Football: Flora dumps Kalju out of title race; relegation battle takes a twist
League leaders FC Flora beat Nõmme Kalju 2:0 away on Tuesday, meaning Kalju is now nine points behind the two leaders with seven games to go in the season.
Flora had been playing catch-up with FC Levadia, the winner of the league title the past two years, but leapfrogged Levadia on the weekend, as Levadia lost its first game in 20, going down 1:0 to Narva Trans at home.
Flora beat Kalju 2:0, with Albert Prosa scoring on the 60th minute and Joseph Saliste on the 89th minute, while Levadia got back to winning ways, seeing off Paide Linnameeskond 5:1 with goals by Siim Luts (2), Igor Subbotin (2) and Ilja Antonov. Vjatšeslav Zahovaiko scored for the visitors.
The results means Flora has 66 points, one more than Levadia. Kalju has 56, four points clear of Infonet. In the next seven rounds, Levadia will meet Kalju on September 26, before playing against Flora on October 31, one round before the end. There will be no more meetings in the league between the top three teams.
An even more closely fought battle is going on at the bottom of the league where Pärnu Linnameeskond has come back from the dead with two wins, one against Kalju on Friday, and a 1:0 win against fellow stragglers Tartu Tammeka on Monday. Kalju's head coach, Sergei Terehhov, resigned after the defeat to Pärnu, although he will remain with the club in other capacities.
Pärnu is now seventh in the 10-strong league with 22 points, one point above Viljandi Tulevik and Tartu, and two points above Paide. The last team in the league is relegated automatically, with ninth place facing play-off games against the second team in the next highest league.
In the next seven rounds, there are four games pitting two of the four against each other.