DAVID SMITH - Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Daniel Antunez and Inter stayed atop the Veikkausliiga standings with a blowout win over Lahti, while Mike Banner and Jaro notched their first 2012 win thanks to a late penalty in their game against KuPS.
IFK Mariehamn 0 - 0 FC Honka
Mason Trafford played the full 90 minutes for Mariehamn on Sunday, helping the team hold a scoreless draw against FC Honka.
While the game was far from devoid of chances, both teams were largely wasteful with their opportunities on the attacking end.
In the dying moments, Mariehamn perhaps felt themselves the victims of the referee's discretion when they had three penalty shouts turned down in rapid succession.
First, Aleksei Kangaskolkka was apparently toppled in the penalty area, with the referee waving to play on, then seconds later both Marcus Olofsson and Kristian Kojola went down under contact in rapid succession, although their complaints were ignored.
With the point, Mariehamn now sit in the middle of the Veikkausliiga standings in seventh after four games, and will be back in action on Saturday with a visit to Vaasa PS.
FF Jaro 1 - 0 KuPS
Mike Banner played the full 90 minutes in Jaro's midfield while Etchu Tabe made his first appearance for KuPS as a halftime sub, with Jaro taking the win at home for their first points of the season.
Jaro were in control over their visitors for the vast majority of play, but were continually thwarted by a KuPS gameplan that depended on heavy defending and opportunistic shots at the counter.
Tabe was brought in for his season debut at the half, with KuPS coach Esa Pekonen placing him atop the attack rather than in his typical central defense role.
This did little to threaten the hosts, however, and they needed a late error in the KuPS penalty area to scrape the win. Substitute Simon Skrabb was knocked over as he stormed into the area, setting up Papa Niang for the winner from the spot.
11th-place Jaro return to the field on Wednesday when they make up their game-in-hand at home against current leaders Inter Turku.
KuPS will also be back in action on Wednesday, hosting current reigning league champions HJK Helsinki.
FC Lahti 0 - 5 Inter Turku
Daniel Antunez played the full game for Inter Turku on Sunday, as an explosive five-goal performance at FC Lahti kept them not only winless but still perfect on the defensive side.
The Lahti defense gave Inter an easy opportunity to take the lead after 15 minutes, as Henri Lehtonen was left alone on the right side, where he collected a cross from Mika Ojala and put it away for 1-0.
Then three minutes before the half-hour, Ojala put himself on the scoreboard with a fantastic volley which flew over the head of keeper Viktor Szentpéteri for the 2-0 advantage.
Inter were largely tamed until the final 15 minutes, the proceeded to pour on another trio of goals to complete the blowout.
Kalle Kauppi netted his first-ever league goal with a one-timed shot in the 76th minute, then Irakli Sirbiladze made it 4-0 two minutes later, and Joni Kauko completed the blowout with his first of the season at the beginning of injury time.
With one game in hand, Inter are in first place, leading MyPa on goal differential. They can further extend their lead on Wednesday when they visit FF Jaro.
HIFK Helsinki 0 - 3 FC KooTeePee Kotka
Aaron Wheeler started and played 75 minutes for KooTeePee on Friday evening, as they started their season perfectly with a shut-out road win over HIFK Helsinki.
American midfielder Kyle Luetkehans saw time as a 79th-minute substitute for the hosts.
KooTeePee took the lead over their hosts in the 29th minute when Johannes Laaksonen fed Juho Nykänen into the area for an easy finish, then added a second in the 53rd as Erkka Lansimies put away a corner.
Still elated from their midweek cup win over top-flight leaders Inter Turku, the team made everything certain with three minutes left in regulation as Samuli Kaivonurmi netted for the final 3-0 score.
Wheeler and his teammates will be back in action for their home opener on Saturday, hosting Oulu PS, while Luetkehans and HIFK will take the field again on Saturday at SJK.
JIPPO Joensuu 1 - 1 Seinäjoen JK
Justin Moose made his league debut for SJK on Saturday, playing the first half in their 1-1 road draw at JIPPO Joensuu.
Both teams looked rusty to open their season, with neither mustering any real danger or substance over the first hour.
SJK looked to have broken through for the winning goal in the 76th minute when Aki Sipilä charged up the wing and found Toni Lehtinen in the middle, who powered the ball past keeper Santtu Korpelainen for the 1-0 lead.
JIPPO continued to fight, and fully earned their point three minutes from full time, as Toni Tahvanainen set up Cameroonian striker Ariel Thierry Ngueukam to equalize.
SJK return to action Saturday, hosting Kyle Luetkehans and winless HIFK.