Competition: Finland Ykkönen
Venue: Helsinki (Telia 5G -Areena)
Idrottsföreningen Kamraterna Helsingfors was formed on 15 October 1897 by Georges Dubitsky, a 15-year-old student at Svenska school in Helsinki. Historically, HIFK has been primarily the club for the Swedish speaking middle-class population in Helsinki although the club is proudly Finnish.
The club nowadays is bilingual but the Swedish language doesn’t really play a key role in the club anymore although it is common to see the Swedish ‘Helsingfors’ used rather than Helsinki. For example, the club is often referred to as IFK Helsingfors. Nowadays, the most renowned supporter group of the club is Stadin Kingit (the kings of Stadi”) and as a group, they stand behind the north goal at the stadium in an unseated section.
Stadin Kingit derives from the common slang nickname used for Helsinki – ‘Stadi‘.
Recent years have seen the return of the Helsinki derby to Finnish football – the ‘Stadin derby’ with the games between HJK and HIFK hosting large sell-out crowds. Such a rivalry goes back to 1909 when the two teams faced each other for the first time. The two teams clashed for the first time at the top level since 1972 on 23 April 2015 although the match was played at a sold-out Sonera Stadium (now Telia 5G) rather than the larger Olympic Stadium and ended in a 1-1 draw.
KPV or Kokkolan Palloveikot is a club from the Finnish town of Kokkola, and the municipality of Kokkola remains a bilingual area. The club plays home matches at the intimate Kokkolan keskuskenttä and has local rivals in the team Gamlakarleby Bollklubb (GBK) a club with whom they share the home stadium.
The start of the match was flat at both ends of the pitch despite very audible support from the gathered fans. Both teams looked for space but neither team could find the required space to punish each other in the crucial key areas of danger.
It wasn’t until the 62nd minute that HIFK took the lead. Kurki left the pitch for Tuomas Mustonen on 55 minutes and the striker, who was making his first appearance in front of the home crowd this season, finished neatly blasting past the visiting keeper.
A second goal was added after 65 minutes. Nikolas Saira put the ball in the net with a neat finish and, like Mustonen, he ran to the home fans behind the goal to celebrate.
After this, it was all KPV but the visitors failed to make a breakthrough despite numerous chances in the closing 10 minutes.
With the win, HIFK held firm at the top of the table three points clear of the second-placed KPV.
HIFK: Landes, Lahdenmäki, Kuusijärvi, Bäckman Jurvainen, Halme, Sharp (C), Jyry, Saira, Sihvola, Kurki (55 ‘Mustonen)
Result 2-0 (HT: 0-0)
Goals: 62 ‘Mustonen 1-0, 65’ Saira 2-0