Haka win ‘classico’

TamU 1 Honka 2

IFK 0 Lahti 1

VPS 1 RoPS 0

HJK 1 Haka 2

KuPS 2 FF Jaro 0

Click score for highlights

Today’s Hufvudstadsbladet says that Mikko Manninen would be hailed to the skies if he was playing in the Helsinki area or in Turku. Of course he would, he’s a smashing player and, these days, much more important to Haka than Popovitch. My prediction was that the ageing Russian would lose the midfield battle, but Haka coach Huttunen cannily avoided that problem by leaving him out of the side altogether. This was ostensibly because of a knee injury, but the confidence a Popovitchless win will give Haka going into their UEFA Cup game in Cork shouldn’t be underestimated. The aviophobic 38 year old will not travel to Ireland.

There was a great finish from Jarno Parikka, and an amusing segue in the highlights film when the cameraman goes from a loud PA system introducing the teams to five fans on each side singing their support. It is not that impressive.

Lahti midfielder Konsta Hietanen scored direct from a corner to keep Lahti in touch with Inter and plunge IFK deeper  into a relegation battle with KuPS, who beat Jaro 2-0 with the help of an excellent goal by Jussi-Pekka Savolainen.

VPS started with Edereho, and he missed some amazing chances in the second half. Thankfully he scored from a corner, and might just keep his place. There was a strange incident at the end of the game when referee Ville Järvenpää gave RoPS a penalty for what seemed like nothing at all. Why do Veikkausliiga referees get these game-changing rushes of blood to the head at the end of matches?

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