Lokomotiva vs Rovaniemi by DamirJ
Lokomotiva Zagreb didn't need more of the ball possession in the first leg away in Finland, but the team still looked way more threatening during the game and are now awaiting the second leg as complete favorites to progress further after a 1:1 draw in the first leg. Visitors looked better, but obviously lacked more efficient in attack, something that they'll probably improve in next matches.
Croats looked quite well in the preparation period and in first round matches against Santa Coloma, but failed to do something more in their league opener against Dinamo Zagreb away from home last Sunday evening. However, that defeat was more than expected, as Dinamo remains without any doubt, the strongest side in their championship, however players of Lokomotiva managed to make some damage, taking the lead in sixteenth minute via Fiolic, but the players of Dinamo reverted the scoreline to final 3:1 result by the end of 55th minute. Croatian side has no fresh absentees for this play, neither injury neither suspension worries.
Finish side had more of the ball possession, but Croats looked more dangerous as said, taking the lead in 77th minute with an own goal from Jammeh, while the same player leveled up the result just ten minutes later.
It could be said that the final result in the first leg was quite fair, however there's no doubt that Rovaniemi will be having much more difficult job now in order to progress further. However, the team will be going into this one with a boosted morale, since they remain undefeated in last nine competitive matches. One of their strength will be the fact that Finnish league is under full swing now and that they do quite well at the moment after a difficult start.
They are now on a run of four consecutive victories, coming from a 2:1 victory on the road against Lahti. It will be hard for them to repeat the previous season when they were title contenders, as the team now stands three points below third placed VPS, but already look like out of title race, being eleven points below first placed Mariehamn. Visitors have no fresh injury nor suspension worries either for this game.
Lokomotiva should be able to show more of their potential and get an easy victory and progress to the next round. I have no doubts that the Finish side will present themselves much weaker now so far away from their home.