By Deni Delev
- Levadia misses Artjunin’s stability in defense
- Nõmme Kalju’s form is scary
- Lindpere, an early contender for the signing of the season
Cloudy Saturday afternoon in Tallinn but good playing conditions for the protagonists in the derby of the round between Levadia and Nõmme. Pressure for the hosts as everyone expected better results from them at the beginning of the season, but pressure also for the guests as their main challengers so far, FC Flora won the game against Pärnu to level with them at the top of the table. Let’s see how the match developed.
The reigning champions pressed from the very beginning of the match but besides having the better possession, they weren’t able to create any serious chances. Instead, it was Kalju who had the best chance in the opening minutes when Lindpere skillfully went past Rakhmanau only to see his shot stopped by captain Pareiko. In the 19th minute Erik Listmann slalomed through Levadia’s defense down the right flank but didn’t manage to send the ball back towards his fellow attackers. 3 minutes later Wakui volleyed one ball from the edge of the box but failed to hit the target. The first chance for Levadia came in the 27th minute when Kruglov tried his luck from a free kick from over 30 meters, however Teleš was well positioned. In the 31st minute shock for the hosts. Listmann nicely found Purje in the box, but Pareiko saved his shot. However, the ball just got to Lindpere who tapped it into the goal. 0-1 for the table leaders. In the following minute Teever nearly equalised, but Teleš got to the ball before him. Massive chance for Kalju in the 39th minute. Listmann sent a ball in the box. The ball took an interesting swing from the wind and went towards the goal and only the bar saved Pareiko from blushes. Until the end of the first half the battle was mainly in the midfield as Kalju Nõmme succeeded in calming the game down and killing off all the attacks from the hosts.
At the beginning of the second half coach Kristal introduced Rättel instead of Peetson in an attempt to annulate Kalju’s lead. The result was evident on the pitch as Levadia pressed a bit higher, however they were still unable to create chances to endanger Teleš. In the 56th minute Pikk tried his luck from around 30 meters but without success. In the 62nd minute Lipin sent a ball in the box from the left side but Teleš punched the ball in Rättel and it went out of bounds. Definitely period of the game that belongs to the home team, but their inability to score frustrated both their fans and their coaching staff. In the 67th minute excellent block by Bärengrub to deny Pikk. Already in the next minute Lipin’s shot went inches from the goal. The chances were coming and going, but the result remained the same. Kalju Nõmme threatened in the 70th minute through Wakui’s free kick, but Pareiko didn’t allow any troubles in front of his goal. After failing to score, the punishment reached Levadia. A quick counterattack for Nõmme in the 74th minute led by Purje who passed to Neemelo and the veteran didn’t have any trouble beating Pareiko for 0-2. In the 85th minute Listmann almost sealed the win for his team, but his shot went just wide. Levadia kept pushing forward and Rättel seemed to be the most active player for the home team. However, Terehhov set his defensive line up almost perfectly and didn’t allow the hosts to send even direct shot towards their goalkeeper. In the 90th minute the best chance for Levadia. Rättel passed to Antonov at the edge of the box. The Estonian international nicely got rid of one defender and sent a missile towards the goal, but the goalie of the guests parried with an equaly quality save. Until the end of the game Kalju Nõmme routinely kept the ball in the middle to register their 7th win in as many matches. Levadia stays vulnerable in defense and futile in attack and Kristal needs to react quickly to save his season.
Rumori Man of the Match: Joel Lindpere