Is it possible to recount an entire game by describing only twenty-four minutes? Yes it is.
Because it took exactly twenty-four minutes for Flora to get rid of Paide in a windy and sunny March afternoon.
It was International Women’s Day and the promises of fun for the ladies were many. However, our notepad, stayed clean for the first 20 minutes.
Norbert Hurt presented the same 4-1-4-1 which is becoming the trademark of 2014 Flora. With Luigend back in front of the defence captained by Taavi Rähn, Alliku took Sappinen’s place on the right flank and Prosa was up front as usual.
Rooba’s answer was a 4-4-1-1 with Ustaal replacing Uwa behind Atie Said. The Nigerian forward was slightly injured, revealed Meelis Rooba to Soccernet.ee in the post-match interview. In midfield, compared to the victorious game against Levadia, Reinsoo was replacing Reitalu. Indermitte was sent to the bench to make space for the veteran Karl Palatu wearing the same nr.24 he had at Flora.
Before kick-off, Flora paid honour to their former defender by donating a framed nr.24 shirt with signatures from all the club’s people.
In the first twenty minutes of the game we really witness very little.
Flora were trying to build up whereas Paide were keen in waiting for the white-greens to uncover themselves. In the early minutes of the game, Flora earned the first corner however no development followed.
IIn Hurt’s formation, Alliku was allowed to play quite upfield, basically on the same line of Prosa. Due to this, Elari Valmas, normally a centre forward but fielded by Rooba as left flanker, had to think more about defending than attacking. More than once he had to help Kaldoja suffering from the ‘curly devil’ wits.
On the other half, Ustaal task was to keep a tight marking on Luigend in order to suffocate Flora’s build up through the central channel. As usual, Beglarashvili was given the licence to move across the lines and support the flanks work.
In order to see the first shot on target we had to wait till the 21st minute. On a break, Gussev was quick in accelerating on the left side. He saw Frolov upcoming in the box. After sending the ball in his direction, the former captain let it pass for the upcoming Beglarashvili. Begla controlled and then shot with his left foot towards the second post. The shot was similar to one of those seen in futsal, where spaces are narrow and you need to shoot as quick as possible.
Niinepuu, the best goalkeeper last weekend, understood where the ball was aimed at however, he was not reactive enough to reach the curled ball. 1-0 for Flora.
Considering what was the game until that moment, the goal was a sudden twist that warmed up the 238-people crowd at Sportland Arena.
A few moments earlier, Niinepuu had been protagonist as he exited the box to anticipate Prosa. The Flora forward, allegedly, committed a foul on the shot stopper.
Beglarashvili’s goal helped the game to come out of the lull.
Soon after (22’) Prosa sent a through ball from the left side. The pass was too deep and fast for Alliku to push it into the back of the net.
The goal had certainly given Flora more determination in increasing the score. On 23’ minutes Prosa was in the box and set to shoot towards Niinepuu. However, his execution rose more than one highbrow as the ball died abundantly past the second post.
On 25’ minutes, Toom was compelled to the most demanding save of the match as Ustaal tested his reactivity from the distance. The young Flora shot stopper was ready to dive and catch the ball. It was one of the two on-target attempts of the visitors.
On 27’ minutes, Flora earned another corner. Luigend ball landed on Prosa head anticipating Niinepuu aerial exit. 2-0
It was a again a Niinepuu blunder on 29’ minutes to gift Prosa with the 3-0 goal. The Paide goalkeeper performed another desperate exit from the box in the attempt of anticipating the Tartu-born striker. However, this time, the nr.99 was quicker and, after leaving Niinepuu on the spot, he kicked it forward towards the empty goal. 3-0
The Paide shot stopper came from a nightmare game in Denmark where he suffered 8 goals with the U-21 national team. He did evidently not recover yet from the terrible experience as, few minutes later (36’) his aerial exit it was again imperfect. He was lucky that Alliku’s header was well above the bar.
However, on 45’ minutes, Flora’s nr. 9 did not miss the chance to net his second seasonal goal. Gussev was very quick from the left side. He saw Alliku upcoming in the box from the opposite side. The nr.20 served a surgical through ball clinched by Alliku. The ‘curly devil’ had just to aim the target and blast the ball past Niinepuu who could only sketch an attempt of closing the way to the goal. 4-0
At half-time whistle, the game was virtually over. Either Paide was not the same team who created troubles to Levadia or, simply, Flora had the typical killer’s instinct when coming across minnows. Three goals last week at Lokomotiv and four in yesterday’s first half are quite telling. Their firing power will obviously be put under stress test as soon as one of the title rivals will come across (on the 22nd of March, Kalju-Flora).
Regarding the second half, we shall just recount about Jürgenson second seasonal goal (a header on corner situation similar to Prosa’s 3-0 – 50’) and the third desperate exit from the box by Niinepuu which almost earned Alliku a brace (68’).
After the 5-0, Flora controlled the game and let initiative to Paide.
The claret-and-blue’s did not produce anything relevant around Toom’s penalty box.
This time the miracle did not happen and Christmas had already come last week.
LE PAGELLE - players' evaluations here.
Moviola cases for this game analysed here