Football: Pärnu Vaprus win promotion to top flight
Second-tier football team Pärnu JK Vaprus has won promotion to the top-flight Premium Liiga with one more game to play in the season, after a 4:1 home victory over FC Nõmme United Wednesday evening, with two of the goals coming from Kristen Saarts.
Maardu Linnameeskond drew 2:2 at home meanwhile, against Tartu JK Tammeka U21, which confirmed Pärnu's promotion, ERR's sports portal reports, following an added time equalizer by Tartu's 16-year-old Henri Hurta. Tartu Tammeka played the last eleven minutes of regular time with 10 men after Karl Läänelaid was sent off following a foul.
Three teams move in either direction between the Premium liiga and the second-tier Esiliiga. Two of these are by automatic relegation, this season JK Tallinna Kalev face that fate, and automatic promotion in the opposite direction – Pärnu Vaprus in this case.
The third spot can go either way – the second-to-last Premium liiga team plays the second-placed Esiliiga team, staying up if it wins, but swapping places with a loss. This play-off is staged over two legs.
Despite Wednesday's draw, Maardu Linnameeskond, with 62 points over third-placed team Nõmme, still get to play-off, though against whom will not be known until this Saturday.
FC Kuressaare are in penultimate place on 23 points, with JK Narva Trans (25 points) and Tallinna JK Legion (28 points) above them; Kuressaare play away against the already-relegated JK Tallinna Kalev, should Kuressaare win, JK Narva Trans, the team that sent JK Tallinn Kalev down, have to defeat Legion to stay up.
A few more games remain to be played in the Premium Liiga through to December 6, but relegations and promotions will be decided by then.
Tallinna FC Flora won the coronavirus-hit 2020 Premium liiga season, whose games were off roughly corresponding to the government's mid-March to mid-May emergency situation. Flora got 74 points over Paide Linnameeskond's 61, and still have a game in hand.
Estonian club football seasons run from spring to autumn, to avoid the worst of the winter.
The Premium liiga table is here, the Esiliiga's is here (links in Estonian).
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Editor: Andrew Whyte