DAVID SMITH - Tuesday, May 17, 2011
The busy start to the Finnish season continued, with most Veikkausliiga teams having a pair of games over the weekend, including a pair of losses by Etchu Tabe and RoPS.

RoPS 1 - 2 JJK Jyväskylä

Etchu Tabe played the full 90 minutes in central defense for RoPS on Thursday, picking up his first yellow card of the season as the team gave up a late winner to JJK Jyväskylä.

RoPS took an early lead thanks to defender Mika Gröhn, who connected with a pass by Tuomo Könösen to put his team ahead.

JJK came roaring back, tying the game three minutes after the break after Jani Virtanen's blast was blocked by RoPS keeper Jules Alex Nyom, only to be put away by Mikko Hyyrynen for 1-1.

The vistitors then secured the three points five minutes from full time, with Mikko Manninen putting the ball away after being picked out in free space by teammate Eero Korte.

FC Honka Espoo 1 - 0 RoPS

Etchu Tabe played the full 90 minutes in the back for RoPS on Sunday afternoon, as they lost their second game in a space of three days thanks to an early backbreaking goal by FC Honka.

The teams had barely broken a sweat when Honka flew to the lead, with Konsta Rasimus feeding 18 year-old debutant Tim Vayrynen a pass into the left side of the area, which he put away past RoPS keeper Jules Alex Nyom for the fifth-minute advantage.

Honka was clearly the dominant team throughout the majority of the game, with RoPS's attack too often limited to long balls forward from the backfield by Tabe.

RoPS tried to pressure desperately as the game neared its final minutes, but couldn't create even any moments of slight danger, with the deceptively easy win going to the hosts.

The result, along with Thursday's loss, drops RoPS down to eighth place, with their next chance coming on Thursday evening when they visit MyPa.

IFK Mariehamn 0 - 1 Turku PS

Josh Wicks watched from the bench wile Mason Trafford saw the final 30 minutes of action as a second-half substitute, as Mariehamn dropped points on Monday night in a home loss to Turku PS.

Mariehamn's Giuseppe Funicello was not selected for the squad and watched from the stands.

The game saw few chances by either team, with neither able to fully find their footing in the 90 minutes.

It couldn't be taken as a surprise that the only score of the game came from a dead-ball situation, with Toni Kolehmainen knocking a 22-yard free kick low and around the wall just inside the right post for the 24th minute lead to TPS

Trafford entered in the 62nd minute for the injured defender Fernando de Abreu, and will likely see more playing time in the near future as the Brazilian is believed to have suffered a broken arm.

Mariehamn's best chances throughout the second half came from corner kicks by Petteri Forsell, with the team ultimately coming away on the losing end.

The second loss of the busy weekend drops Mariehamn from first to fourth, with their next matchup coming on Thursday afternoon when they visit KuPS.

Porin Palloilijat 0 - 2 AC Oulu

Jeremy Vuolo started and played the full 90 minutes in AC Oulu's goal on Sunday afternoon, notching up his first shut-out of the season as the team came away 2-0 winners on their trip to Porin Palloilijat.

PoPa came out of the gates on the offensive, and kept the pressure on for the first half-hour in what would ultimately be a scoreless first half.

Oulu then turned the advantage their way for most of the second, taking the lead in the 52nd minute as an angled shot from Mika Nurmela went through the PoPa keeper's hands on its way into the net.

They needed just two minutes to double it and put the game effectively out of reach, this time with Tuure Siira sending Dritan Tani Stafsula through on goal with a fine pass, which the Albanian took and shot around the keeper for 2-0.

The win lifts Oulu to fifth in the league, despite having played one game less than most of the other teams in the league. They face their first tough challenge of the season on Saturday when the host leaders Lahti.


Mason Trafford watched from the bench while Josh Wicks and Giuseppe Funicello were not in Mariehamn's lineup on Friday night for their 2-0 loss at FC Haka.

Daniel Stevens and Kemi Kings had the weekend off due to Ykkönen scheduling, and will next take the field on Saturday when the team visits HIFK.