Legion Vanquishes Vaprus in Estonian Cup

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar August 19, 2018 10:51

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    Legion Vanquishes Vaprus in Estonian Cup

    By Satish Sekar in Stadion Wismari, Tallinn © Satish Sekar (August 17th 2018)

    Tallinna JK Legion advanced to the last 16 of the Estonian Cup in style tonight with a 3-0 win over Meistriliiga outfit Vaprus 3-0. Although coach, Denis Belov, was generous to his vanquished opponents, observers could be forgiven for thing that Legion were the top flight team and Vaprus in the third tier of Estonian football. But the positions are deceptive – Legion are the runaway leaders of Esiliiga B, leading second place Tammeka II by a whopping 22 points after just 23 matches, and despite a couple of games in hand, Vaprus are rooted to the bottom of the Meistriliiga.

    Belov said that it could have gone either way, which seemed overly generous. Vaprus barely had a shot on target in the first half, and hardly tested Legion’s keeper. Legion deservedly led at half time thanks to Rejal Alijev’s glancing header after 20 minutes from Šahrijar Abdullajev’s cross from the left wing. Five minutes later a blatant block on Alijev saw the referee brandish a yellow card to Rasmus Ilves.

    Belov said that he then set up to play on the counter-attack in the second half, and was only confident of victory a minute into injury time when substitute Roman Grigorevskiy blasted in a golazo from the left of the area. Four minutes earlier Abdullajev made it 2-0 from close range. Only then did Vaprus seriously threaten. Karl Anton Soerde combined with Kristian Lenk for the latter to demand a save from Legion’s under-worked keeper. Prior to that he had to thwart Ilves’ free-kick that was straight at him and an easy gather at his near post from Soerde.

    It would not have been an injustice if Stefan Tsendei’s diligence on the left wing had been rewarded when he bravely headed on, ignoring a high boot, to then cut into the area and inside to curl in a teasing shot that hit the far post.

    TJK Legion fully deserved their lead at half time, and win. They, are, according to Belov, a youth team. He wants to see them in the Meistriliiga. On tonight’s showing, and league position, it would take a brave person to bet against him achieving that aim, even though the facilities Legion work with are far below what they deserve.

    Satish Sekar
    By Satish Sekar August 19, 2018 10:51