Match Preview: The Captain Returns

Sunday’s match against LeKi-futis is a must-win situation for us. Having played one match less than NePa, we are now one point behind them on the table. VaKP is already out of the race for the second place, since they lost their match against NePa on Friday, 0-3 was the score. If we won’t win on Sunday, we will need to do so in our last match away at Tervakosken Pato. Losing on Sunday is simply unthinkable. Not an easy situation to be in, but we’ve got only ourselves to blame for it.

On the positive side, we have more than 18 players available for the match, so for the first time in a while a few had to be dropped from the lineup. One of those who made the cut is goalie Ilkka Innola, who has been working hard this week to arrange time off from his fireman duties. This is definitely great news. Not only because he is obviously a much better goalie than our second team call-up, but also because Innola certainly brings a lot of leadership into the team. Perhaps he will be the ingredient that makes the difference between a winning team and a losing team in our remaining matches.

The only big absence is Timo Kauppinen, who is still on duty working abroad. Of course Petri Vadén and Jacin Dakkaki would also always be great additions to the lineup, but their absence has now lasted long enough that it is no longer really any news. I do hear that there will be some other surprise in the lineup. We shall wait and see.

The opponent LeKi-futis has nothing left to play for, which might make them dangerous. They are a team that is already certain to get relegated, but they have played many matches this season without looking like a relegation candidate. Their biggest problem has been goal-scoring, but they have not conceded that many goals either. It is certain that a blowout victory like we had over SW earlier won’t be in the cards, and getting any victory at all might prove much more difficult than many would assume. Still, scoring as many goals as possible is important, because goal differential might even come into play in the race against NePa for the berth in the promotion match. We are now at +31 and NePa at +24 so the situation favors us, but it would not hurt to score a few extra goals against LeKi-futis.

But the most important thing is to get the full three point, because otherwise we will leave way too much to do a week later away at Pato, and if we should lose, things would not even be in our own hands anymore. The match will be streamed live at It will be a 4 pm kick-off, the last chance to see TamU-K play home this season, and also the last chance to watch our match via a stream.