The first rule of every Derby says that no one wants to lose a derby.
The second rule says that in order to win you need to do a bit more than your opponent does.
The third rule says that if you cannot do better than your opponent can you will try at least to limit the good things your opponent does.
Nõmme Kalju managed to respect more or less all the three rules: they didn’t lose, they were tactically more prepared than Flora for most of the game and they managed to limit Flora’s typical game (endless ball possession, or what it looks like, and sudden bursts on the flanks).
Paradoxically, the fact that Prosa found the equalizer on a long ball served by Luigend with a delicious assist on injury time (93’), it is the sign that the game was well prepared to contain Flora’s build-up and exploit any mistake the young side might have committed. Like the one made by Jürgenson that allowed Wakui to receive the ball in the box and almost comfortably put it past Toom after controlling it (21’).
The draw was a fair result. If Flora had the best chances, Nõmme Kalju had a better control of the pitch with supremacy in the midfield guaranteed by the joint work of Martin Vunk, Reginald and Fabio Prates. The latter was employed as right flanker however, his main task was to break the Aloe-Logua axis. On the left side, Kimbaloula must have had a serious evangelization before the game in order to defend more than usual.
After all, he did have Jürgenson in front and Alliku on the back.
Kallaste provided good overlappings and, especially in first half, most of the dangers came from that side.
Igor Prins opted for his favourite 4-2-3-1 having Wakui as trequartista behind Neemelo. Norbert Hurt gave a start to Irakly Logua (first of the season) and left the rest of the XI unchanged in 4-1-4-1 formation with Luigend in front of the defence.
The first fifteen minutes of the game saw Kalju exerting a discrete pressure on Flora. After five minutes they had already collected two corner kicks taken by Fabio Prates, however, Mets first and Toom later, were keen in clearing up the box avoiding any kind of danger.
On 10’ minutes, Flora lost a ball in their half allowing Kimbaloula to aim at the box. The French nr.10 freed himself to shoot from distance (25m), however, the take was a few meters from Toom’s right post. It was the very first off-target attempt of the game
One minute later, Kallaste, in one of his descents from the flank, put a good cross in the box. The ball was deflected towards Fabio Prates. The Brazilian, probably surprised by the strange effect of the ball, lost the moment to try and put it past Toom allowing Aloe to recover and turn off the good chance.
Flora were suffering from Kalju’s asphyxiating pressing on the midfield line. Both Frolov and Beglarishvili were not given space to go on quick exchanges with Logua, Alliku and Prosa. At times, a wall of Kalju men were literally depriving Flora of any possibility to develop their game. On the right flank, Vunk was ready for double teaming with either Śiśov or Prates.
When not in possession, Wakui was doing a lot of work to disturb Luigend from restarting the build-up. The duel was sometimes sharp with mutual fouling.
On 16’ Martink Vunk tried his own solution from distance however, the ball was abundantly over the bar. Interesting exchange Kallaste-Neemelo-Vunk that led to the nr.13 take.
We shall stress the obscure work performed by ‘The Bison’, as Neemelo was often playing with his back to the goal helping Kalju to progress on the pitch. The nr.99 was tightly marked either by Mets or Rähn who prevented him from turning and being dangerous. His work helped Kalju’s overlapping movements on the flanks.
However, notwithstanding the supremacy, the very first good chance of the game was for Flora. On 19’ minutes, Logua went on a one on one against Teleś who parried his shot with the leg for Flora’s first corner. The Kalju crowd was relieved as Logua was left hands in hair.
On the corners’ development, Alliku’s header was inaccurate and went abundantly over the bar.
The golden rule of football, if you don’t score they will to you, found implementation a minute later on the developments of Kalju’s third corner.
The clearance was for Reintam’s left foot to pick out a pass for Neemelo in the box (a long ball from almost the midfield circle).
The nr.99 was free to check who was ready to receive in the middle of the box.
Wakui, inexplicably left alone by Jürgenson following the ball, was ready to pick it up, adjust it and put it past Toom with his left foot. Mets’ desperate and ultimate attempt to close the space for the shot was unsuccessful. Besides Jürgenson individual mistake, it was the whole Flora that was too slow in rising up on the corner kick clearance. They allowed a lot of space for Kalju to re-organize and get in again. A general kip by Flora that helped Kalju to celebrate the opener with the ‘bowling celebration’.
