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Kotkan TP

Ground: Arto Tolsa Areena

Visits: 1

Date: 24th June 2019

Match: Kotkan TP - Haka Valkeakoski  0-1  (Ykkönen)

Attendance: 1 945

As I went to Russia for the World Cup last year I started that adventure with a game in Finland. Over the years I have been to 18 grounds and Finland has become one of my favorite destinations. Looking at possible dates and matches for a trip abroad in late June I decided to once again book a flight to Helsinki. I arrived at Vantaa airport around 8pm on Sunday evening and 90 minutes alter I was at my hotel in central Helsinki. On Monday morning I then boarded the 09.50 bus going to Kotka. Two hours later I arrived and was greeted by nice weather, 22 °C and a blue sky. I was a bit early but my hotel allowed me to check-in. I left my bag in the room before setting off for Arto Tolsa Areena, the home of Kotkan Työväen Palloilijat (KTP). I found an open gate and sneaked inside to take some pictures. Arto Tolsa Areena has a capacity of 4 750 and was inaugurated for the 1952 Olympics. Arto Tolsa was a legendary player for KTP who passed away in 1989. The main stand has 2500 covered seats and for Ykkönen that is more than enough. Not far from the ground there is a nice water garden which I visited. After a late lunch I then visited the Maretarium before eventually heading back to my hotel.

KTP have actually won the Finnish league title twice, 1951 and 1952, and they have also won the cup four times. After several years in lower leagues KTP are nowadays back in Ykkönen (level 2) and as I returned to the ground for the 18.30 kick-off v Haka Valkeakoski I realized the attendance was going to be quite good. Behind the main stand there were several bar areas where fans could drink beer. I only bought a hot-dog though and since I was not searched upon entering my bottle of water wa still in my rucksack. Haka Valkeakoski are top of the league and a win today would send them 10 points clear at the top. KTPs number 17, Kalle Multanen, has played several season for Haka and is the all-time top goal-scorer in this league. In tonight´s match Haka Valkeakoski took the lead in the 11th minute and were by far the better team in the first half. In the second half the visitors had several quality chances to increase their lead but they somehow missed them all. Towards the end KTP had a few chances to equalize but as the final whistle was blown Haka could celebrate winning yet another match this season. The walk back to my hotel was only just over 10 minutes and once there I had a late dinner. Kotka was a nice start to my trip and hopefully Tampere tomorrow will be good as well.


Water Garden


Water Garden


Water Garden with floodlights in the background


Arto Tolsa Areena, rear of the West Stand


Olympic football


West Stand


West Stand


North Stand


North Stand


East Stand


East Stand


South End


Bar area


KTP entering




West Stand


North Stand


View of play


East Stand


East Stand


Boys from the Docks - Kotka


View of play