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Sunny windy weather in Tallinn welcomed the protagonists of the derby for matchday 31, the leaders Flora and the third-placed team of Kalju Nõmme. Flora’s campaign to bring more spectators by giving out free tickets worked well as record 2610 spectators showed up at A. Le Coq Arena to support both title contenders.
Both coaches decided to go with well-known faces and no particular surprises. Norbert Hurt decided to play Stanislav Prins between the sticks, captain Taavi Rähn was accompanied by Mets in central defense, Markus Jürgenson was deployed on the left full-back position and Nikita Baranov took Kevin Aloe’s position on the right side. As predicted before, in the absence of Luigend and Mošnikov, Brent Lepistu and Andre Frolov were used in the center of the park, Logua operated on the left flank, Rauno Alliku on the right, and as usual Beglarashvili played behind Albert Prosa in attack.
Igor Prins also didn’t make many changes from the previous match which means Vitali Teleš on the goal, Alo Bärengrub and Jorge Rodrigues were installed in front of him, Ken Kallaste and Mööl took on the full-back positions. Reginald and Martin Vunk were given the task to operate in central midfield, Hidetoshi Wakui and Eino Puri were deployed on the left and the right flank, respectively, and Nunes again played behind Tarmo Neemelo in attack.
The match started off with a slow initiative by the home team as they got better hold of possession than their opponents, however didn’t manage to create any serious chances to endanger Teleš. Rauno Alliku had a chance in the 5th minute, but he made one step too much and didn’t manage to pull out a shot. In the opening 15-20 minutes the home team played better, saw more of the ball as Alliku and Logua made few nice runs down the flanks, but Kalju’s defensive line was fully aware of the danger and didn’t allow them to get close to the goal. As the time was passing by, the away team established balance in midfield, but both Wakui and Nunes were well covered by Flora’s defense and were unable to create a shot. In the 43rd minute Alliku made another run down the flank, sent a ball in the box towards Prosa, but his shot went wide. Without any further delays, Tarajev blew the whistle as soon as the clock struck 45 minutes.
Disappointing first 45 minutes for the spectators that showed up in numbers as the actors didn’t show any quality. Both coaches definitely had a lot to tell to their players as they were wasteful in possession and not creative in attack.
However, the second half started again in the same fashion with most of the events happening in the center of the park. In the 50th minute Alliku had a nice chance, but his header went over the goal. In the 55th minute chance for the guests as Neemelo nicely chested the ball down for Puri, but his effort went well wide. In the 74th minute biggest chance of the game for Flora. Andre Frolov took the corner from the right side, found Jürgenson almost unmarked on the other side, but he headed the ball over the bar. However, the most exciting moments of the match came in the last five minutes. Coach Norbert Hurt had already used his three substitutions giving chance to Sappinen, Sobtšenko and Post. And unfortunately for him, it was Sobtšenko who made a foul on Kallaste inside the box that made Tarajev show towards the white spot. Really reckless challenge by the youngster and big disappointment among the home fans when Wakui scored from the penalty spot, sending Prins on the other side for 0-1 for Kalju Nõmme. With only 5 minutes to go Flora put everything on one card and went into attack. The experienced Kalju players used that space and were very dangerous on the counter. In one such situation in the 89th minute Nunes took a free kick from the right side. What seemed like an easy ball was inexplicably missed by one of Flora’s defenders and came to Neemelo who easily tapped it in for 0-2 and game over at the A.Le Coq Arena. Till the end, the home team tried to score a consolation goal, but didn’t manage to beat Teleš. Big win for Kalju and huge mess at the top of the table. After 31 rounds Levadia again took over the lead with 72 points, two more than Flora and three more than Kalju.