Football: Paide and Flora both win in Conference League openers | New


In a cautious first half, it was Georgia who took a deserved lead through midfielder Davit Skhirtladze in the 22nd minute with the game’s first shot on goal.

After the break, the match opened. With the hosts looking in complete control, Siim Luts leveled the scores for Paide, taking advantage of a defensive error to crush an unstoppable left-footed strike past Andrés Prieto in Dinamo’s goal, to make it 1-1 at the 61st. minute.

But Paide’s celebrations didn’t last long, with Dinamo reclaiming the lead four minutes later through 22-year-old defender Levan Harabadze.

With 75 minutes played, Luts had a great chance of pulling Paide level, only to see his effort from substitute Ebrima Singhateh’s cross bounce off the post to safety.

Paide finally got his breakthrough in the 81st minute, when Ghanaian defender Abdul Razik Yusif, hit Karl Mööl’s free-kick into the penalty area and then picked out Ebrima Singhateh from the edge of the penalty area. Singhateh made no mistake, sending the ball into the net to make it 2-2.

Eight minutes later, with the tie heading for a draw, another lobbed free-kick, this time from Andre Frolov, sent panic through the Dinamo defence. After several ricochets, Kristofer Pihti pounced for Paide, completing a memorable 3-2 victory for the Estonian side, their first in European competition.

Paide will now hope to finish the job in the second leg on July 14, when they host Dinamo Tbilisi at the Rannastaadion in Pärnu. The match starts at 7:00 p.m. Estonian time.

FC Flora Tallinn also got their European campaign off to a good start, beating Finland’s Seinäjoki 1-0 at A. Le Coq Arena on Thursday in the UEFA Conference League first qualifying round.

FC Flora Tallinn won 1-0 against Finland’s Seinäjoki Author/Allikas: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Although Flora controlled much of the game and created several chances, Martin Miller’s 21st-minute goal is all that separates the two teams ahead of the second leg, which will take place in Finland on July 14.

It was also Miller, who scored the decisive goal in Flora’s 1-0 win over Serbian side Partizan Belgrade in last season’s Conference League, the first-ever victory for an Estonian team in the phase. groups in a UEFA competition.

If Flora can maintain their first-leg advantage next week in Finland, a place in the Conference League second preliminary round awaits them. A defeat would spell the end of their European campaign for this season.

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