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Helsinki win title to wrap up double

A week after winning the Finnish Cup, a 2-0 win at IFK Mariehamn earned record-breaking HJK Helsinki a 24th Veikkausliiga title and a first in his home country for Jari Litmanen.

Jari Litmanen enjoys HJK's success
Jari Litmanen enjoys HJK's success ©Pasi Heikkilä

Record-breaking HJK Helsinki sealed a Finnish league and cup double as a 2-0 win at IFK Mariehamn confirmed their third consecutive Veikkausliiga title.

Goals from Akseli Pelvas and Berat Sadik took the Klubi 21 points clear of second-placed FC Inter Turku with five games to play, and wrapped up the championship just eight days after claiming an 11th Finnish Cup with a 2-1 win against KuPS Kuopio. HJK have dominated the league season, breaking records at will along the way; a new best 23 wins in a domestic campaign, a record 72 goals scored, and a winning run of 15 home games in a row – 14 this season, plus the last of 2010.

The club's 24th league title is a first in his home country for Finnish icon Jari Litmanen. The 40-year-old scored the opener in the cup final and adds the league medal to the four Eredivisie titles he won in two spells with AFC Ajax. "We won a double and in a very convincing manner, of course I have to be pleased," he said. "I would have hoped to play more myself, but my season was somewhat spoiled by a knee injury."

As well as domestic dominance the club also caused a stir in the UEFA Europa League, defeating FC Schalke 04 2-0 in the play-off home leg before being knocked out in Gelsenkirchen. "This has been a superb season," said coach Antti Muurinen. "It is really nice after all these years to secure a double. Not bad at all."