Hello and welcome to the coverage of the biggest game in AC Oulu's history as they take on Seinajoen at Raatin Stadion in the final game of the Veikkausliiga. This is a huge game for Aapo Virtanen's men who have been the miracle story of the 2020 campaign as they top the Veikkausliiga table by two points ahead of 2nd place International Turku and AC Oulu could win their first ever top-flight title with a victory against Seinajoen today.
As you can see by the graphic above, both teams have qualified for the Europa League in 2021 and also they are the only teams that can possibly win the Veikkausliiga title today, with preseason title favourites Helsinki sitting in third place on 54 points, nine points off the pace.
Today, the title challengers International Turku will face Helsinki at their home stadium Kupittaan Jalkapallostadion and are favourites to defeat Alexei Eremenko's side today.
It's coming up to 5:30pm now here at Raatin Stadion and the lineups from both sides have been announced ahead of the 6:30pm kick-off.
AC Oulu XI:
1. Hurtig (GK), 22. Belov, 5. L Nurmos, 15. Dolivo, 13. Rannankari, 17. Huhtamaki, 35. Bradbury, 7. Makela, 8. Cabezas, 11. Romein, 10. Savolainen
AC Oulu Subs:
30. Sloth (GK), 2. T Nurmos, 12. Jyry, 9. Ulmanen, 19. Hautala, 20. Kabashi, 21. Eriksson
30. Marttinen (GK), 18. Hurme, 31. Méléké, 5. Hatakka, 2. Mero, 58. Hetemaj, 19. Malolo, 7. Carlos, 40. Kaasalainen, 10. Ions, 32. Makridis
1. Ost (GK), 17. Tikkanen, 25. Tendeng, 34. Yateke, 13. Augusto, 24. Kadio, 15. Klinga
A very strong lineup from Aapo Virtanen, and a side with an average age of just 21 years old which clearly shows his disbelief in the footballing phrase 'you don't win anything with kids'! After the break we're coming back to the field of play to see if Virtanen's eleven can win Finland's most prized domestic competition with kids, it's AC Oulu versus Seinajoen... AND IT'S LIVE.
Seinajoen will kick off the final game of the season at Raatin Stadion as Makridis passes it back to Luiz Carlos.
Rannankari has a throw-in for Oulu on the near side here, Darren Bradbury has tried to nod it back to the thrower however Kaasalainen intercepts, but he's gifted the ball back to Lassi Nurmos. Billy Ions wins the ball back off Konstantin Belov on the far side now, maybe a counter-attack. Luiz Carlos plays a ball over the top which Makridis chases down into the Oulu penalty area. Lassi Nurmos comes across the cover the run, Makridis has got there first though... Penalty!!! Lassi Nurmos has taken Makridis' legs from beneath him and the referee has awarded Seinajoen an early advantage in the fourth minute!
Billy Ions steps up to take the penalty... The Englishman runs up to the spot, Eemeli Hurtig stares his opponent in the face... GOAL!
Billy Ions has sent Hurtig the wrong way and casually sends Seinajoen into the lead with a low finish into the bottom left corner! Will Oulu's achievements come crashing down today at their home stadium?!
Rannankari with a throw-in on the halfway line, Cabezas has come across to the left to pick up the ball, now it's with Huhtamaki. Cabezas receives the ball back... And that's a fantastic first-time pass by the young Colombian to find Rannankari free down the left flank. The ball is cleared by Méléké all the way back to the Oulu defence who have stepped up to the halfway line, really putting the pressure on Seinajoen here.
Seinajoen advance to put pressure on Lassi Nurmos who gives the ball short to Darren Bradbury. Bradbury has the time to turn on his one leg, he's spread the ball out from his control. Bradbury launches one over the top towards Teemu Savolainen, and the youngster has got the beating of Méléké here... Savolainen is one-on-one!!! GOAAAAL!!!
Teemu Savolainen has stuck an equaliser past Marttinen and AC Oulu are back on track! It's one a piece between the two sides in the first ten minutes!
