Watch the match from YLE’s stream here(click the link)
Full time: Inter win the league, and Mika Mäkitalo does a tremendous sliding tackle on Stefan Håkans, Inter owner who always stands next to the bench. Celebrations in full swing now, I need that hot rum to warm my frozen fingers….
88 mins: Ojala tried twice to throw his shirt into the crowd, and failed, swinging it behind him onto the pitch. People are celebrating now, with the people behind me banging their tables and pint glasses. I’m going to get myself a drink.
87 mins: Timo Furuholm is about to come on, after warming up for the entire second half. He celebrated the goal wwell, maybe that’s what persuaded Dragtsma to bring him on. Ojala to come off.
85 mins: Abramovic cuts in from the left, and scores in the bottom left corner with his right foot. Cool finish, and it looks to be all over now, surely?
82 mins: Inter are still looking for the clincher, and Ojala floats in a free kick that just whistles over the top.
77 mins: portin is booked for a late challenge on Chatto, and Ojala blasts the free kick out of the ground. Inter are getting stretched at times by jaro. At the moment Hooiveld and Corpache are coping well, but it only takes one clearance into a puddle for Jaro to get a chance, and they are well capable of taking it.
74 mins: Roiko misses the target from ten yards out. Grot gets the ball in space down the other end but his shot is then deflected for a corner.
72 mins: My fingers are falling off here, it’s freezing. Might have to go get a hot rum. Lahti are now leading HJK 1-0 in Helsinki, which would mean they finish third and push HJk out of the european places.
68 mins: Mannström limps off, but he will surely stay on and stand still rather then reduce his side to ten men. Ojala puts in a good shot but it’s straight at the keeper. Inter need another goal before they can really relax here.
62 mins: It’s not so much a swamp now, as an extension of the Baltic sea. Hyyrynen decks it and water sprays everywhere. It’s not football, it’s a slid tackle contest.
61 mins: Another correction, Roiko came on for Koivisto, and the new keeper is Koljander. WLAN is playing up a bit now too, so updates might become more sporadic.
59 mins: Correction, it was Mäkitalo who slid into Karnio, not Ojala.
57 mins: And Karnio no comes off for Roiko. It was always going to happen, lets just hope he’s not seriously injured.
55 mins: Jaro fans don’t often sing in Finnish, but they prefer to let the referee know in his own language (rather than Swedish) that he should give a red card when Ojala goes in hard on the keeper Karnio. Bantamoi has changed into a nice clean shirt at half time, the prima donna. Substitution for Jaro, Tuomanen off for Kosela.
52 mins: Grot plays in Mäkitalo, who overruns the ball for the first time in the game. Hyyrynen grins a bit when he’s heckled from the stands, but I don’t think he is fooled by the advice that ‘the goal is in the corner’.
50 mins: It’s 2-2 in Mariehamn – this one ain’t over yet.
48 mins: Karnio is quick out of his goal to take the ball off Ojala’s toes, but Inter waste the throw in.
Finnish people really don’t know how to behave in crowds. If you bump into someone, you should say *something* – it doesn’t have to be ‘sorry’, but some acknowledgement that you didn’t intend to barge them out of the way is only polite. I am always saying ‘anteeksi’ at big matches, and no other fucker does…. The teams are back out and we’re about to get underway. I expect Furuholm to come on for Grot soon.
Half time: Good performance from both teams, in the circumstances. I’m still amazed that the game is taking place, and would not like the championship to turn on the ball stopping dead in a puddle, but Inter seem to be doing the job so far.
44 mins: Anbramovic is showing good strength in neotiating the swamp outside the box, but his shot after a one-on-one is saved. Inter will be glad to attack the other, less marsh-like half after the break.
42 mins: Paajanen turns his man, but can only chip his cross-shot over the bar. It is still absolutely pissing it down.
38 mins: This really is utterly ridiculous. Grot wins the ball in a puddle-based scrum, goes forward, but slips and falls on the edge of the D. Mannström then has a shot from the corner of Inter’s box, forcing a brilliant save from Bantamoi, and from the resulting corner Inter clear off the line.
36 mins: IFK go 2-1 up in Mariehamn!
34 mins: Ojala goes down clutching his right knee after a heavy challenge, but no booking is given. Paajanen does the same, and Chatto has also been kicked a bit.
31 mins: Jaro seem to be making a better fist of playing in these conditions, with Seba Manströmm in particular causing problems down the left. Bantamoi is is usual eccentric self, with sometimes erratic distribution combining with great saves.
