HJK Helsinki have sealed their sixth consecutive Finnish title and their 27th overall with four games to spare after triumphing 4-1 at TPS Turku on Sunday.
With nearest rivals Seinäjoen Jalkapallokerho only able to draw 1-1 at FC Honka Espoo, HJK's comfortable success at Turku proved enough to take them over the title threshold.
Mika Väyrynen got the ball rolling for the visitors before a pair of late Erfan Zeneli penalties and a Robin Lod goal ensured that the capital side moved 11 points clear of SJK, who have just three games remaining.
The title win was a first for coach Mika Lehkosuo, the former midfielder having replaced Sixten Boström in April. Lehkosuo kicked off his reign with seven straight victories and oversaw a run of 18 league games without defeat before losing to SJK in August – a sequence that ultimately proved decisive.
"Naturally it feels very good now," Lehkosuo told UEFA.com. "The players have shown that they are able to focus on every single game. We have not always played so well, but the results have been great. We are now both happy and pleased with this achievement."
HJK will now turn their attention to their UEFA Europa League campaign. They host Group B rivals Club Brügge KV on Thursday hoping to bounce back from a 2-0 defeat at FC København in their opener, and Lehkosuo has urged his charges to maintain their focus.
"The time for celebrating will be later," he said. "We will now concentrate fully on the upcoming games, with the UEFA Europa League match against Club Brugge being the first of those."
Midfielder Teemu Tainio added: "The first big goal has been achieved, but we still have plenty to play for. The Finnish Cup final is coming and of course the UEFA Europa League. We can achieve something historic in Finnish football and we'll give our best shot at that. It's great to be champions, but we hope we can come away with even more this season."
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