DAVID SMITH - Tuesday, May 31, 2011
It was a rough weekend for Americans in Finland, as all suffered losses to lose place in the standings.
Vaasa PS 1 - 0 IFK Mariehamn
Mason Trafford lined up in Mariehamn's central defense for the full 90 minutes, but was unable to help his team avoid a narrow 1-0 loss on their trip to Vaasa PS on Sunday.
Neither Josh Wicks nor Giuseppe Funicello made it off of the substitute's bench during the game.
Rainy weather saw a largely sloppy game dominated by the hosts, with VPS needing only 15 minutes to net the go-ahead - and ultimately winning - goal.
A corner by VPS found its way to Aleksandr Kokko at the near post, and he redirected the ball over the line past the reach of outstretched Mariehamn keeper Gustav Långbacka.
VPS continued to be the more dangerous of the two teams during the second half, and were unlucky to not increase their lead due to the fine play of Långbacka.
The loss drops Mariehamn down to sixth in the standings, with their next chance at redemption coming on Friday, June 10 when they begin a run of four games in nine days against JJ Jaro.
PS Kemi Kings 1 - 3 FC Hämeenlinna
Daniel Stevens netted his second goal of the season to momentarily put Kemi Kings ahead, however their visitors FC Hämeenlinna immediately stormed back to win a game dominated by first-half play.
Stevens continued his fine attacking work from one week before, netting the opening goal for Kemi in the 19th minute, when he collected the ball at the edge of the penalty area, rounded one defender and placed his low shot just inside the upright.
The lead was short-lived, with quickly putting the game out of reach with a run of three goals over an 11-minute span of time.
Aapo Lappalainen equalized for Hämeenlinna in the 22nd minute after being set up by Jere Suomalainen, then the team took the lead five minutes later when Daut Kuqi set up Mikko Kalervo for 2-1.
Kalervo added a third for the visitors in the 33rd minute, and Hämeenlinna dominated for the rest of the proceedings, albeit without any further goals to show for their work.
The result drops Stevens and his compatriots into the relegation zone, with their next game a tough road trip to joint-first-place FC Lahti on Thursday.
FC KooTeePee Kotka 2 - 0 AC Oulu
Jeremy Vuolo played the full 90 minutes in goal for AC Oulu, as they were beaten by FC KooTeePee Kotka on Sunday.
Kotka needed only ten minutes to jump into the lead, after Niko Ikävalko was played in on goal, and beat Vuolo for 1-0.
Oulu stayed in the game, and was prevented from equalizing during the second half on several occasions by Kotka keeper Oskari Forsman, and saw their fate sealed in the final seconds.
A quick counter as Oulu pushed everything forward allowed Riku Venäläinen to slip in behind the defense and put the ball away for the final 2-0 scoreline.
The loss sees Oulu drop to sixth place, with their next game on Thursday when they pay FC Hämeenlinna a visit.
RoPS suffered on Monday evening without suspended central defender Etchu Tabe, gifting a pair of own-goals to their hosts Haka on their way to a 2-0 shut-out loss.