21 mins: Jaro are having a good little spell, aided by the difficulty Inter are having clearing the ball along the ground. Grot demonstrates this with a move that breaks down when the ball stops dead in a puddle, as the announcer lets everyone know that Honka have equalised.
20 mins: I think so, ralf, yes, but I will check and report back.
15 mins: The referee seems to bottle a penalty decision as Ojala gets fouled in the box, giving a free kick right on the edge instead. Ojala leathers it in, and it skids out for a corner. It’s still pissing it down, and I would like to reiterate my concern that one of these players (including some of Finland’s brightest young talents, on both sides), might get injured because the referee decided to play in unsafe conditions. It’s not football, and I’ve seen games on better pitches postponed, as had coaches from Inter and Jaro before the game.
12 mins: IFK go 1-0 up against Honka.
8 mins: MyPa lead TamU 1-0 with a goal from Neemelo. Abramovic seems unsure what to do with the ball down the left, but eventually wins a corner. ojala to take, but it is eventually cleared by Hyyrynen.
6 mins: Goal for Inter! paajanen heads in from Ojala’s cross.
4 mins: Hyyrynen beats Sanevuori and fizzes the ball across goal, but there’s nobody there. It’s impossible to pass the ball out of defence, so hoofing it will be necessary.
1 min: This is farcical. Players are slipping and sliding all over the place, and the ball just does not move along the ground. If anyone gets an injury today, the referee of the year might face a lawsuit.
16:00: We’re ready to kick off, but the referee is waiting for a signal from YLE that the shipping forecast (or something) has finished. And they’re off. Inter kick left to right as the ball skids out of play in the corner with Ojala chasing.
15:59: The pre-match presentations include an anti-racism demonstration and awards for Ojala, Hooiveld, Bantamoi and Chatto. Inter really should win the title this year, given how well they’ve played up to now. As the Inter team has a photo taken the photographer – who looks like a fisherman lost in a storm – makes them turn round so they’re not in front of the Olympic Stand.
15:58: Here in Turku the players are entering the field, while there is momentous news from Åland – Aleksandr Kokko starts on the bench for Honka, leaving the field clear for Henri Myntti to take this year’s golden boot…
15:55: The Veikkausliiga anthem starts up, and the weird looking Inter mascot is waiting for the teams to come out. There is a decent crowd standing behind the goal to my left, and a great turnout from Jaro in the Olympic Stand. It takes some dedication to turn out for a game like this, as you’re very likely to get piss wet through, and I hope the numerous children behind that goal are not put off Veikkausliiga football for life.
15:50: There seem to be big queues at the ticket office, but they are unlikely to delay the start to ensure everyone gets in. The Olympic Stand looks about one third full, and for some reason the dugouts are on the near side – Inter have had them on the opposite side every other time I’ve been here. It looks a bit weird…
15:30: It’s still raining here. I’m thinking it could be very embarrassing if the title is decided by the ball stopping in a puddle in the penalty area, or the referee has to call it off halfway through. The Inter team are warming up in the wetter half of the pitch, and occasionally kicking at the puddles, and they seem to be acclimatising to the conditions. The Inter fans shouted something about ‘bad pitches’ when they came in, but have since settled down and sung a few more positive songs….
The teams are in:
Inter Turku: Bantamoi, Aho, Sanevuori, Corpache, Hooiveld, Chatto, Mäkitalo, Ojala, Paajanen, Abramovic, Grot.
FF Jaro: karnio, Storbacka, Kullström, Tuomanen, Matrone, Koivisto, Laurikainen, Simpson, Hyyrynen, Mannström, Jonas Portin.
15:00: When I had my first look at the pitch today, I didn’t actually walk on it, just dipped my toe into a puddle from the running track round the edge. Job Dragtsma wanted to make sure I saw just how crap it was though, and led me back out to show the huge areas covered in standing water. He’s been pacing around on and off ever since then, and just now showed Jos Hooiveld some areas at the ice rink end that he should be particularly wary of.
Everyone says it will be difficult to play football on this, indeed Inter people are saying that ‘it won’t be football’, and it was amusing to see the officials trying to find an area where the ball would roll rather than stopping dead during the pitch inspection. I’m not sure quite what would be necessary to get the game postponed, but it will certainly be a memorable occasion.
14:25: Pitch inspection completed, the game will be played. The standing water will be brushed off the pitch and they will cross their fingers it stops raining. Inter coaching staff are not too happy with the decision.
14:00: I just arrived at the ground, and the pitch looks a state. There is standing water, and the referee is about to make a pitch inspection.