Nõmme Kalju Defeats Finnish Champions, Coach to Lose Hair
Estonian football champion Kalju is through to the third round of the Champions League qualifying stage after beating Finnish champions HJK Helsinki 2-1 yesterday evening, and head coach Igor Prins must now shave his long hair, as promised before the match.
The first leg in Helsinki ended 0-0, meaning that Kalju had to win in Tallinn on Tuesday to continue.
Kalju opened the scoring on the 28th minute when Gambian striker Yankuba Ceesay headed in after a corner kick. Just eight minutes later, Damiano Quintierile was put through by Estonian national team forward Vladimir Voskoboinikov, and beat the goalkeeper to put Kalju up 2-0.
HJK pulled one goal back in the 64th minute from Dembe Savage, but it was not enough.
The Estonian champions will now face Viktoria Plzeň of the Czech Republic for a place in the final qualifying round, where the winner will also receive 2.1 million euros, more than double Kalju's annual budget.
Kalju's games against the Czechs will take place at the end of July and beginning of August.
Tuesday's match, watched by 5,000 spectators at the Kadriorg stadium, was the first ever win in a European competition for Kalju, and this is only the second time an Estonian team has made it into the third qualifying round, after Levadia beat Polish champions Wisla Krakow in the second round of the 2009/2010 competition.