A look back at what’s been making the headlines in Finnish football over the course of the past week or so.
Inter make perfect start in Veikkausliiga
2011 Veikkausliiga runners-up Inter romped to a 0-5 victory at Lahti on Sunday to keep up their 100% record in 2012 and inflict Lahti’s first home defeat in three matches since their promotion to the top division. After opening a two-goal lead inside the first half an hour, Inter looked comfortable for the whole match and scored three more in the last fifteen minutes. Meanwhile, reigning champions HJK slipped to their second defeat of the season by conceding a goal in the second minute of injury time to MyPa. They’re now three points behind league leaders Inter in fifth place, having played one game fewer. It’s still very early in the season, of course, but they must be worried about the points they have dropped already. Joel Pohjanpalo, who scored a hat-trick in their opening match, hasn’t found the net since and has been substituted twice. Elsewhere, Senegalese forward Papa Niang converted a last-minute penalty to give Jaro a 1-0 victory over KuPS to give them their first win of the season. TPS beat Haka 2-0, with Aleksi Ristola scoring in his third consecutive Veikkausliiga match. The weekend’s other result was Mariehamn 0-0 Honka, and JJK lost 0-2 to VPS on Monday evening, which moved the visitors up to fourth in the league.
Hyypiä unbeaten in five at Leverkusen
Sami Hyypiä’s fledgling managerial career has got off to a flying start. Having taken over a team who had just lost five matches in a row, he and his co-caretaker Sascha Lewandowski have turned their fortunes around so dramatically that they are now unbeaten in five matches. In that time they have secured three wins and two draws, with their latest victory, which came against Hannover 96, guaranteeing them European football next season in the Europa League. Hannover had been one of their rivals for a top six place in the Bundesliga going into that match, which makes the victory all the more impressive. Hyypiä has been strongly tipped to take over as full-time manager at the club, but he is keeping his options open, saying “I’m not convinced this career is for me”. He could choose to go back to the lower profile role of a coach, but he will have done his reputation no harm at all in the meantime.
Finland’s match against Turkey to be televised
Finland’s upcoming friendly international against Turkey, due to be played on the 26th of May in Salzburg, Austria, will be broadcast in Finland on the national broadcaster YLE, it has been announced. That might not seem like news, but the showing of friendly matches always seems to be in the balance with Finland, particularly when it comes to away fixtures. Further complicating the matter in this case is that the match is not happening on a designated FIFA match day, which means that some first-choice players will not be available to the teams. That is more likely to affect Finland than Turkey, whose league will have finished by then. The Veikkausliiga is played from April to October.
Source: Finnish Football Association (in Finnish)