Two series extended at Kalev Central Stadium
As mentioned in the title above, the match from round XII didn’t bring many changes. The hosts Kalev Tallinn extended their losing streak to 6 defeats in a row, while their guests continued their impressive form winning their last 7 games in Premium Liiga. Let’s see how the game in Tallinn went.
The home coach Zamogilnõi decided to make few changes. The defensive line was the same as the one that took on Flora few days ago meaning Savitski on the goal, his brother Aleksei and Heintare as central defenders, Kukebal and Gavrilov started as full backs. The biggest surprise was the return of Butlers just in front of the central defense to make it even more difficult for Kalju to score. In front of him we could see Välja and Koger, Niinlaub and Karpov operated mainly on the flanks and Belov was alone in central forward position.
Igor Prins couldn’t count on the services of Kimbaloula so he also had to make a few changes in the squad and the formation. On the goal, as usual, was the captain Teles, the Estonian internationals Bärengrub and Reintam in central defense, Sisov and Kallaste on the full back positions. In central midfield Vunk and Fabio Prates were tasked with cutting off Kalev’s attacks and pushing the ball forward to Wakui, who played as attacking midfielder, although from time to time he changed positions with Toomet on the right flank. Karl Mööl was deployed on the left flank and Tarmo Neemelo as the only striker in the team. The positive news was to see Quintieri finally back in the team and ready to attack from the bench.
The match started with a normal pace. Kalev Tallinn surprisingly had enough possession of the ball but couldn’t create any chances. On the other side, the guests from Nõmme tried to exploit their flanks, as well as the creativity of Wakui to create more chances but all their attacks were easily stopped by the strenghtened defense of Tallinna Kalev. The most controversial moment of the first part of the game came around the 20th minute when Heintare clearly played the ball with his hand in the box and even though Ficher was very close, decided to continue the game without awarding penalty to Kalju. However, the guests continued their attacks. Vunk had a couple of shots from outside the box but far from dangerous for Savitski. Wakui also had his chances. In one situation (33’) he even managed to get past Savitski only to see his shot cleared out from the line. In the 36th minute after another corner for the away team, Prates sent a nice ball in, Reintam did everything as he should have, headed the ball towards the goal, but the bar was Savitski’s ally this time. In the 40th minute, however, they weren’t that lucky. Excellent play between Neemelo and Sisov, the latter sent a ball in the box and after the sloppy intervention by Kalev’s defenders, Wakui scored with a nice shot behind the net. The conceded goal created confusion among Kalev’s players who had pretty decent game up until then. Luckily for them, soon after Kalju scored, referee Ficher marked the end of the first 45 minutes.
Igor Prins won’t have much to tell his players as they fulfilled almost all of his tasks and deservedly going on break with one goal lead. Zamogilnõi would have to think of a new tactics to penetrate Kalju’s defense as they found themselves trailing by a goal at half time.
At the beginning of the second half another shock for the hosts. Excellent shot by Wakui from the outside, Savitski shortly deflected the ball to Neemelo’s foot who just tapped it in for 2-0. After that it was clear which team will go home with the three points so both teams played more relaxed and more opened. This kind of game suited Kalju’s players who created series of chances but failed to score. In the main role, again, Wakui. First, in the 50th minute Savitski was more successful than him, saving his amazing bicycle kick after the corner from Prates. Later on, in the 53rd minute Neemelo played excellent ball in space for Mööl who unselfishly passed it to Wakui who missed a sitter sending the ball out wide. The best moment of the game came in the 68th minute when Mööl was fouled at some 28 meters from the goal. Vunk decided to shoot and scored a magnificent goal that will surely be one of the contenders for goal of the season. Until the end of the game, the guests slowed the game down, giving the hosts more space to play and at times that made coach Prins angry, blaming his players for complacency. That didn’t have any serious effects for his team as they calmly brought the game to an end.
Easy win to stay at the top of the table with a possibility to extend their lead as the next round brings the derby between Flora and Levadia, while the leaders are taking on Trans Narva at Kadriorg stadium. The team of Kalev stays even deeper in the drop-zone with 5 points, three less than Narva and Tammeka who have a game less (the clash between them from round I).