Ilves 6-3 GFT (Ilves lead Series Finals 2-0)
Ladies and gentleman, I give to you Still your reigning, defending, Futsal Champions of Finland, Ilves.
To have a 2-0 lead in a best of 5 series where the opponents have the home advantage is a superb achievement, we are just one more win from retaining our championship title. Everybody said that KaDy would win this with ease after their runaway dominance in the regular season, but we are the Play-Off experts, and dumped them out in the semi-finals without conceding a goal. KaDy won the bronze medal game on Saturday by defeating Sievi 8-4.
So to our match then, a strong home support filled out Spiral-Halli for game 2 of the series and only had to wait 3 minutes before the opening goal, Jaakko Laitinen holding off three GFT players before laying the ball off to an on-rushing Petri Grönholm who drilled the ball through the legs of the goalie, the perfect start. Soon after we scored again, 5.25 Valtteri Similä beating a defender and from outside of the box curled the ball so well that it didn’t hit the back of the net, but beat the keeper to curve just inside the post, beautiful solo goal.
At this point Ilves were totally in control, and at 10.29 of the first half we scored from a well worked corner, Simo Martiskainen with great vision crossing it in for Jaakko Laitinen to run infront of the keeper and just deflect it behind him from a meter out, 3-0 up already and you just can’t see GFT getting back into this game… but they did. The second half was just one minute in before GFT scored straight from a corner, the Ilves defence didn’t look ready and Autio’s pass to the unmarked Henrik Henriksson (his parents didn’t have much imagination) who unchallenged, slotted it into the bottom corner, 3-1.
Myself and Ipalandi were both commenting at half time about how Ilves had only conceded one goal in the last 3.5 games of Play-Off futsal, well that was ironic as just 34 seconds after the first GFT goal, they scored again, Lumivaara running down the win to pull it back for Lasse Lind to power it in, 3-2 and the crowd are not as confident as in the first half and neither was I. GFT tied the game up at 3-3 a few minutes later, once again from a corner and once again poor Ilves defending, the corner was passed out to Henriksson who was again unmarked as he shot from far out, his shot this time was saved, but the rebound fell perfectly to Lumivaara who scored with ease.
We got lucky and due to a terrible pass from a GFT defender, Juhana Jyrkiäinen pounced on the loose ball to score, a terrible goal to lose for GFT but a huge relief for us to score, the time was 26.13, still a lot of time left for things to change though. There wasn’t another goal until GFT were forced to take their keeper off for the extra attacker, but that didn’t work out well for them as Juha-Pekka Torvinen scored from his own penalty area into the empty net, 5-3 with less than one and a half minutes on the clock. GFT had no choice but to keep their goalie on the bench and push for a miracle, but just seconds after the restart Ilves scored again, Majamaa setting up Timur Inapshba for the easiest of goals into the empty net, 6-3 the final score.
Get your tickets and travel to what will hopefully be the Championship decider, 25 € for bus and game ticket package, this saturday from Tampere Linja-autoasema. All details on the ilves site here http://www.ilvesfs.fi/uutinen.php?id=485 or via their facebook or twitter page, it’s not a game to be missed.