Routine win for Kalju to end their woes
Matchday 16 brought the team of Paide to the capital to face the in-crisis team of Kalju Nõmme. The unpredictable weather wasn’t on their side so only few dozen spectators showed up at the Kadriorg stadium. Can Kalju mark the end of the crisis or can Paide extend their woes?
Coach Igor Prins started with only two changes in the team that lost to Flora in the previous round, meaning Teleš on the goal, Bärengrub and Reintam in defense, Kallaste and Šišov on the full-back positions. Vunk and Prates operated the midfield, Quintieri was deployed at his more natural left wing position for this match, Toomet on the right and Wakui again played behind Neemelo.
Meelis Rooba, on the other side, decided to field Niinepuu on the goal, Palatu was paired with Kaldoja in defense, Lomp and Holst were deployed at the full-back positions. Sinilaid and Reinsoo were responsible for the midfield, Veis was on the left flank, Vassiljev on the right and Tomson played behind Rõivasepp.
The match started with both sides trying to reveal each other’s weaknesses and the main battle in the opening 10 minutes was in the midfield. The first huge chance for the home team came exactly in the 10th minute when Vunk sent a long ball towards Kallaste. The home team full-back escaped Niinepuu and passed to Neemelo whose shot was saved from the line by Kaldoja. In the following period the hosts had few more chances but none too dangerous for Paide. In the 27th minute excellent play by Kalju. Wakui passed to Vunk on the left side who passed immediately to Kallaste but he was denied by the post. The visitors tried to attack mainly from counter attacks but to no avail. In the 35th minute it was again the home team that threatened. Free kick for Quintieri from 25 meters, but Niinepuu was well positioned and managed to save. The long expected goal came in the 38th minute when the best player on the pitch in the first half Ken Kallaste passed the ball to Janar Toomet at the edge of the box. The latter skillfully got rid of three Paide defenders and placed the ball under Niinepuu for 1-0 and cheers on the stands. Until the end of the first half Paide had only one more chance in the 42nd minute when Rõivasepp sent a nice ball towards Vassiljev who was just a bit late and missed out.
Prins can’t be extremely happy with the play his squad showed, but at the same time can’t really complain much. The aim was accomplished and his team got the lead in the first half. Rooba on the other hand will probably have a word with his forwards about the lack of finishing.
The second half started in a similar fashion with Kalju mainly controlling the midfield but at the same time opening more space for the visitors. Paide players tried to take advantage of that and in the 55th minute another good chance for Vassiljev was wasted as he didn’t manage to pull out a shot. As it usually happens, when you fail to score, the punishment follows. In the 63rd minute great 1-2 pass between Wakui and Kallaste which fooled the defense and the former scored without any problem. 2-0 for Kalju and that seemed to be a decisive goal. Paide players refused to give up and tried to push a bit higher but that came back at them like a boumerang. In the 72nd minute the Japanese wizard Wakui pulled out another one of his tricks. He received a ball from Neemelo on some 30 meters from the goal, made fun of three Paide defenders, dribbled also Niinepuu and placed the ball in the empty net. Nothing was going right for the visitors who seemed shocked by the events. They almost stopped playing, allowing the hosts to attack from every possible side. In the 77th minute another nice chance for Neemelo, but in the last moment his effort was blocked by Palatu. The hosts routinely held the ball and brought the game to an end thus ending their winless streak and bringing joy to their fans.