HJK bounce back
After losing 2-1 against bottom-of-the-table Oulu, HJK Helsinki responded with a comfortable 2-0 victory against Haka at the weekend.
🔵⚪️ FT: HJK vs HAKA 2-0
⚽ 2′ Jair Silva 1-0
⚽ 27′ Valenčič 2-0
Seuraava matsi: HJK vs Malmö, ti 27.7. klo 19:00
— HJK Helsinki (@hjkhelsinki) July 24, 2021
Things got off to a perfect start for the hosts when Jair curled a shot into the top corner in the second minute.
Midway through the first half, it was 2-0. Riku Riski won the ball back on the right-hand side and fed Filip Valenčič, who rifled a shot into the roof of the net from a tight angle.
It was his fifth league goal of the season,
What does it mean?
HJK eased to victory, winning their 11th game of the season and maintaining their unbeaten home record this season.
Haka were beaten for the eighth time this season and are third-bottom with nine points.
KuPS continue fine form
KuPS edged past Ilves to win their seventh successive game and stay within six points of HJK at the top.
Anton Popovitch scored the only goal of the game in the 34th minute to consign Ilves to back-to-back league defeats.
Oulu beaten in see-saw game
After last week’s joy against HJK, it was back to a familar feeling of disappointment for Oulu who were beaten 3-2 by SJK in a thrilling game.
SJK nousi voitolla kolmanneksi Veikkausliigassa
— SJK Seinäjoki (@SJK_Seinajoki) July 24, 2021
SJK went ahead after five minutes through a header by Nikko Boxall after he was left unmarked in the box.
It should have been 2-0 soon after when Denys Oliynyk was presented with a huge opportunity with just the goalkeeper to beat but he fired wide.
Lucky Opara then should have equalised for Oulu but he skewed his shot wide with the goal gaping.
In the second half, SJK again went close when a goalmouth scramble ended in the post being struck but Oulu survived.
The game looked dead when Boxall got his second, heading in once more, this from Oliynyk’s cross.
However, last week’s shock win against HJK was enough to prove that you shouldn’t write off Jyrki Ahola’s side.
A stunning through ball from Magnus Breitenmoser with his outside of his foot set up Niklas Jokelainen, who laid the ball across for Usman Sale to run onto and score.
Eight minutes later, after the hosts failed to clear, Lucky Opara pounced and directed a header into the corner, beyond the reach of goalkeeper Jesse Öst to level things up at 2-2.
But all was in vain for Oulu, who were hit with a suckerpunch just two minutes later when Daniel Håkans scored with a stunning dipping strike to put SJK back in the lead.
There was still time for Oulu to create chances and come close to forcing an equaliser but they were denied by Öst, who was in fine form.
What does it mean?
Oulu were beaten for the tenth time this season and are rock-bottom but can take encouragement from their improvement in performance. SJK have won seven of 13 games and remain fifth.