That’s all for now. I’ll leave you with the league table. With only two games to go the top four are still only seperated by four points! It’s going to go down to the wire.
18:30 FT HJK 1-1 IFK Mariehamn
The referee blows his whistle to end the game. There wasn’t a clear cut chance at the end of the game for either side, but Mariehamn won’t care. A draw suits them just fine, especially as SJK and Ilves dropped points as well.
HJK will be kicking themselves. They had it in the bag and looked set to go two points clear at the top of the table. They will be especially frustrated with the manner of the goal they conceded, as a defensive mix up left Mariehamn striker Kangaskolkka with an easy tap in.
18:23 FT HJK 1-1 IFK Mariehamn
89′ Morelos is booked for raising his arms when challenging for a cross with goalkeeper Vitala, before remonstrating with the referee. The frustration is showing.
18:19 AS IT STANDS WITH 10 TO GO
SJK and Ilves have both, in the space of two minutes, equalised. They’re now drawing 2-2 and 1-1 respectively.
It leaves the table looking like this, pretty much as it did at the start.
Mariehamn – 55
HJK – 54
SJK – 53
Ilves – 52
83′ How costly could Morelos’ miss be in determining the outcome of this season? The Columbian had already scored one today but he should have made it two when he was one on one. Mariehamn scored their equaliser only a minute later.
78′ GOAL! HJK 1-1 Mariehamn – Aleksei Kangaskolkka
What a huge goal this could be! Carnage in the HJK defence as a long ball is flicked on Orgill. Defender Ville Jalasta and Dahne don’t communicate as Jalasta heads the ball back to his keeper, only to look up and see that he was running out from his line to collect the ball. The error plays in the chasing Kangaskolkka who rolls the ball into the empty net.
18:09 GOAL!!!! 1-1
76′ Chance! That should’ve been it! It should be game over!
Pelvas does well in the middle of the pitch to break free from a challenge. He then releases Morelos down the right. He’s only got the keeper to beat but he shoots wide and into the side netting.
74′ Mariehamn have a throw in on the left of the pitch and pile men into the box. Could a long throw get them back into the game? The ball is launched into the area but cleared only as far as Diego Assis. The Brazilian’s shot, however, is remarkably unbrazilian is sliced well wide.
71′ Substitution for Mariehamn now as American Brian Span is replaced by Swedish midfielder Josef Ibrahim.
68′ With perhaps 25 minutes remaining, the question is; how much do Mariehamn want this? This season present’s the club’s best opportunity to win the league in their 97 year history. At this stage, especially with SJK and Ilves both losing, a draw would be considered a very good result indeed. All they need is a goal, can they find one?
65′ Substitution: HJK’s Nikolai Alho is down and will be unable to carry on. On in his place is 19 year old defender Roni Peiponen.
17:52 AS IT STANDS
There are shock scorelines at the other important games at the top as SJK and Ilves are both losing at home to HIFK and FC Lahti respectively.
This is the new look table as things stand:
HJK – 56pts
Mariehamn – 54 points
SJK – 52 points
Ilves – 51 points
54′ Miss! Pelvas’ header from under the crossbar is put wide! He was under pressure by two defenders, but he should have hit the target there. It was a good move, started by a cross field pass by Tony Kolehmained. His switch found Oudamadi whose cross set up Pelvas’ opportunity.
52′ The home side have appeals for a penalty waved away by the referee after Morelos went down in the box. Not enough contact to merit a foul, for me.
50′ First shot of the half for HJK as Askeli Pelvas fires a left foot shot from outside the box over the bar.
48′ A concern for IFK Mariehamn as Orgill is down and is receiving treatment. He has been his side’s biggest threat thus far.
He seems to be back up, though.
17:36 Kick Off
The sides are out and the second half is underway.
Oh my. I’ve just been watching highlights of the first half and IFK Mariehamn should have had a penalty and should be a man up.
It appears that during the goalmouth scramble in the 30th minute, HJK’s Anthony Annan used his hand to stop the ball rolling to a Mariehamn player. Annan, who was lying on the ground, appears to reach out and literally grab the ball from a Mariehamn player’s foot before a teammate cleared it away.
It might be the most blatant hand ball I’ve ever seen, how did the referee’s miss it?!
17:21 Half Time: HJK 1-0 IFK Mariehamn
Half Time: 1-0
It took a while to get going but my word, what a half of football. We’ve had a shot cleared off the line, a shot that hit the post, an open goal and a point blank save but crucially we have a goal.
It came in the 26th minute as Alfredo Morelos converted from a cross from the right.
41′ Off the post!
Please, slow down! Another chance for Mariehamn. After Orgill’s fiece shot from the edge of the box was pammed away by Dahne, the ball falls to Brazillian Diego Assis on the left side. The midfielder opens his body before curling a shot towards the left right post, it bounces up and strikes the post before rebounding into the gratuful grasp of Dahne.
Let off for HJK, how is this not level?
36′ Off the line!
