Match Report: Felt a Bit Like Losing a Derby

It was not very pretty but it was certainly exciting. TamU-K and NePa battled it out for ninety minutes, and once again neither team was able to score more than one goal. Both of the goals were score early in the first half, and at least looking from my perspective we were the ones who got closer to scoring the winning goal. However, that wasn’t to be, and the result was a 1-1 tie. The match was attended by almost 250 people, and many of them favored NePa. This gave the match a some sense of a real derby – certainly more so than in any previous match that we’ve had at Pyynikki.

For us in particular this was a very disappointing result. The two dropped points mean that we are as many points behind Ilves 2 on the table, with no games in hand. We still control our own faith in the promotion race, but assuming that Ilves won’t drop more points, we will have to win all the remaining matches. That sounds like a tall order, but it is doable. Regardless of what happens, the match against Ilves 2 on August 18 looks to become an important one. Indeed, Ilves has not dropped points since drawing with us in May, stretching their winning streak to eight matches. Wouldn’t it be juicy to be the ones to end that streak?

NePa’s 1-0 goal was scored from a corner on the 12th minute and seemed to stun the supporters, if only for a very short moment. Even if you could not really sense too much tension among the supporters after the goal, the sense of relief was palpable when Mika Kytöviita scored the equalizer just about ten minutes later. At that moment, I was certain that we would score again, but we ended up only getting to the crossbar and the goal line. In fact, there were a few clearances off the line in both ends, and NePa also had a shot on the post, so it could have gone either way. Still, I felt like we were a bit closer. Joona Kapanen had the best chance about 15 minutes before the final whistle, when he and Jacin Dakkaki won the ball near the corner, and Kapanen found a way to a scoring position by cutting into the box from the goal line. However, the shot from the crossbar bounced down and out from the goal, and nobody in the goalmouth was able to get a touch to put the ball in.

Talking about individual players, Mika Kytöviita looked constantly dangerous again. I was also very happy with Risto Niskanen’s performance. He has not started many matches this season, but has been great off the bench many times. Now he had a strong match as a starter as well, and the through-pass to Kytöviita’s goal crowned his match. Timo Kauppinen played his second match as a midfielder, and looked much, much better now than in the LeKi-match earlier. The new signing Tuomas Savinainen got a twenty-minute look, but I want to see more of him before commenting any further.

Our matches continue as early as tomorrow, as we return to Pyynikki to host Valkeakosken Koskenpojat (VaKP). Coach Mika Suonsyrjä once mentioned that I tend to throw the phrase ”must-win” around a bit too loosely, but I’m sure that he wouldn’t say so now. Our season is by no means over even if we get zero out of this match. However, it would make things very, very difficult for us.

Lastly on a completely separate note, I do have to say that I’ve been rather amused as I’ve been following discussions online after the NePa match. Things get shouted at matches in the heat of the moment, and sometimes it is in bad taste. Occasionally it is on purpose, but sometimes it is just something that comes out in an emotional state of mind. Then there are others who calmly sit on their computer the next day and take the time to write posts with similar personal insults – and worse. And still, somehow, they seem to feel superior for it. The irony is as hilarious as it is sad.

NePa – TamU-K 1-1 (1-1)
12 min 1-0 Arto Seppänen
23 min 1-1 Mika Kytöviita

40 min Samuli Saarenpää, NePa (caution)
60 min Sebastian Witt, NePa (caution)
68 min Andrea Milanti, TamU-K (caution)
75 min Jan Irjala, TamU-K (caution)
86 min Antti Ekholm, NePa (caution)