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Stadion: Tapiolan Urheilupuisto
Land: Finnland
Zuseher: 5061
Datum: 06.08.2006
Spielbeginn: 18:30
Ergebnis: 0:1 (0:0)
Eingetragen von: baseline

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Tough times ahead.....
FC Honka were promoted this year to the “Veikkausliiga” and had won all their seven home games this season.  Coached by former international Mika Lehkosuo they’d taken number one position in the league after playing 14 matches out of 24.  No wonder “baseline” decided to visit Espoo to see FC Honka play against TPS from Turku, who were struggling in the mid group of the league.

Espoo, with its neighbours Helsinki and Vantaa, has grown rapidly becoming the second largest city in Finland.  It is a different kind of city. There is no clear centre in the city.  Its 215,000 inhabitants live sparsely and near nature.

To avoid getting caught in long lines by the ticket counters,  “baseline” decided to buy an e-ticket this time.  The print was presented at the gate but caused some confusion.  Showing it at the counter did not help much. Baseline was advised to go to a second counter by the main gate and look for a girl with black hair…. This new acquaintance was worth all the trouble. The number and name was found on a list and the print was exchanged for a generic ticket with a friendly comment that this would be the right way to buy a ticket.

Seats were not numbered. Baseline decided to sit in the shadow considering the very warm day with full sunshine and 27 C. A good advice would be to get to the arena on time. All seats were occupied and lots of fans remained standing during the match. For the games against the top teams HJK and Tampere United in October, 4900 tickets will be put out for sale. That would be close to the seat capacity of the arena but as the day proved, more people are let in.

This sunny Sunday was definitively not the day of the home team.  TPS had done their homework well.  All openings by the home team were stopped at an early stage.  The midfield of TPS were able to cut cross balls effectively and the active input by the defenders made it difficult for Honka to push forward.  This resulted very often in the ball being played carelessly.  It took 15 minutes before the first scoring opportunity came up.  Number 10,  Ady of TPS, shot a 20 m strike against keeper Tuomas Peltonen, who managed to catch it easily. TPS were definitively the stronger team during the first half, that ended 0-0.

After 6 minutes into the second half, TPS scored.  Sami Rähmönen, from right back position, released Mikko Hyyrynen with a direct pass who tapped in the ball behind keeper Tuomas Peltonen.  The local supporters longed for an equalizer but the keeper of TPS, Ville Iskola, was not to be taken by surprise.
The referee Tero Nieminen handed out 6 yellow cards (FC Honka 2 and TPS 4).

With 9 more games to go  Honka is still number one but closely followed by Tampere, HJK and FC Haka. Hopefully FC Honka will find the good spirit again or else there will be tough times ahead.

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