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Matchday 3, FC Flora vs. Sillamäe Kalev 1-0

Angelo PalmeriComment

-         Sillamäe surrendered to Flora in second half notwithstanding a good first-half display

-         Fair win for Flora having most of the best chances in the 90’ minutes

-         The white-greens keep pace with Kalju who whitewashed Viljandi (6-2), on the 11th April in A.LeCoq Arena could be already a decisive derby

The only change in the two XI’s is Maksim Gussev replacing Joseph Saliste in Flora’s left wing. Frantsev’s XI is exactly as the one that came from Viljandi with the three points.

The first attempt off target is Sillamäe’s as Tjapkin tries from outside the box. His attempt is well off the post (6’). Flora fires back with Gussev’s attempt with a header. However he doesn’t manage to control the ball properly in the box on cross from the left. (8’).

On 9’ minutes Tjapkin warms Toom’s gloves up as his attempt is on target this time. The shot from the edge of the box is slow though and the Flora’s goalkeeper can easily catch the ball on the floor.

On 11’ minutes Sidorenkov is reactive in walling Gussev in the box before the number 20 can fire at Starodubtsev.

Box to box. Sillamäe central defenders (Cheminava left and Baguźis right) challenge their Flora colleagues on a corner kick situation (Premium Liiga Twitter)

Box to box. Sillamäe central defenders (Cheminava left and Baguźis right) challenge their Flora colleagues on a corner kick situation (Premium Liiga Twitter)

In the first fifteen minutes of the game the two XI’s are facing openly and they look overall balanced on the pitch.

On 14’ minutes Starodubtsev denies Flora the lead as he managed to parry Logua’s good attempt.

On 17’ minutes is Cheminava to stop Alliku’s attempt in the box. The Goddess starts to increase the pressure and pushes the Longshoreman in their half.

Sillamäe’s response comes on 21’ minutes with a great attempt from distance set up by Kvasov. Toom makes another great save by palming the shot into corner. On the developments, nothing relevant happens.

On 24' minutes Alliku tries the shot on the run, but the ball is over the bar.

Series of corner kicks on 27’ minutes for Sillamäe.
Sidorenkov has to fight against the strong northern wind blowing in the A.LeCoq Arena complex where the Sportland Arena artificial ground is located. Flora will move to the main stadium (A.LeCoq Arena) soon after the break when they will take on Kalju on week 5 (11th of April).

With half an hour of game gone, neither of the two sides had clear chances to score however both were giving the impression of being able to hit the back of the net.

As it happens on 34’ minutes, when Starodubtsev parries with his body an attempt performed by Gussev. The Flora nr.20 is basically free to shoot on goal after the ball slotted through Sillamäe’s central defenders disturbed by Alliku. Flora’s best chance before half-time whistle with no injury time.

'Sappi' delighted the 285 people attending with a great performance and the winner (Janek Eslon / FC Flora Facebook)

'Sappi' delighted the 285 people attending with a great performance and the winner (Janek Eslon / FC Flora Facebook)

On the resume, after five minutes of play, Sappinen puts the seal to his good performance with the goal giving lead.

Quick incursion in the heart of Sillamäe defence and one-two with Alliku on the edge of the box. ‘Sappi’ gets rid of Baguźis and fires at Starodubtsev who cannot help (50’)

On 53’ minutes Sappinen tries to set-up Alliku this time, but the chance fades.

On the other front, Sillamäe immediately reply with Toomet heading over the bar. In the attempt set up by Dubõkin, the former Kalju wingers hits his head against Kams and requires urgent medical treatment as blood runs from his forefront.

The game is in full swing and Flora started the second half at full throttle probably following an interval’s speech by coach Hurt.

On 57’ minutes, Gussev tries another shot in the box but the attempt is poor and becomes easily controllable by the Sillamäe defence.

Sergei Frantsev makes the first changes by bringing in Vnukov for Silich and Plotnikov for Toomet (the latter choice probably due to Toomet’s injury).

On 65’ minutes a back-heel pass invented by Ratnikov sets up Plotnikov in the box. Both Jääger and Baranov are cut off, however the Sillamäe’s nr.89 attemp doesn’t find the target.

Sidorenkov’s name gets into the referee’s book on 66’ minutes when the former international trips Beglarishvili in Sillamäe’s half. Good call.

On 67’ minutes, Gussev misses an incredible chance for Flora when Alliku sends a cross from the right. The ball ends in Logua’s feet. The Russian shoots with too much confidence thinking that Starodubtsev is cut off. Instead, Sillamäe’s shot stopper recovers and saves with his body. On the rebound, Logua tries again but the guests’ defence has already re-organized.

Enar Jääger's speed and readiness in central defence has increased safety in front of Mait Toom (Janek Eslon / FC Flora Facebook)

Enar Jääger's speed and readiness in central defence has increased safety in front of Mait Toom (Janek Eslon / FC Flora Facebook)

On 70’ minutes, Hurt pulls out Gussev and brings in Sakari Tukiainen. Soon after Frantsev uses the last change by bringing in former Lokomotiv Jõhvi Ivanjushin for Dubõkin.