Mix up in the HJK defence as Orgill is allowed to take a long ball on his chest. The Jamaican then falls to the ground but somehow keeps control of the ball. With Dahne off his line, Orgill flicks it to his left to find Brian Span. It’s an open goal, he must score! But no, Taye Taiwo is on hand to clear his shot off the line!
33′ Another huge chance for HJK. Nmadi Oudamadi, on loan from AC Milan by the way, does well down the left, his excellent cross to the backpost finds Askeli Pelvas who volleys straight at the keeper from close range. Should have scored.
It’s still 1-0, but how? Huge chances at both ends.
Mariehamn are complaining to the referee, they think they’ve scored! A corner from the left is headed on target by, I think a HJK player. It’s well saved by Thomas Danke, but did it cross the line?! A goal-line scramble ensues before HJK boot the ball away but wait, there’s a break on! Its 3 v 2! Alho has the ball on the left and is charging towards goal, he squares it to Morelos for an open goal but no! The pass is behind the Colombian and it runs out for a goal kick. Morelos is furious.
What a waste, what a minute of football!
30′ So as it stands, HJK will leap-frog IFK into 1st place and will be two points clear with as many games remaining. Long way to go yet, though.
26′ GOAL 1-0 HJK
And they’ve been made to pay for it! Columbian striker Alfredo Morales scores his 16th league goal of the season. After getting infront of his defender to meet an excellent cross from the right from captain Sebastian Sorsa, Morelos opens his foot to steer his volley home. It was an excellent finish.
16:59 GOAL 1-0 HJK – MORELOS 26′
25′ Big chance for IFK as a long ball over the top finds Aleksei Kangaskolkea, bit of a mouthful that,. He brings it down superbly before squaring to strike partner Orgill but he can’t keep his shot down.
22′ IFK Mariehamn may be top, but scoring goals hasn’t exactly been a feature of their success this season. IFK have only scored 35 goals in 30 games, only the fifth most in the league this season. However, their defence has made up for that. They’ve only conceded 23 goals this season, the fewest in the league.
HJK are almost the polar opposite. They’ve condeded 34 but scored 48, the most in the league.
16′ Nickolai Alho has had a bright start to the game. Once again the 23 year old cuts in from the right hand side, this time though he keeps his shot down and tests goalkeeper Walter Vitala who turns the ball out for a corner.
IFK Mariehamn clear the resulting set piece, but this is good. The game is coming to life.
14′ First opportunity for Mariehamn’s top scorer Dever Orgill. The Jamaican, who has found the net 12 times in the league this seaosn, finds space 25 yards from goal but drags his shot wide of the left post.
11′ First shot of the game goes to HJK’s Nikolai Alho cuts in from the left before blasting a shot high over the bar.
Hasn’t been the most exciting game so far, I must admit.
8′ It’s been a quiet start to the game so far, which gives me a chance to tell you about how both sides come into the game.
Due to the recent international break, it’s been two weeks since either side has played a game. HJK’s last game was a 2-1 defeat against their rivals HIFK. It capped off what had been an abysmal September for HJK where they played six games, winning two but losing four, including the Finnish cup final on penalties to SJK. Ouch.
IFK Mariehamn, despite being top of the league, were also inconsistent during September. In their past six games they have won twice, drawn twice and lost twice.
4′ HJK in their blue and white striped shirts are attacking from right to left while IFK in the green and white strips are attacking from left to right, the end where HJK’s ultras reside. I can tell you that they’re making quite a noise already.
16:35 KICK OFF
The match is underway at the Sonera Stadium.
The floodlights are on as Finland prepares to enter the winter months.
16:33 Team News
I think I’ve found a stream..
In the meantime however, here are the teams!
HJK make four changes from their 2-1 defeat against rivals HIFK two weeks ago. Into the side comes ex Ac MIlan left back Taye Taiwo as well as Nickolai Alho, Sebastian Sorsa and Toni Kolehmainen.
IFK on the other hand make only two changes from their 3-2 win against PK-35. Midfielders Gabriel Petrovic and Diego Assis come in for Robin Sid and Anthony Daffa.
With that in mind, HJK line up like this.
1. T. Dahne
15. V. Jalasto
27. S. Sorsa
3. Taye Taiwo
13. T. Kolehmainen
22. A. Annan
7. N. Alho
31. A. Pelvas
90. N. Oudamadi
11. A. Morales
Whilst IFK line up like this
Hello and welcome to this afternoon’s live blog of HJK Helsinki and IFK Mariehamn.
For the second consecutive season, the Finnish Veikkauslliga is going down to the wire. With only three games left this season, the top four are seperated by only four points. This afternoon the top two sides, themselves seperated by only a point, will meet in Finland’s capital city Helsinki, with leaders knowing that an away win would crush any hopes HJK had of winning the title.
Mariehanm have never won the Finnish top flight. HJK are Finland’s most successful side, and have won the first division 27 times. This season represents Mariehamn best chance to win the league in their 97 year history.
It’s set to be exciting. This is HJK vs IFK Mariehamn. Welcome to The Veikkauslliga.