Lasnamäe FC Ajax crowned 2022 Women's Esiliiga champions
Lasnamäe FC Ajax were crowned champions of the Women's Esiliiga on Sunday. Ajax will now move up to the Women's Meistriliiga for next season. Viimsi JK, who finished as runners-up, will take on Põlva FC Lootos in a play-off match to determine who earns the right to play top-flight football in 2023.
Ajax ended the 20-game seasons with 13 wins, three draws and four defeats. Their final match of the campaign finished as a 2-2 draw against third-placed JK Tallinna Kalev with all four goals scored in a frantic five-minute spell mid-way through the first half.
First, Naida Imanova gave Ajax the lead on 21 minutes, before Sandra-Henrica Saul levelled for Kalev two minutes later. Marian Jaarman then turned the game on its head, putting the visitors 2-1 up with 25 minutes played. The celebrations did not last long however, with Ajax's 15-year-old striker Anželika Jotkina making it 2-2 just a minute later.
Elsewhere in the Esiliiga, Viimsi JK, who finished second in their debut season, won 3-1 win against Jõhvi Phoenix and JK Narva Trans, who ended the campaign in fourth.
Ajax's title win means they are automatically promoted to the Women's Meistriliiga, the top division in Estonian women's football, for next season. Viimsi must now play Põlva FC Lootos, who finished seventh in this year's eight-time Meistriliiga table, for a place in the top-flight next season.
Ajax's promotion push was helped no end by 15-year-old goalscoring sensation Anželika Jotkina, who was the Esiliiga's top scorer with 31 goals, including netted six in one game against Jõhvi Phoenix and JK Narva Trans in July. The league's second top scorer was Kuresaare's 17-year-old striker Lilles, who finished the season with 24 goals, while Viimsi's Kätrin Välba, 16, was third with 17 goals during the campaign.
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Editor: Michael Cole