Finland’s #5 Helsinki Roosters knock off #3 Dacia Vienna Vikings in Vienna

In the year’s first international upset, Finnish reigning champions, the Helsinki Roosters (Europe #5) traveled to Vienna, Austria and staged a late rally to defeat Europe #3 the Dacia Vienna Vikings 41-37 in Charity Bowl XX.

On a spectacular sunny day in Vienna, the capacity crowd was treated to pure football entertainment as both teams traded touchdowns almost from the opening whistle.

Roosters quarterback Brandon Connette rushed for three touchdowns and threw for another one while wide reciever Kiki Linnainmaa scored on two receptions. The first was a short curl that he turned into a score and the second was a fade pass down the sideline where Linnainmaa made a diving catch. Running back Karri Pajarinen added a rushing touchdown. Kim Saarijärvi kicked five extra points.

Roosters RB Kiki Linnainmaa scoring Photo: Vikings

For Vienna, quarterback Garrett Safron threw four touchdown passes, two to Bernhard Seikovits and one each to Yannik Mayr and Philipp Dubravec. Islaam Amadu  scored on a rushing touchdown while Amadeus Kappel kicked a field goal and four extra points.

The Vikings stormed out to a 10-0 lead on Amadu’s early touchdown and Kappel’s field goal. Helsinki finally responded late in the first quarter as Linnainmaa found a seam and raced into the end zone.

Vienna came right back as Safron connected with Mayr giving Vienna a 17-7 lead heading into the second quarter.

On Helsinki’s first drive of the second quarter, Linnainmaa hauled in a swing pass from Connette and took it in to narrow the gap to 17-14 at halftime.

Safron wasted no time in the third quarter finding his favorite target, Bernhard Seikovits to extend the lead to 23-14. But Helsinki cam right back as Connette capped a drive, calling his own number to edge closer, 23-21.

The Safron-Seikovits connection struck again, still in the third quarter to give Vienna a 30-21 lead. But Pajarinen brought the Roosters closer 30-27. Then, early in the fourth quarter, Connette took the ball himself giving Helsinki its first lead of the game, 34-30.

Roosters QB Brandon Connette looking for space Photo: Vienna Vikings

Philipp Dubravec restored the lead for the Vikings, catching a touchdown pass from Safron, to make it 37-34. But Connette was not done yet as with 20 seconds on the clock he finished off another Roosters drive with his third touchdown of the game, 41-37.

About Vinea Resort Charity Bowl

Strong helps weak

The Helsinki Roosters and Dacia Vienna Vikings face each other in the 20th Vinea Resort Charity Bowl. Charity Bowl was launched in 1999 under the motto ”Strong helps weak”, when the Dacia Vienna Vikings wanted to demonstrate that social engagement beyond the usual paths can be extremely successful. Started as a noble gesture, it has grown over the years into a significant help for charitable organizations and charitable initiatives in Austria which have benefited to the tune of more than  150.000 € over the years. Further information can be found under This year, the Vikings donated over 12,000 Euros to two different social organizations. One organization is located in Vienna and takes care of abused children, the other one is an institution close to the Charity Bowl venue that works with disabled children and adults.


American Football International is your source for news and updates about American Football outside the United States!