Joni Makela races down the right flank for Oulu with Savolainen assuming his place in the penalty box, he's got the beating of Mero so there's lots of time here to get a ball into the box. Makela finds Savolainen in the area who has it under control... He's chipped a ball through to Dylan Romein here who is arriving late! Saved by Marttinen!!! How on Earth has that been stopped by Seinajoen's keeper?!
It's bad news for Oulu over at Kupittaan Jalkapallostadion as International Turku have taken the lead against Helsinki with a Mika Ojala penalty.
The referee blows the whistle for half time.
The game restarts for the second half and both teams are making a substitution. Oulu bring on Eriksson for Makela, Seinajoen bring on Tendeng for Kaasalainen.
Bradbury lines up a free-kick from 20 yards out here. It looks like he's gonna go for goal and bag a goal... Just wide of the left-hand post!
Leon Augusto replaces Hetemaj for Seinajoen.
Huhtamaki comes off for Oulu, Tommi Jyry replaces the young midfielder.
Jorge Cabezas is replaced by Niilo Hautala for Oulu.
Darren Bradbury heads over to the left side to take the outswinging corner with his left boot. It's a hanging cross, seemingly caught in the winter winds as has been the case with a lot of play today. It's headed towards the back post towards the big unit that is Teemu Savolainen... Oh, but he's been dragged down in the box! The referee points to the spot and it's a penalty! A huge chance for AC Oulu to put one hand on the Veikkausliiga title here!
And here comes the Belorussian right-back Konstantin Belov to take the spot-kick. It's the second of two penalties here. Belov marches up to the ball at a much slower pace than Ions' earlier... Belooooov! GOAAAAL!!!
ADVANTAGE OULU! It's 2-1 to Aapo Virtanen's men and that puts them in an indisputable position to win the league today on their home turf!
Matti Klinga replaces Hurme for Seinajoen in their final substitution.
Matti Klinga takes charge of the ball on the right flank now, Oulu are short-staffed at the back from the ongoing counter-attack as it is five against three in Seinajoen's favour, Makridis holds the ball up on the corner edge of the box here, he's put it across to Tendeng who will strike first-time!!! GOAL!!
It's an equaliser for Seinajoen and a potential threat to Oulu's title hopes! 2-2 with just 13 minutes to go at Raatin Stadion!
Fantastic news for Oulu over at the International Turku game as Riku Riski have drawn Helsinki level in the game over there - it's 1-1 over at Kupittaan Jalkapallostadion and as it stands, Oulu are winning the Veikkausliiga title!
Hatekka throws it to Ions as Oulu are minutes away from Champions League qualification and the Veikkausliiga title. Ions takes the ball forward and plays it to Makridis... Makridis has a pop on goal! Just wide!
Tendeng has a dangerous looking free-kick wide on the left hand side for Seinajoen, maybe a late surprise for his side from this set-piece. It's whipped in... Headed by Makridis, and hits the crossbar! Hurtig retains the ball in his hands and throws it to Darren Bradbury. The youngster has played it over the top, and Jyry has beaten the defender to the ball here, he's played it into Eriksson who touches it round his marker, he's got a shot off and that is a marvellous save by Marttinen!! Here's Savolainen on the rebound!!! Hatakka has beaten him there and its cleared for a throw-in, so close!
Bradbury with the corner for Oulu, you can feel the anticipation in the stands from way up here in the gantry. Savolainen's met the cross with his head, it's across goal to Romein! The assistant referee's flag is up for offside on Dylan Romein. Free-kick to Seinajoen in their own six-yard box. Marttinen boots the ball upfield from his deep position... AND THAT'S IT! AAPO VIRTANEN'S OULU ARE VEIKKAUSLIIGA CHAMPIONS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THEIR HISTORY.
Virtanen will be managing in the Champions League in 2021 and Oulu have inserted their name into Finnish footballing folklore as they complete the domestic double this season. A fantastic season for Oulu and maybe a catalyst for even more success here at Raatin Stadion!