Today we will cover the last three months of a very significant season for us as we triumphed in winning the Finnish domestic double. Back in May we went on to win the Suomen Cup in extra-time against Seinajoen, and on the final day of the Veikkausliiga campaign we won the league title with a draw against the same opponents.
Our August began with a narrow loss to Kuopion Palloseura away from home as Arttu Hoskonen put one in his own net. This month was made worse by the shameful loss to 10th placed Seinajoen as Aristote Mboma scored a last minute winner for the hosts to really put out league position into question. However, we came back from the two losses with three wins on the bounce as Joni Makela netted a hat-trick versus Vaasan, followed by victories against FC Ilves and FF Jaro.
September was a month of all-sorts as we lost our first game against our eventual only title contenders International Turku at the Kupittaan. This was followed up by a visit to Helsinki's Toolon home ground and Jorge Cabezas helped us edge a 1-1 draw against the preseason title favourites. A victory finished of September as we won 2-0 against Lahti which helped us strengthen our position at the top.
In October, a 20-minute burst of four goals against Rovaniemen Palloseura helped us along to a 4-3 win away from home and set up the final day with one hand on the title for us. Seinajoen could have done with a lot less stress in attaining the needed result, but thankfully a draw put the title firmly in our hands as we held it aloft at Raatin Stadion.
The eventual league title looked like this. Our points total didn't quite reach the level of recent years such as Helsinki's 73 points in 2018 or Kuopion's 69 points in 2019, but the fact remains that despite being dubbed relegation favourites at the beginning of the season we won the title by a two-point margin as the preseason favourites slid further down the table.
Helsinki were the preseason favourites, but still finished nine points behind us come the end of the season. Similarly, the title holders Kuopion also finished level on points with Helsinki despite high expectations. 2019 runners-up Seinajoen had a terrible season and almost faced relegation although they reached the final of the Suomen Cup, which they lost against us.
Our victory in the Suomen Cup means that 4th place qualifies for the Europa League. This means next season International Turku, Helsinki and Kuopion will all be playing European football in 2021. We will be playing with the big boys in the Champions League next season and will be the only Finnish club to be doing so.
At the bottom end of the table, it was FF Jaro who have yo-yo'd back down into the Ykkonen as they finished six points from safety and four goals away from achieving the relegation play-off spot. FC Lahti also lost their relegation play-off against Ekenas Tammisaari which means they will follow Jaro down into the second tier. JJK Jyvaskyla will return to the Veikkausliiga in 2021 for the first time since 2017, with Ekenas following them into the top-flight.
In 2020, it was Honka Espoo's Brazilian striker Klauss who ran away with the Veikkausliiga top goalscorer award, finishing four goals ahead of the next best. With four braces over the course of the thirty games he played in this term, he finished the season on 16 goals. Our very own Teemu Savolainen finished runner-up to the award.
In terms of the best goals-per-minute ratio, Klauss and Savolainen remained in their respective positions, however, IFK Mariehamn's fan favourite Aleksei Kangaskolkka came in third position after only appearing 24 times for his club over the course of the season and scoring ten goals in the process, giving him an MPG ratio of a goal every 200 minutes.
In terms of goal creators, Helsinki's star midfielder Thomas Drage ran away with the award with 9 assists and an 81% pass completion rate. Oulu's only entrance into this award was Dylan Romein's fourth-place finish with seven assists throughout the season, with the Australian winger creating 26 key chances over the title-winning season.
When it comes to clean sheets, it was Kuopion's Otso Virtanen who won the golden glove with 13 clean sheets for his side in 2020. Virtanen only conceded 23 goals out of his 32 appearances this term which proves his case of being one of the Veikkausliiga's best goalkeepers. Our own academy graduate Eemeli Hurtig finished 5th place in this list. I was extremely impressed with the 18-year-old this season though, as he was thrown into the first-team without any warning that he was to become our number 1 this season following Matt Jones' release at end of 2019.