Sunday, October 21, 2012

Matchday 31: Devastation at the death...again and Tampere Trip

Most of you reading this will know about the last game Haka played, so I won’t go into it in so much detail.  We lost 1-2 to Inter Turku after leading 1-0 at halftime.  It was the most devastating defeat we’ve had since I’ve been here.  That’s because the winning goal for Inter came in the last second of the game and with us playing up a man after a red card ten minutes earlier.  We had every possible chance to win in those last ten minutes but we didn’t and in the end we paid for it.  Inter finished the game like champions and we finished the game like a team at the bottom of the table.  Fortunately for us though, Jaro also lost so we didn’t lose any ground there.  As little as one win could easily be enough to save us from relegation.  Talk is cheap though, and we only have two games to get that win (and we may need more than that).


The day after the game we had a short recovery training.  I was planning on going home and sitting there for the rest of the day, but instead I ended up going to Tampere with Juha to watch a playoff game for the 2nd division (3rd tier).  The game was hosted by Ilves, a team in Tampere.  There was a big attendance for this game considering the level it was.  Over 4000 people showed up to see Ilves destroy their opponents (IFK something) by 4-1.  In all honesty, the score could just have easily been 10-0, such was Ilves’ domination.


Before the match, I had about an hour and a half to stroll around Tampere.  Juha dropped me off in the city center and went directly to the stadium.  Of course, I went straight to the McDonald’s because I love that place and there’s not one in Valkeakoski.  Honestly, I love any form of fast food.  The less healthy the better.  Don’t give me a salad unless there’s bacon on it!  I ordered a quarter pounder with cheese meal and devoured it in about two seconds.  The food tasted even better because the cashier, in true Scandinavian fashion, was very courteous and upbeat.  In short, she was the polar opposite of the asshole who took my order in London.  I’m still upset about that and it was like two months ago.  I wanna punch that kid in the face.


After eating I walked around the center just kind of taking in the sights.  I haven’t left Valkeakoski at all since I was in London so it felt so refreshing to be in a bigger city like Tampere.  I’m from a big city in America and always lived in large cities, so to be in that kind of place put me at ease a bit.  I like the hustle and bustle.  I like the big open markets.  I like dozens of options of places to go, things to do.  If Haka offers me a contract for next season I think I would be tempted to live in or closer to Tampere rather than staying in Valkeakoski.  But those thoughts and choices are for another time.  They depend on me and my teammates’ ability to keep us in the league anyway!


Today we had another training and it was pretty simple.  We talked about a few things that we want to do against FC Honka tomorrow, but nothing major.  It’s our last home game, so there is really a lot of pressure to win the game.  I can’t say enough about how much we need a win.  By the end of tomorrow night, we could have moved ahead of Jaro, or be relegated.  If we win, then the league will certainly come down to the last day.  Losing, or even drawing, is not an option.  I hope that a lot of people come out to the game.  It’s on a Monday night, but we could use all the support we can get!


The meme:

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