Monday, December 17, 2012

There was nobody to make a difference in Finland, but never mind: the deep north had something interesting to pull out of the sleeve. Two separate Cup finals were played in 1977, most likely catching up for the missed Cup tournament in 1975. Straightening the record book, so to say. The first was played in April and Ilves (Tampere) lost it 0-2 to Reipas (Lahti).

For Reipas it was 5th Cup so far. Fifth consecutive Cup, must be said, which is astonishing consistency. Evidently, the Cup was permanently settled in Lahti. Well, no... Reipas did not reach the final in October, when SePS (Seinajoki), not even a first division club, met Haka (Valkeakoski). Brave SePS, but that was all – Haka won 3-1. Haka already had won 5 Cups, now made it 6. Then again Haka were and are one of the better clubs in Finland. May be because Valkeakoski is an industrial city and some money make its way to the clubs coffers.

The championship was not much, especially at the bottom of the league – MP Mikkeli and VPS Vaasa were hopelessly occupying the relegation spots. Their combined record amassed to 23 points, which would be good for 7th place. In 12-club league... you can figure out the state of the relegated. Up the table 5 points divided 2nd from 10th place, which means equal strength, but KuPs (Kuopio) finished 2nd with 26 points, running high thanks to experience, yet, never contesting the title this year.

Kuopion Palloseura belongs to the 8th most populated city in Finland, Kuopio, and is quite successful by Finnish standards - winning 5 titles and 1 Cup by 1977. They were champions in 1976, and experience still helped them to clinch silver medals, but really nothing more than that.

Haka were overwhelming champions, 7 points ahead of the next pursuer, and winning 15 out of total 22 matches.

True champions, mud and everything. Braving the elements and dominating as a result. A double! Haka already had 3 titles and 5 Cups won – now, adding more. As for anything else... only a Fin can tell, and may be Haka fan – better . Let's face it – Finland is weak country in terms of football. Advertisement arrived on shirts, obviously an effort to fix the financial situation of amateur clubs.