Prins made changes to the system to try and turn their possession into chances, employing a changeable 4-5-1 system. Allan and Toomet were asked to support lone striker Robert Kirss in attack in what would become a 4-3-3 setup when attacking, whilst dropping back when defending. Reginald was deployed more specifically as a defensive-minded midfielder with Mööl and Prates in front of him. Kaspar Kaldoja was given a chance at left back with Frenchman Nicolas trialling in the centre and Hendrik Ojamaa shifting to right back.
Kalju started quite brightly and tried to keep up their quick, two-touch play in the centre of the park, with Kirss holding the ball up well and linking with Mööl and Prates to play in the wingers (right).
Levadia weren’t content to let Kalju play with such freedom for long, however, as they began to push them further upfield and their more direct approach stunted Kalju somewhat.
Kaldoja was able to get forward on the left a couple of times and Karl Mööl saw a fair amount of the ball in midfield but a lack of chances was the story once more for Kalju.
Allan looked the most likely player to create something with his dribbling ability getting him to the by-line on a couple of occasions but his cutbacks rarely found a team mate and they were made to pay after 29 minutes.
A free kick from the right found Aleksei Jahhimovitš at the near post, whose unchallenged header found the back of the net. Kalju’s immediate response was from their own set piece, Robert Kirss poking wide from close range after the Levadia keeper had spilt a free kick.
Their quick passing game started to break down a little as possession was given away cheaply far too often and their pace seemed too quick for their own good with forward runs not anticipated and passes rushed.
It all seemed a little one-dimensional as Levadia managed to deal comfortably with the threat Kalju were posing.
Half time brought a host of changes as Prins looked to try a different approach.
Tarmo Neemelo was brought on to lead the line in place of Kirss, with Šišov replacing Ojamaa at right back, Jorge Rodrigues replacing Kaldoja in the centre and Quintieri coming on for Toomet on the right wing. Tarmo Kink replaced Mööl and played just behind Neemelo in what had become a 4-4-1-1 formation, but he failed to add anything to the match in what was a fairly anonymous performance from the Estonian International.
Kalju’s play became a little more direct with Allan causing problems sporadically on the left and Quintieri’s movement coming in from the right injecting a little more spark. Neemelo was used as a target man as Kalju’s passing drifted away from purposeful and more towards hopeful.
Their main joy was from through balls as Quintieri and Allan got in behind the defence once or twice but that final piece to the attack never materialised as Levadia held on relatively comfortably for a 1-0 win.
Prins will still have been pleased with the intensity and movement of his midfield but their continued lack of chances looked to be his main worry going into their final match against FC Infonet, Kalju’s first opponent of the 2014 league season.
(2- continues tomorrow with last part)