DAVID SMITH - Saturday, July 23, 2011
A midweek round of games spelled disappointment for a pair of Americans, as Dan Stevens and Kemi blew a first-half lead to fall at Oulu PS, and Kellan Wilson and HIFK were blown out by their local rivals.
Oulu PS 2 - 1 PS Kemi Kings
Daniel Stevens played the full 90 minutes in Kemi's midfield, helping his team to a first-half lead, however the team blew their chance for the win by allowing a pair of late goals to Oulu PS.
Kemi drew first blood with six minutes remaining in the first half, when Stevens received the ball in the upper right corner of the penalty area and was knocked over by an OPS defender forcing the referee to point to the spot.
Tuomas Tyystälä stepped up and nailed his shot high in goal, giving the keeper no chance to prevent surrendering the lead.
Kemi dominated the bulk of scoring chances thereafter, however OPS pulled even with 20 minutes left in the game, when Miika Hosio picked up a loose ball just inside the area and slammed it on-target for 1-1.
OPS then proceeded to secure the three points with eight minutes remaining in regulation, as Liuzao chested down a cross on the left side goal and rocketed his shot inside the far post for the win.
The result leaves Kemi in ninth place, two points clear of the drop zone. They have a short break, next taking on JIPPO Joensuu on Saturday.
FC Viikingit Helsinki 4 - 0 HIFK Soccer Helsinki
Kellan Wilson had a rough outing in HIFK's goal on Wednesday, being forced to pick the ball out of his own net four times as the team were blown out on their trip to FC Viikingit Helsinki.
A complete breakdown in the HIFK defense in the 35th minute allowed Miguel Delgado to break free in front of an open goal for an easy 1-0 to the hosts.
They showed some signs of life after the break, however another piece of lax defending allowed Joni Korhonen to double Viikingit's lead in the 56th minute, then Ville Salmikivi beat the back line with 14 minutes left to make it 3-0.
With the game in little doubt, Joni Korhonen struck with three minutes on the clock, adding insult to injury for the disheartened HIFK squad.
The loss leaves HIFK in eighth place, and they will have a long break before next taking the field on August 1 when they host FC KooTeePee Kotka.
Jeremy Vuolo and AC Oulu had this midweek round of games off, and won't take the field until Wednesday when they face Kokkola PV.