- Flora must win against the top 5 teams if they want to stay in the title race
- Infonet have the quality, but they are not quite there yet
- Flora needs another player like Alliku as Prosa is still not ready for 90 minutes
By Deni Delev
The rain that had been pouring in Tallinn for the past few days finally stopped on Friday which meant excellent playing conditions for the teams of FC Flora and FC Infonet in the derby match of round 21 of Premium Liiga.
Flora entered the match with a winning imperative after losing the first position on the table while Infonet in good mood after the 3-0 win over Narva came to the A. Le Coq Arena with a hope to close the gap with the top 3 even more.
Infonet started the match aggressively pushing the hosts in their own half. In the 5th minute Kalimullin had the first chance of the match, but his header went over the bar. Four minutes later Harin tried his chance from outside the box, however, it was an easy catch for Mait Toom. Just a minute later the defender Kalimullin tried again, this time from 20 meters, but his shot went in the stands. In the 21st minute the home team had their first chance when Jürgenson made his way into the box, passed towards Gussev, but the young winger failed to materialize the excellent pass. In the 23rd minute two new attempts for Infonet, but both Kozlovs’ and Harin’s shot from outside were an easily saved by Toom. In the 29th Flora had their best chance of the first half when Šlein sent a powerful shot from outside which Lavrentjev just shortly punched away, but his defenders were prepared and sent the ball into corner. In the 39th minute Mashichev tried from the edge of the box, but again Toom got the better as he punched the ball into corner. Until the end of the first half FC Flora managed to establish balance in the midfield, but no attempts were made to break the deadlock so as soon as the clock struck 45 minutes referee Grigori Ošomkov blew the whistle to end the first half.
In the second half, following the advice of their coach, the home team started bravely and had more of the possession but couldn’t create a goal threatening chance. Instead, it was Infonet who almost scored in the 58th minute when Harin’s attempt to pass the ball towards Kozlovs took a deflection and hit Toom’s post. In the following attack Jürgenson with an excellent free kick hit the post on the other side. In the 68th minute Harin battled to get the ball at the edge of the box, passed to Dmitrijev, but the midfielder’s attempt went wide. In the 79th minute Jääger tried from a free kick, but Lavrentjev with an excellent save denied him. In the 82nd minute Harin with the best chance for the guests thus far as he was left alone in front of Toom, but the attacker of Infonet tried to be effective and his bicycle kick went over the goal. The most interesting moments, however, came in the 90th minute of the match. First, Jääger almost scored an own goal trying to clear the ball from the box. In the added time real drama in front of Toom’s goal. First Avilov hit the post and then Flora’s goalkeeper with an excellent save denied the guests three points. On the other side Saliste with a 100% chance after Beglarashvili’s pass, but Lavrentjev with a world-class save kept the nets calm. The second half definitely justified the expectations but none of the teams managed to get away with the three points and the draw was a step back for both of them. Flora is now 3 points behind Kalju Nõmme, while Infonet trails 4 points behind Sillamäe in the battle for the 4th position on the table.
RdS MOTM: Tanel Melts