Suomen Cup Final Preview

The women’s cup final between Lahti club Kuusysi and HJK Helsinki will be an attacking game, according to Kuusysi coach Jukka Makelä. “The pressure is on HJK, they are the leading cup team in Finland. Challenges are nice and we’ve played the whole season with the attitude that we don’t play for a draw. We know that the game won’t be easy, but at the same time we believe we can win.”

“We tried during the season to change our play a little bit, so that we defended slightly further forward. Th idea is that we attack and try and score goals, and then try to stay together in defence as well. We’re not going to change anything for this game, as it has worked. We trust our own game.”

Kuusysi finished sixth in this year’s Naisten Liiga, whereas HJK came second to runaway champions Honka. The winning margin was 13 points, and this year’s Cup will not provide HJK with a route into Europe unless Honka manage to win the UEFA Women’s Cup, since only one club qualifies for that tournament from each country.

HJK changed coaches in August, after Jarmo Österlund and Maria Virolainen’s stint in charge failed to dislodge Honka from the top of the table, and the new boss is Gary Williams. And Englishman who played for Chelsea’s academy before attaining his UEFA B and C licences and coaching in the USA, Williams was in charge of HJK’s under-15 girls before being handed the top job.

Antti Muurinen’s men will take on Honka three and a half hours after HJK’s women kick-off against Kuusysi. TV coverage of the finals starts on YLE 2 at 14:50 Finnish time, and you can watch a stream of the men’s final at least here.

“We hope that we can continue in the same style we showed against VPS. But that will be harder because now the opponent is much tought,” said Jarno Parikka. We lost third place in the last match against FC Lahti but then we showed what we are made of against VPS.”

Haapala is injured for HJK, but Aho and Mattila might play. Otaru is out for Honka. If the crowd is above 1,500 I will be very surprised, but if you fancy a day out in Töölö there are plenty of tickets available at Finnair Stadium. HJK-Kuusysi starts at 11:30 am, while HJK-Honka kicks off at 15:00.

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4 Responses

  1. Haapala, Aho and Mattila are all suspended.

  2. Really? HBL and HS have differing views on thi, to each other and you. HBL says Mattila and Aho could play, and even quotes Muurinen saying they are fighting for a place in the starting line up. HC says Haapala is suspended (so I’m wrong on that), and Mattila injured. How excitingly mysterious this Finnish Cup business is!

  3. Not really. I got it wrong. You have it correctly on your opening so my mistake. Aho and Mattila were suspended from the VPS game.

  4. pretty shit quality but here’s Zeneli’s 1-0 goal.

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