RECAP: MIDWEEK FINNISH ACTION
Jordan Seabrook's first goal in Finland kept VPS within reach of first while Etchu Tabe and KuPS earned their first win of the season in grand fashion against unfortunate TPS.
KuPS 4 - 1 TPS
Etchu Tabe played the full 90 minutes in the KuPS defense on Thursday afternoon, helping the team climb out of the league's cellar with a commanding victory over Turku PS.
TPS were off to a quick start when Petteri Pennanen set up team veteran Mika Ääritalo for a second-minute goal off of a counter attack, but KuPS slowly chipped away at the lead, mostly from the individual brilliance of Ilja Venäläinen.
The local boy equalized in the 27th minute when he turned in a low cross from Jerry Voutilainen, then put his team ahead for good in the 40th after being set up by Dawda Bah.
He then completed his hat-trick just before the hour mark with a beautiful 22-yard blast to the corner.
The Gambian international Bah then completed the rout in the 75th minute when he snuck in near goal and aimed his shot towards the corner for the final 4-1 score.
The win, their first of the season, allows KuPS to climb to ninth, and they will return to the field when they pay a visit to VPS on Sunday.
JJK 0 - 1 VPS
Karsten Smith played the full game for VPS, but it was his fellow American teammate Jordan Seabrook that had the impact as a substitute in the team's narrow one-goal win over JJK on Thursday.
Both teams were on the attack for much of the first half, coming close on multiple occasions but failing to ultimately capitalize.
An injury to VPS forward Jesper Engström led to the 42nd-minute insertion of Seabrook into the game, and the former Crystal Palace Baltimore player made his case for a regular starting role.
In the 72nd minute, Sebastian Strandvall whipped a cross directly in front of the goalmouth, and Seabrook connected well with his header to send the ball inside the corner for the winner.
With the victory, VPS remain second in the standings behind HJK Helsinki, and have a date with Etchu Tabe and KuPS awaiting on Sunday.
MyPa 1 - 2 FF Jaro
Mike Banner played the full game for FF Jaro while Jonathan Okafor was a late substitute for hosts MyPa on Thursday, as the visitors walked away with three points.
Backup MyPa defender Yannick Salmon did not suit up for the game.
Jaro jumped to a two-goal lead inside of 40 minutes, with Hendrik Helmke sending Jonas Emet cleanly through the defense to beat the keeper for their first, then Thomas Kula ended a nice build-up by springing Simon Skrabb for the 2-0.
MyPa did make a game of it by pulling one back in the 44th minute, largely due to a miscommunication deep in Jaro territory which allowed Sasha Anttilainen the break he needed to beat keeper Jesse Öst for 2-1.
Jaro did withstand second-half onslaught from their hosts and never buckled under the pressure, finally taking the well-deserved three points.
Jaro climb to sixth with the win, and host FC Honka on Sunday.
AC Oulu 3 - 3 FC KooTeePee
Kevin Sawchak played the final 35 minutes of KooTeePee's wild draw at AC Oulu on Thursday, as a pair of conceded goals in the final minutes forced them to settle for a draw.
Joshua Mulvany proved too much for the Oulu defense when he lept in to put away a cross from the right flank for the 14th-minute opener, then Valeri Minkenen easily buried his 27th-minute spot kick for the 2-0 KooTeePee advantage.
Two minutes after, Mika Nurmela pulled one back for the hosts when he broke free directly on front of goal to tap in a cross, then Tashan Adeyinka pulled them even with 20 minutes in regulation after he got on the end of a cross from the right.
Not ready to give up the three points so easily, KooTeePee looked to have found the winner with one minute to go as Samuli Kaivonurmi headed in a corner, but the hosts earned their share of the points when Matias Ojala knocked in an initially blocked shot to bring the final score to 3-3.
KooTeePee remain fourth in the standings three games into the season, and will host undefeated Haka Valkeakoski on Monday afternoon.
SJK 2 - 0 AC Kajaani
Justin Moose started and played all but the final moments of injury time for SJK on Thursday in their 2-0 home win over
SJK's opening goal in the 62nd minute came thanks to an unlikely source, with Serbian defender Pavle Milosavljević and finally setting up Toni Lehtinen to easily tap into an open net.
Then Spanish defender Josue Currais removed all doubts of the win in the fifth minute of stoppage time, marking his debut with the team with a goal to secure the 2-0 victory.
SJK have a perfect two wins from their first two games, and will try to extend their streak to three on Monday when they head to Tampere to face FC Ilves.