Match Report: The Big One Before the Huge One

The big one before the huge one. That is how you can describe the last match of our regular season away at Tervakosken Pato on Saturday. A convincing 0-3 (0-1) win takes us to the promotion playoff match, which will be played later this week on Saturday away at FC Rauma, about 140 km (85 miles) away from Tampere in the small coastal city of Rauma. It will be a one-off match for promotion. More than 50 supporters have already signed up for the bus trip to Rauma. Sinikaarti will have their own bus and the club has also arranged one of their own. It will be the biggest away trip in the TamU-K era, and probably by a large margin too. Arguably, it will also be our biggest match yet.

Getting back to the Pato match, there was a clear sense that it had to be won, because otherwise our season would have ended in a huge disappointment. Everybody could already sense the excitement of the possible promotion match, and letting it slip away at the last moment would have been quite intolerable.

The team seemed to have the same idea. It is of course easy to say these things after the fact, but after Mika Kytöviita scored 0-1 on the 15th minute, I never had any doubt that we’d win. Well, as long as nobody would jinx it by talking about the promotion match too early, that is. In the first half Pato did have a couple of decent chances to score, but as they failed to put the ball in the net, we had a very relaxed atmosphere among the supporters at half time. We knew that NePa had scored only one goal in their own match, so it seemed certain that even if we were to draw our match, our better goal differential would keep us on top.

Of course we never had to worry about a draw. The team continued to dominate the match in the second half, and when Mika Kytöviita scored again before we were even fifteen minutes into the second half, everybody knew it: there was no way we were going to let this one slip away. Less than ten minutes later Kytöviita completed his hat trick, and then we were just laughing along. We had survived a nothing-to-win-but-a-lot-to-lose situation, and we were starting to let ourselves think ahead to the big things that were coming to us.

At the final whistle our celebrations and those of the team were subdued in nature. Everybody knew that we had not really achieved anything yet. We have a chance to do so and we are going to have an incredibly good time along the way. But regardless of what happens in the promotion match, this season is already another great chapter in the story of our club. On Saturday we will have a chance to make it into one of the biggest climaxes in the entire club history. Three straight promotion starting from the bottom level – now wouldn’t that be something?

Pato – TamU-K 0-3 (0-1)
15 min Mika Kytöviita 0-1
57 min Mika Kytöviita 0-2
66 min Mika Kytöviita 0-3

24 min Kari-Matti Hyvönen, Pato (caution)
53 min Ilkka Innola, TamU-K (caution)
57 min Mika Kytöviita, TamU-K (caution)
59 min Otto Pitkänen, TamU-K (caution)
82 min Riku Jussila, TamU-K (caution)
82 min Lassi Siivonen, Pato (caution)