Veikkausliiga Game week 21 was played between Thursday 26 and Monday 30 July. The biggest winners were Ilves, HJK and FC Inter.
TPS 1-3 Ilves
Ilves was the biggest winner of the round as they earned a 1-3 away win against TPS on Monday which moved them back into the Top-6 ahead of KuPS. This win was extra sweet as all of their main competitors, RoPS (L), VPS (D), Honka (L), Lahti (D) and KuPS (L) dropped points. Ilves is now only 4 points behind the Euro Cup places and with a game in hand. One really positive note on Ilves´games is that they have rotated their players after the Europa League match against Slavia Sofia and they have played with a lot of youngters. In the TPS match, their oldest player on the field (Not the GK) was 23 year old Tuure Siira. Also Marius Noubissi has finally started to hit the net on a more consistent basis. He has now scored 12 goals for Ilves this season. 9 in the Veikkausliiga, two in the Finnish Cup and one in the Europa League.
FC Honka 1-2 HJK
HJK got a big win against their city rivals in an important derby match despite playing with many younger players as they are focused on the Champions League match against BATE Borisov on Wednesday. At the same time 2nd placed RoPS lost at home so HJK´s lead at the top is now 10 points.
RoPS 0-1 FC Inter
FC Inter got their third win in a row for the first time since October 2013. The addition of Kari Virtanen to their coaching staff seems to pay dividend as their defense is now very solid. RoPS did have several chances in the first half in particular, but FC Inter seems to have the luck on their side as well. Virtanen helped IFK Mariehamn to have one of the best defenses in the league two years ago and that gave them the title. Inter won´t challenge for the title this year but if they continue like this, they should definitely finish in the Top-6.
PS Kemi 3-2 KuPS
KuPS played really well against FC Copenhagen, but their form is now slipping. Their defense makes constantly big errors which lead into goals. Against PS Kemi, they gave away a goal from a set piece, from a defensive error and scored one of the most ridiculous own goals ever. They have only earned 5 points from their last seven games and the Euro Cup places are slipping away. For Kemi this was a big win which will give them confidence in their battle for survival.
We could have considerd TPS as a loser also but they were playing without both of their main central defenders and their main defensive midfielder so when they get them back, the performance will be better.
Game week 22
Fri 3/8 20:00 SJK vs VPS
Sat 4/8 17:00 HJK vs RoPS
Sat 4/8 17:00 FC Inter vs IFK Mariehamn
Sun 5/8 17:00 KuPS vs TPS
Sun 5/8 17:00 Ilves vs FC Honka
Sun 5/8 17:00 FC Lahti vs PS Kemi