On 78’ minutes Jääger lets a ball slips for Kvasov. The striker sets up for the shot but the international uses his best quality (the sprint) and recovers before it’s too late and walls Kvasov’s attempt.

On 81’ minutes Logua tries the personal exploit with a left-footed attempt from 25 meters. It goes over the bar but it could have been the goal of the weekend!

During the last fifteen minutes, Flora are keen in waiting for Sillamäe and striking in counterattack, probably tired for all the work done during the whole second half.
Sillamäe try to move the ball quickly upfield however it is not very easy since Flora’s midfielder are covering the defence very well and allowing the full backs to keep wide.

Flora fans support lasted for all the 90' minutes of the clash (Janek Eslon / FC Flora Facebook)

Flora fans support lasted for all the 90' minutes of the clash (Janek Eslon / FC Flora Facebook)

On 84’ minutes Jääger is again reactive when Tjapkin picks up a pass for Kvasov in the box. The international clears it before the Sillamäe’s striker might set up the shot.

Hurt’s last change is Frolov for Sappinen, giving the matchwinner his deserved ovation on the walk to the dugout.

With 4 minutes of injury time assigned by Eiko Saar, Sillamäe's last attempt is on 45'+1 minutes when Baguźis heads a good set-piece take by Sidorenkov towards the target.
Unfortunately for him, he turns it straight into Toom's arms.

The time slips as Flora had already regained control of the ball and finished off the opposition with an hypnotizing tiki-taka until the final whistle.

RdS Man Of The Match: Rauno Sappinen

Players ratings


TOOM 6,5
He didn’t work as much as Starodubtsev in first half, however his save on Kvasov was very important.

KAMS 5,5
Not many troubles against Toomet, but Sidorenkov bites deep and he suffered a bit.

Very attemptive defensive game, especially in the air.

Two great defensive pieces in second half on Kvasov’s only chances to be dangerous.

He has the easiest task as both Silich and Cinikas are not creating troubles. However he prefers to be more defensive.

Good coverage of the defence line considering that the four midfielders in front of him are all pushing hard when in possession. He manages not to pick up a booking, not bad.

One of the most dangerous men for Flora. He cannot believe what he sees when Starodubtsev saves his shot with the body in first half.

Sappi is gaining confidence at each and every game. Able both to break the opposition game and to restart Flora’s build-up. He seals a great performance in a key game with a great goal. Hard times for Frolov to find a way back into the XI, for now he gets content with the final minutes of the confrontation. MOTM

As against FC Infonet, he tries to put his stamp on the game but he’s too messy. Righteously pulled out for Ainsalu in second half.

Fast attacks on the left flank, he lacks precision. Overall, he keeps Sillamäe’s right side busy. Too confident on 67’ minutes when shoots on goal thinking Starodubtsev will not make it back.

At ease with his new role as front striker, creates several issues to Sillamäe’s defence.

Good half-time speech since Flora get into the pitch more confident to make the game theirs. In fact it takes only five minutes for Sappinen to bag the winner. Good changes to make the key men breath without risking much. He will need to handle Beglarishvili properly since the Georgian is wasting himself a bit.

In first half he contributes in keeping Sillamäe sheet clean. In second half, his save on Logua’s attempt (67’) helps Sillamäe to stay into the game until the bottom.
If Sillamäe were to leave Sportland Arena with one point, he would be the MOTM.

In first half he suffers a lot against Logua and manages somehow to contain the Russian’s flair.

Too slow for Sappinen in the box. When the Flora’s midfielder slots into the defensive line, he is still trying to read what Sappinen is trying to do. Generally less confident than Cheminava.
He could make himself forgiven in injury time, but his header is aimed at Toom’s arms. Too bad.

Good defensive performance but sometimes commits silly mistakes helping Flora’s strikers to be dangerous.

Good control of Gussev with the experience of the veteran player (24 caps).

Honest performance, however suffered the Flora’s pressure in midfield.

Sillamäe’s most dangerous player in first half especially when he tried from distance.

Not an impressive performance from the number 9. In second half Frantsev decides to try something else and replaces him with Vnukov.

He sleeps for more than one hour of game and with a genius touch (back-heel pass while being controlled by Kams and Baranov) sets up Plotnikove. Lacks of consistence and commits some silly fouls. Good old Daniil.

It still seems he hasn’t glued in the Sillamäe system properly. Some attempts but overall he doesn’t enter into the game picture. Following a head injury, he is replaced with Plotnikov.

One good shot in first half and a lot of movement. In second half he suffers a bit since Sillamäe were not able to offer the same build-ups as during the first half.

The game was prepared well, however in second half he didn’t manage to give his team a push to pull one back. Probably he was happy with one point away to Flora already in first half.