Europe: Levadia and Flora draw Tallinn Derby; Baltic Leagues Round-Up
The Estonian Meistriliiga saw a heavyweight contest at the top of the table with old foes Levadia and FC Flora fighting it out in the Tallinn Derby. The gap between the two clubs was six points before the match with FC Flora, in second place, having played three games fewer than their opponents who have won the league in each of the last four seasons. The game started well with an early goal for Levadia’s Konstantin Nahk who put the home side ahead after six minutes and the game would stay like that until midway through the second half when Flora’s Henri Anier restored parity and bring the hosts level. Tarmo Neemelo looked to have won the game for Levadia after his goal thirteen minutes from time regained the lead for the champions but Flora saved their title dreams when Sander Post equalised in stoppage time to give the visitors a share of the points. Third place Trans Narva FC’s 2-0 win over Tulevik Vijandi FC took them level on points with Flora but they have also played three games more than the capital side so Flora may fancy their chances of catching up to Levadia in the table.
In neighbouring Latvia there were wins for the big three this weekend as Liepājas Metalurgs, FK Ventspils and Skonto Riga all predictably won their games to keep things as you were in the Virsliga. Champions Metalurgs won 4-0 at home to FK Jauniba Riga with Croatian defender Jurica Puljiz scoring a brace whilst arch rivals FK Ventspils remained on top of the table after a 2-0 victory against FK Tranzits in the derby of Ventspils. Skonto Riga went behind to an early Lasa Gongadze strike in the twelfth minute before Alexandr Starkovs’ men came back to rout local rivals Olimps/RFS by six goals to one with Brazilian Nathan Junior keeping up his goal form scoring a brace. FK Ventspils have 34 points from 13 matches but Skonto have a game in hand and are only three points behind. Liepājas Metalurgs have 27 points from 13 games and have some way to go if they are to defend their championship title.
FK Ekranas still continue to lead the way in Lithuania’s A-Lyga but they had Dominykas Galkevicius to thank for maintaining their five point lead at the top of the standings after they beat FK Atletas Kaunas by a solitary goal to nil. Žalgiris Vilnius are hanging on their coat tails after dispatching of FK Mažeikiai by six goals to nil thanks mainly to the contribution of Artūras Jeršovas who scored four times. FK Ekranas have 41 points from 16 games with Žalgiris on 36 having played a game more whilst in third place lie FK Sūduva Marijampole who could only draw 0-0 away at FK Šiauliai at the weekend and have 33 points from 16 matches.