Boosted by the goal, Kalju tried to increase the score.
Prates had a chance on 24’ minutes to catch Toom unprepared on set-piece. However, the Flora’s shot stopper, notwithstanding the sunset disturbing his vision, managed to lift it over the bar.
On 27’ minutes Flora earned their second corner as Logua’s speed earned him a one on one against slower Śiśov who barred the way adequately.
On 29’ minutes, Aloe won one of the many duels against Prates.
The nr.4 was quick in reading Prosa deep movement and serving him with a precise long ball. The nr.99 control was adequate to put him one on one against Teleś, already out of his box. The attempted volley found Teleś reactive save to avoid the equalizer. Another great response from Kalju nr.1 opposed to the Premium Liiga topscorer.
On 37’ Beglarashivili collected the first booking of the game as he appealed for a penalty following an involuntary handball by Reintam. Tarajev kept his average of 4 bookings per game showing four more cards to Mets, Wakui, Gussev and Reintam.
The first half ended with one offside each and another corner for Flora. After having scored the opener, Kalju had happily left the initiative to Flora concentrating on pressing when not in possession. Particularly notable how both Wakui and Neemelo dropped to the midfield line to close all the spaces.
In second half, the very first emotion was on 55’ minutes when Prates long ball from set-piece found Bärengrub in front of Toom. The Kalju captain was unable to push it past the Flora’s shot stopper and sent it over the bar among general upset.
On 58’ minutes, Hurt decided it was time to give Logua a break and brought in Gussev to tire further Kalju’s right side.
On 61’ minutes, we witnessed a corner for Kalju that rapidly transformed into a Flora’s counterattack that led to ‘florakad’s fifth corner. A sign of how Flora was trying to impress a change into the game.
On 64’ minutes Prosa was ready to aim and shoot but Teleś was ready too to catch it on the floor.
On 66’ minutes, Norbert Hurt realized what he should have probably done already in first half: removed an exhausted Frolov to give a chance to Brent Lepistu.
The nr. 10 went to protect the defence along with Luigend as Hurt switched the formation to 4-2-3-1 moving Begla as trequartista behind Prosa. It was the right move as he could bring the Georgian pace and vein in the most neuralgic part of the pitch where Kalju could not commit mistakes. At the same time, Luigend was given a better support in facing Kalju’s midfield and strikers' line dropping.
The result was immediate as Wakui was compelled to foul Begla in Kalju’s half and conceded a free-kick from distance (70’). The nr.7 curled it towards the first post however it was too slow and easily predictable for Teleś.
On 71’ minutes, on the developments of a corner kick, the ball hit the upper part of the bar. Five minutes later, Hurt went for the all-in sending Martin Kase in place of Rauno Alliku and moving Begla on the right flank for a classical 4-4-2 with Gussev and the Georgian pushing on the forward line to compel Kalju’s flankers to cover the full-back (4-2-4).
The script of the game’s end was quite clear as Flora was trying the final siege against Kalju, more and more tired minute after minute.
Under this point of view, we can understand Captain Bärengrub doubts in the post-match interviews about Prins deciding not to bring any change (he only let Mööl in for Prates on 87’ minutes). ‘Flora pushed hard in second half’ admitted the 30-year-old defender ‘it’s clear that not everyone of us could last all the 90’ minutes and do this hard work. We needed fresh forces. Flora did that. We also have players we can use. We need to do that. It was a setback to suffer a goal on the very last minute. It went this way.’
Before Luigend picked out a pass for Prosa’s header, Flora appealed for a penalty (74’) Rähn hit Teleś left post on a cross from the left (79’) and Lepistu tried a shot from distance safely caught by Teleś on the ground (81’). Kimbaloula had a counterattack chance on 86’ minutes but was soon surrounded by Flora players and the chance was turned off.
After Prosa put it past Toom (90+3´), Kimbaloula had a chance immediately after kick-off. However, his shot was well past Toom’s right post and it was the last emotion of the game.
Regret for Kalju as they saw the three points slipping from their hands in the last seconds of the game.
Great effort by Flora who might get additional motivation from the late-minute equalizer.
However, there is no time ton think about this result too much from both sides: next week Kalju are receiving Levadia and Flora will take on Infonet.
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