DAVID SMITH - Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Josh Wicks was in the nets as Mariehamn and RoPS split the points while Daniel Stevens and Kemi suffered yet another multi-goal loss against visiting Viikingit.
RoPS 1 - 1 IFK Mariehamn
Josh Wicks went the distance in Mariehamn's goal on Sunday and Giuseppe Funicello was a last-minute sub as the Islanders were forced to settle for a point thanks to a last-second comeback by RoPS.
Etchu Tabe is out with a hamstring injury and did not suit up for RoPS while Mason Trafford remained on Mariehamn's bench for the duration of the proceedings.
Mariehamn opened the scoring midway through the first half on a fine effort from Petteri Forssell, with the 20 year-old midfielder receiving the ball at the edge of the penalty area and running along the edge before firing his team into the lead.
The goal marked a turning point in the game, with all-around sloppy play from both teams plaguing the proceedings until RoPS stole the show in the dying seconds.
A momentary lapse in concentration allowed RoPS winger Eeto Muinonen too much space for an open shot which sailed just inside the upright for the equalizer.
The result sees Mariehamn remain in fifth place, with their next game on Sunday when they host Haka.
RoPS stay in the league's cellar in last place and will hope to take three points in their next outing on Monday when they visit JJK.
AC Oulu 1 - 1 JIPPO Joensuu
Jeremy Vuolo and AC Oulu kept within one game of the Ykkönen lead with a draw at home against JIPPO Joensuu on Saturday.
Oulu jumped ahead in the sixth minute in eye-popping fashion, as Mika Nurmela received a long crossfield pass in the right flank from Daniel Owusulle, and hit a high volley which flew over the opposing keeper's reach and just inside the far upper corner for 1-0.
Oulu were perhaps justifiably felt cheated out of a second goal 15 minutes later, as a corner from Nurmela looked to have been deflected over the line before being cleared by a JIPPO defender, however the referee felt differently and did not signal for the goal.
This decision was made all the more painful in the 33rd minute, as a counter-attack by JIPPO left Petteri Rönkkö all alone with the ball in the center of the penalty area, and he had no problems to slot his low shot past Vuolo for the equalizer.
Oulu were clearly the dominant team after the halftime break, however were unable to put the ball away, and were forced to settle for the disappointing draw.
With the point, Oulu stay in third place, two points behind both Lahti and PK-35, the latter of whom they will host on Saturday.
PS Kemi Kings 1 - 3 FC Viikingit Helsinki
Daniel Stevens and Kemi Kings were dealt yet another heavy loss, suffering a first-half collapse on the way to home defeat against Viikingit Helsinki on Sunday.
Viikingit needed just three minutes to spring ahead, as Ville Salmikivi slipped free of the defense in Kemi's penalty area and put away his short shot for 1-0.
Stevens came close to evening the score almost immediately after when his shot was blocked by Viikingit keeper Heikki Kärkkäinen, and the visitors increased their lead to two goals just past the half-hour as Joni Korhonen took advantage of a confusion on the field to put away his uncontested five-yard blast.
Kemi did pull one back midway through the second half as Adriano headed in a cross from Jan Bergin, however the visitors put the game on ice in the final moments, with Salmikivi netting his second of the afternoon as the final seconds of regulation wound down.
Kemi still remain three points clear of the relegation zone despite the setback, but will need to turn things around if they hope to stay clear, beginning with Saturday's visit to FC KooTeePee Kotka.
Kellan Wilson is away from his team on personal matters and did not participate in HIFK's 1-0 loss at home to FC Hämeenlinna on Sunday.