Fin­land

World Soccer - - European Season Review -

HJK were once again the run­away champions, re­tain­ing their ti­tle by fin­ish­ing 16 points ahead of sec­ond-placed RoPS. It was the Helsinki club’s eighth ti­tle in 10 years. In the sec­ond year of the new com­pe­ti­tion for­mat, run­ning from au­tumn to spring, In­ter Turku beat hold­ers HJK 1-0 in the Fi­nal in May. HJK go into the Champions League first qual­i­fy­ing round, with RoPS, KuPS and In­ter Turku in the Europa League pre­lim­i­nar­ies.

Pal­loseura Kemi Kings were rel­e­gated, while TPS lost the play-off to sec­ond-tier KPV. HIFK, who were last sea­son’s play-off losers, won au­to­matic pro­mo­tion to the top flight. The 21-year-old Brazil­ian striker Joao Klauss, on loan to HJK from Hof­fen­heim, fin­ished as the league’s top scorer with 21 goals. He made a sub­stan­tial im­pres­sion on the league cam­paign but has now re­turned to his par­ent club in Ger­many. Mika Lehko­suo won an­other ti­tle with HJK and has agreed to stay on for at least an­other year. On loan from HJK, winger Lassi Lap­palainen had an out­stand­ing cam­paign for RoPS, con­tribut­ing plenty of goals and as­sists. He will re­turn to his par­ent club next sea­son.

Out­stand­ing ...Lassi Lap­palainen

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