“The silence of the attackers”
The perfect sunny Saturday afternoon brought 1300 spectators willing to see good football to the Hiiu stadium. Everything was ready for the spectacle. Kids were running around while James Werts was keeping the atmosphere up with his songs. The first clash between the most successful clubs in the past two seasons was under way. Both teams would like to get the three points and tie with Flora and Infonet at the very top of the table.
Coach Prins landed the following squad for the derby: as usual, Telesh was between the sticks, Reintam and Bärengrub in front of him, and Kallaste and Shishov on the full back flanks. Prates and Vunk controlled the central midfield, Toomet and Kimbaloula operated on the wings and Wakui played as a second striker/playmaker just behind the central forward Neemelo.
Marko Kristal, on the other hand, made no changes to the team that scored 10 goals in the previous two matches. The captain Smishko was on the goal, Jahhimovits and Artjunin commanded the central defense, Pikk occupied his left full-back position, while Podholjuzin was on the right side. In central midfield Antonov and Vukobratovic got the nod, Omar El Hussieny operated the left flank, Pavel Marin started his third game in a row as a right winger and in attack we could see Rättel pairing up with Teever.
As expected, the game started slowly with both teams trying to identify their opponent’s weaknesses. In such conditions, Levadia had the first half-chance. Rättel sent a long ball in the box towards Teever whose header was easily saved. That was a wakeup call for Kalju who slowly took over control over the ball and subsequently the whole game. Their different approaches resulted in few corner kicks which Levadia’s defense handled quite calmly and did not allow the hosts to take the lead. The biggest chance in the first half came in the 19th minute when a long ball from the midfield was unexpectedly left out by Podholjuzin. Kallaste sent a curled ball in the box and Wakui missed an easy header. Driven by the support of their fans, the hosts didn’t stop there. In the 22nd minute another huge chance wasted for Kalju. Wakui received a ball 20 meters from the goal but instead of passing it to Allan, he decided to try and finish it by himself, but his shot was easily saved by Smishko. On the other side, one moment was worth mentioning when Kallaste headed the ball back towards Telesh who was a millisecond quicker than Teever to claim the ball. In the 32nd minute free kick for Kalju 18 meters from the goal. Fabio Prates with the shot, hits only the wall. This was followed by a couple of chances more for Kalju but no danger for the visitors. That was the conclusion of the first 45 minutes in which we saw active football from both sides and desire to take the three points away.
Igor Prins will certainly have a word with his strikers for the lack of finishing touch, while Kristal will have to work on the organization of the game for his team.
The second half started with only one change. Marin was replaced by Subbotin (this substitution actually happened in the dying moments of the first half) who made his way in the team after 3 games on the bench. His impact on the team was evident. Fresh and willing to prove his worth, he made few runs down the right flank easing the pressure on his teammates from the opposite wing while causing troubles to Kallaste and Reintam. In the middle of the second half Levadia completely took over control of the game creating few chances. First of all, Subbotin made his way into the box, passed the ball to Teever whose shot went over the goal. Then Subbotin himself tried his luck, but his shot was easily tamed by Telesh. The best chance for Kalju in the second half came again from Hidetoshi Wakui who received a ball and had open view of the goal, but Artjunin was faster than him and claimed the ball. After this it was mainly Levadia trying to score. In the 69th minute after Artjunin’s free kick it was again Subbotin who was unlucky, his shot went just wide. The last chance of the match was again for Levadia and again for Artjunin. Free kick from the edge of the box. Nicely curled shot by the robust defender over the wall, but excellent stretch by Telesh to make an even better save. Until the last whistle, the teams were more careful not to concede than to score so the first derby of the season was concluded with the unpopular result 0-0.
After the game RdS had a short chat with Allan Kimbaloula who didn’t hide his disappointment from the result.
“It was a strange game. Both teams, we are quite similar but I think we should have won this game. It is not normal that we didn’t score. I am very disappointed because now it was a good moment to join Flora but now we are still behind.”
Asked about his performance Allan said: “Today I think I was good, but sometimes it is difficult to play alone and I needed more help, but I think it is going to be better in future because today it was very hard to play alone against three defenders.
Full captioned photogallery of the game here