|Žilina||H. Kiryat Shmona|
HJK Helsinki took a giant step towards a place in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round after Juho Mäkelä's hat-trick helped them to a 7-0 win at home to KR Reykjavík.
The Finnish champions took control from the outset and were rewarded for their ambition when Mäkelä found the net with a tidy finish from close range. They doubled their lead seven minutes later after Joel Pohjanpalo was felled in the area by Gudmundur Reynir Gunnarsson. Returning to his homeland after an 11-year hiatus, midfielder Mika Väyrynen made up for lost time by confidently dispatched the ensuing penalty.
Far from tightening their grip, HJK allowed KR to stage a spirited response but they failed to convert a flurry of chances. The Icelanders were made to pay for their profligacy three minutes after the break, Pohjanpalo finding the top corner with a sumptuous strike and paving the way for a dominant second-half display.
Rasmus Schüller's smart finish made it four on 57 minutes, before Pohjanpalo stripped KR of any remaining confidence with his second. Refusing to relent, HJK extended their lead through Mäkelä, before the 28-year-old forward completed his hat-trick with seven minutes remaining.
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