New home game, new win for Kalju?
Excellent conditions at the Kadriorg stadium for the hottest day of the year so far and great opening of matchday XIII. The leaders Kalju were hosting the strugglers of late Trans Narva. Let’s see how did that go.
As stated in the match preview before, coach Igor Prins didn’t make any changes to the team that beat Kalev in the previous round, which meant captain Teles on the goal, Reintam and Bärengrub in front of him, Tihhon Sisov on the right full-back position and Kallaste on the left. In midfield, standardly Vunk and Prates, Mööl took his right flank and Toomet the left one. As expected, Wakui was positioned just behind Neemelo in the front line.
Coach Bondarenko on the other hand fielded an interesting set-up. Lepmets was on the goal, Nesterovski and Andrejev in front of him, Tamberg on the right full-back position and Sheviakov on the left. In front of the defense we could see Pavel Avdeev as a support for the last line, Tenno played in central midfield, Fjodorov took on his left flank, Misins on the right, while Plotnikov and Skinjov played in front. Very brave approach but let’s see if it brought them result.
The match started with an active game from both sides and even though Narva tried to push from the very beginning, it was the hosts that had the first chance of the match but the corner from Prates was easily saved by Lepmets. In the 10th minute the guests had their first attempt, but Skinjov’s shot was easily saved by Teles. Already in the next minute excellent low shot by Neemelo but even better save by Sergei Lepmets. In the 18th minute, the biggest chance for Trans Narva after the mistake by Kalju’s defensive line, good shot by Misins from 20 meters but good reaction by Teles once again. That was a period in which the visitors were more determined to score and had the better chances. In the 27th minute after yet another corner the away team looked dangerous, but not enough to find the back of the net. In the 36th minute they created a huge mess in front of Teles’ goal, but Saar saw a foul on the home team’s goalkeeper and stopped their attack. In the 40th minute Neemelo sent a nice ball in the box, Wakui stopped the ball on his chest but his shot hit the net from the outside. The biggest chance for the home team in the first half came 3 minutes later when Janar Toomet nicely made his way inside the box, passed the ball to Wakui and when everyone expected a goal, the Japanese wizard sent a mild shot which was blocked by the defense. That marked the end of the first half.
Very brave game by the guests from Narva and lot of troubles for Prins ahead of the 45 minutes thinking how to break the solid defensive line of the away team.
The response came in the likes of Kimbaloula and Reginald who took the places of Prates and Mööl. They were supposed to stretch Narva’s defense and create more chances for Neemelo. The beginning of the second half though suggested otherwise. In the 48th minute Misins played Skinjov nicely in the box but Teles responded accordingly to keep his net intact. Two minutes later Andrejev headed the ball over the bar. That was a wakeup call for the home team. In the 53rd minute Wakui received the ball and sent a nice shot from 18 meters that left Lepmets powerless. 1-0 for Kalju and the deadlock was finally broken. In the 57th minute excellent ball in the box from Toomet, but Neemelo’s header went just over the bar. In the 61st minute another big chance for Allan but again Lepmets saved it. In the 66th minute shock for the home team. After yet another corner for the away team, the sharp ball by Misins was deflected by Sisov’s head and went straight behind Teles’ goal. And the attacks by the visitors didn’t stop there. In the 73rd minute after a quick counter attack Skinjov came one-on-one against Teles but couldn’t pull out a stronger shot. In the next minute already the play was on the other side. Neemelo with an excellent shot but Lepmets somehow managed to keep it in his hands. The long awaited goal, however, came in the 76th minute. What seemed a harmless cross from the right side was nicely met by the Japanese player in the team from Nõmme and sent in the lower side of goal where Lepmets couldn’t do anything about it. Sighs on Kalju’s bench and eruption on the stands. Until the end of the game they routinely managed to halt all the attacks by the away team and collect the three points from this game.
Continuation of Kalju’s winnins streak, which is now 8 games in a row and excellent intro before the derby game against Levadia on Friday. As for Narva, Bondarenko can certainly be happy with his team’s performance, and if they are a little bit sharper in attack we can soon expect to see them at a different position on the table.