Kakkonen News

I went to see HIFK against FC Kontu last week. It was HIFK’s first game of the season, their first game back in Kakkonen and was expected to draw a big crowd. I can’t find a number, but it was definitely big for Kakkonen. Unfortunately, Helsinki parks department has decreed that football cannot be played on grass pitches in Helsinki until the 1st of June, and so instead of being played at Bollis, the game took place at Finnair Stadium. Stadin Kingit did their best, but unfortunately the atmosphere wasn’t as good as it would have been at the smaller arena.

HIFK had a tough time of it, as Kontu gave as good as they got and went 1-0 up before Alimany Jamoah got the equaliser. HIFK pressed, but couldn’t find the winner, and it does look like they will find it difficult to lead from the front this year. They also drew last night, 1-1 with HyPS, and are rooted in mid-table four points adrift of the leaders.

Otto Puranen

This is Otto Puranen, who despite his slight paunch posed plenty of problems for the HIFK defenders. He made up for his lack of pace with a few wily tricks, and more than held his own. In the HIFK line-up, defender Ojembe Olatuga showed his class on a few occasions, but took a couple of risks he maybe shouldn’t have done. He’s pacy, skillful and strong though, and too good for Kakkonen. 20 years old, he signed for HIFK from Atlantis, and clearly has the potential to play at a much higher level. Likewise Alimany Jalloah can go on to greater things, but I guess the reason both players are where they are is a lack of concentration and consistency.

Yesterday I was at Tammela for PP70-FJK. PP seem to be going for promotion, and outclassed a young Forssa side. FJK are still to score a goal this season, and it already looks like a long hard struggle for them to stay in Kakkonen. Thankfully Joni Lehtonen (and his beard) are still playing for PP70, although I failed to get any good photos of him. PP won 2-0 and look to be battling with Pallo-Iirot for promotion.

PP70 v FJK

Most of the PP players seemed to be taller than their Forssa counterparts, who were very young for a senior team. This is Jani Nyblom for PP (in red) and Kalle Kuivalainen. Kuivalainen was a very niggly player, slapping PP right back Markku Hokkanen in the face at one point, but he provided the main threat for Forssa in the first half.

PP70 v FJK

The Forssa keeper Toni Virtanen was very loud, though. Kept going throughout the game, chivvying and encouraging his team mates. I hope he can keep that up through what might well be a long, hard season for him.

PP70 v FJK

In other Kakkonen news, Norvalla FF beat TUS 10-0, with the last goal being scored by goalkeeper Mattias Kullbäck from a penalty. Norvalla are coached by Liverpool’s Finnish scout Tor Sparv, so we can assume they have a very good youth system. Tomas Nygård got four goals, and Oleksandr Androschuk got a hat trick. It’s hard to tell what went on there, as TUS might have turned up without a goalkeeper or something ridiculous like that, but I’ll try and keep an eye on NFF for the rest of the season.

Incidentally, Tor’s lad Tim Sparv is currently on loan from Halmstad to VPS, as he recuperates from a debilitating illness and recovers some match fitness.

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