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SJK clinch first ever Finnish crown

SJK Seinäjoki have won their maiden Finnish title in only their second season in the elite after beating FF Jaro on the last day of action to outstrip RoPS Rovaniemi and HJK Helsinki.

SJK savour their Finnish title breakthrough
SJK savour their Finnish title breakthrough ©FA of Finland/Jussi Eskola

SJK Seinäjoki are celebrating their first ever Finnish league title after beating bottom side FF Jaro 2-0 in the final round of matches to keep themselves out of the clutches of RoPS Rovaniemi.

Simo Valakari's side went into the last weekend a point clear of RoPS and needing a win to be sure of clinching the crown. They made a strong start against Jaro when Mehmet Hetemaj found the net after just two minutes, before Roope Riski doubled their lead late on.

It proved a vital result as RoPS triumphed 4-1 at FC Lahti, with third-placed HJK Helsinki – champions for the last six seasons – a further point back following their 1-0 success at KuPS Kuopio.

SJK can now look forward to entering UEFA Champions League qualifying next term after as they continue their remarkable rise under Valakari. Led by the former Finland midfielder for the last three years, the Seinajoki outfit gained promotion to the elite for the first time in 2013, and ended runners-up in their maiden campaign last year.

"This is a reward for the entire journey we've made together, with every player having given his best every day on the training ground," said the coach. "We've enjoyed every single day and this was a magnificent finish to the season."

"It's quite unbelievable," added Hetemaj. "This was a really difficult game. Jaro were really good – I can't believe they finished bottom. I've never won anything in my career before now, and I'm proud to be part of this team."