I went to Tammela yesterday to see PP70 vs FC Lahti. Nobody was expecting much from PP70, as they were missing a few players. They are Tampere United’s farm club, and as such their goalkeeper Mika Hilander and strikers Jonne Hjelm and Miki Sipilainen didn’t play due to the rules on players ending up cup tied. TamU were up in Joensuu handing out a drubbing to poor Jippo who apparently had some problems accommodating the bumper crowd that turned up. There’s not much else to do in Joensuu.
Anyway, PP started the game under pressure, and their players looked to be intimidated by the Lahti fans. It was a decent turnout from them, with 50 odd making the trip. PP70 are definitely not used to big crowds and singing fans though, and their nervousness showed with some shaky defending. They broke clear on 17 minutes and Kotilahti finished calmly. Everyone was shocked, frankly.
The Lahti fans have an annoying habit of grunting, much like Leeds fans do when they get a corner. To me this indicates a large section of their support has a low IQ, but anyway. The noise was quite impressive and they have a good array of songs. They kept singing throughout the first half even though their team played very badly.
At half time Muurinen, the Lahti coach, brought on Eerola. A big impact substitute, he scored very quickly and after that Lahti controlled the game. I take back what I said about Berat Sadik, he wasn’t that impressive. Having said that, this wasn’t the ideal match in which to evaluate him as the entire Lahti team seemed to be taking it easy.
Still, the game showed what Tammela is like. It was a very small crowd, but a good atmosphere made it one of the better games I’ve seen this year.
In other news, JJK beat MyPa but apart from that everything went according to plan. They got a big crowd at Harjustadion, 3,378. Looks like the people of Jyväskylä are starting to get excited about their team.
Including HIFK soccer, the football division of one of the biggest teams in Finnish ice hockey, who lost 2-0 to FC Inter. They have a small group of very committed fans, letting off flares and generally acting like ultras even though their team plays in kolmonen, the fourth tier of Finnish football.
You can find the full results here.