Saturday can be a big day for VPS. A late EIF penalty goal in Turku further complicates TPS’s end of season, at the same time as Vasalaget ends the Division 1 season with two match points.
Even a week ago, everything looked very bright for TPS. But after two really dark autumn evenings at home at Kuppis, there are not as cheerful faces among the black and white stripes.
Last Friday, they lost first place in Ettan after a home loss against VPS, tonight in the penultimate round against Ekenäs IF, TPS missed the chance to secure a qualifying place and put pressure on Vasalaget in the battle for a direct place upwards.
– It was a messy match, especially at the end it was Hawaiian football from one end to the other and back, TPS defender Rasmus Holma is angry for Ruutu after the home cross.
EIF started quite briskly in the autumn rush, but TPS woke up gradually. The first half was still anything but crackling – instead, the audience got a dose of drama in the second half.
The joy of home was great after just over an hour of play. TPS tested his luck on a corner and captain Holma was in the right place. The midfielder got his forehead on the ball at the back post behind EIF goalkeeper Mehdi El Moutacim and the hosts had scored an important lead goal.
– It’s a shame that they nod in a corner from the back post, even though we trained on just that. Our defensive game in our own penalty area can be better, thinks EIF’s Xhevdet Gela.
“Can not be satisfied”
1-0 for the home team was not unfair. Before Holma, winger Serge Atakayi had swamped a magnificent position, and a while after the opening goal, Kasper Hämäläinen got a long shot that looked like caressing the outer post.
With just over ten minutes left, the guests created chaos in the TPS penalty area. This led to the home defender Juhani Pikkarainen stamping the EIF Swede André Österholm and the referee Mikko Leino pointed to the penalty spot.
Österholm, recruited from Allsvenskan Sirius before the season, was safe from eleven meters when goalkeeper Jere Koponen also jumped in the wrong direction.
– We continued to fight and tackled and toiled for 90 minutes. We can be proud of our attitude, says Gela who thinks it was fair with a draw.
The EIF is in fifth place right now and cannot reach higher. For TPS, today’s loss of points may have been critical in view of the series victory.
– You can not be happy with the result, especially considering that we were in the lead. We knew it would not be easy, but in the lead position we should have been able to calm down the game, both with and without the ball, Holma sighs.
The company is still one point behind VPS after today’s cross. Vasalaget plays its penultimate match in this year’s division 1 on Saturday, away against Gnistan, and can secure a promotion with a victory even then.
In addition, TPS is shaded by RoPS. The Rovaniemi team is five sticks behind, but has played one game less. In the final round, TPS travels to Rovaniemi.