A number of balls were slung in to the box, and Infonet were having to refocus their attention away from attacking for a brief spell.

 

Infonet hearts were in their mouths on 80 minutes as Elhi wrestled Zahovaiko to the ground in the box, but the linesman's flag had already decreed that the Paide striker had strayed offside.

 

Infonet's second change saw Harin leave the field to be replaced by Malov, as two-thirds of their main attacking threat now warmed the bench. Trevor Elhi had another shot blocked as he tried to re-inject the spark back into his side's attack, which Paide's new found intensity was limiting.

 

As it looked as though Paide's vigour was fading once more, they somehow managed to complete the unthinkable by finding an equaliser that no spectator would have thought possible 15 minutes previously.

 

Jasper found space on the right wing and picked out Zahovaiko at the far post with a lovely deep cross. The Paide striker found himself some space and calmly headed home, giving even himself a look of shock.

 

The hosts had been second best for much of the game, and Infonet will have been distraught to have thrown away a two-goal lead, but they were not about to allow Paide to upstage them and conjured up two late goals of their own.

 

Malov evaded the challenge of Lilander on the left wing, and he did well to send in a deep cross to the far post, where Jevdokimov was on hand to power home a header in to the empty net.

 

The match was finishing in far more dramatic circumstances than it had threatened to, and as Paide were ruing the likely denial of a point after dragging themselves back from the abyss, their misery was compounded as Melts slotted home from the right after being played in neatly by Jevdokimov.

 

Avilov came on for Masichev just before the referee's whistle brought to an end a great advert for football, in terms of both drama and attacking play. Infonet deserved their two-goal cushion for the way they controlled proceedings for much of the match, but Paide's fightback begged the question of why they hadn't been able to play anywhere near as well while Infonet were enjoying the freedom of the park pre-70 minutes.

 

The win makes it two from two for Infonet, while Paide are still searching for their first three points of the season.