Match № 24

The match № 24 (for 9-12 places), seventh tournament day


January 22nd, 2015, St. Petersburg, Peterburgsky SCC, 300 spectators

Referees: Aleksey Sukhoi, Konstantin Zasulskiy, Mikhail Raspopov

Latvia: Viksna, Stuglis, Berenfelds (Vitolnieks, 90), Flaksis (c), Tidenbergs, Ivanovs (Jaudzems, 90), Litvinskis (Slampe, 46), Krusatins (Kirilins, 46), Klimasevics, Indrans (Sadcins, 46), Svarups (Gutkovskis, 52)

Head coach: Dainis Kazakevics

Lithuania: Gertmonas, Trucinskas, Krasnovskis (Ganusauskas, 87), Krusnauskas (Skripkinas, 76), Gaspuitis, Armanavicius (Vitukynas, 73), Bucma (Urbys, 77), Janusevskij (c), Malinauskas, Urbys, Raziunas

Head coach: Arminas Narbekovas

Goals: Sadcins (85), Ivanovs (90)

Yellow cards: Malinauskas (17), Gaspuitis (59), Kirilins (84)

Best players: Dmitrijs Klimasevics, Aurimas Trucinskas

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After match comments

Head coach of team Latvia Dainis Kazakevics:

– It is clear that the matches with neighbours – Estonia, Lithuania – are always principal, in spite of what place we are playing for. We were waiting for a hard game, because Lithuanian team is always an uncompromising opponent. There is no difference if they have injuries, suspensions, or tiredness, or low tournament place – they won't step back, especially in our Baltic Derby. There is no place to meet for us except St.Petersburg (smiling). This match wasn't an exception. We had the initiative most of the time but there were periods when opponent took ball possession. But we also managed with this component of play and we were better with it and better in our physical conditions. We have made a certain rotation before this game. We let on the pitch 4 "fresh" performers from main lineup in the second half to improve our play. Was it this certain reason or another but we managed to pressurize opponent and finally win the match on the tournament. I'm satisfied with the result and devotion of the players.

– You have said that substitutions improved your play, but it looked like players just changed the numbers on T-shirts. If there is no goal by Sadcins, we can say for sure the substitutions didn't work.

– We wanted them to improve the game. Players of attacking line have come and kept the speed of the game on the same level at least. We could still have ball possession. Moreover it was difficult for us after the scored goal. Lithuanians started to use high pressing, trying to catch us. Thus, they played this way before the goal also. It made us move all the time. Substitutions let us play at the same speed, not to fall back, control the ball. I still can say that substitutions improved our play, changed players had some mistakes in the first half and the newcomers didn't make same faults.

– Teams from Central Asia made a sensation on this tournament. Would it be useful to mix your Baltic pragmatism with Asian passion?

– First reason is technical base of our team. Asian teams have more technical players; they are better in play 1 to 1. The second reason is features of our mentality. Asian players have confidence, even self-confidence, but our players lacked this. We have players who can lead the team in some episodes but they also lack this component. Sometimes this collectivism prevails and spoils at the same. If we can improve this factor when the team play and individual skills are good enough, there will be symbiosis that gives the result.

– So, is there some adventurousness that is pressed by discipline or by frames of playing scheme?

– I can't say so. This is players' duty – not the fear but discipline. These are a bit different facts. There are players who are afraid to play, others plays responsibly. If they are about to fail, they will pass instead and play reliably.

– Today is the birthday of your assistant. What players did present him, the victory? In case of loss will there be a necktie?

– We have congratulated him in advance, before the match, in order not to think about it during the match. (Arminas Narbekovas: We have congratulated him in the evening yesterday. Laughing in the press centre). We have divided presents neighbourly.

– Have you trained penalty kicks before the match?

– We wouldn't refuse penalty shoot out. We would just come and strike. Who would score or fail is not very important. We haven't trained penalty kicks but we have noted range of players who were ready to make it. Those who were ready would make it with pleasure.

Head coach of team Lithuania Arminas Narbekovas:

– We knew the opponent's style of playing but we ceded the initiative trying to play on counterattacks. But our forward failed the task; he hasn't managed to do anything. The Latvian defender was successfully stopping the passes which addressed him. The game was leveled, considering the amount of sharp moments. But when you don't realize the moments you won't score and the opponent is likely to respond. So the players are losing concentration on the last 10 minutes and start drifting. You've seen: the referee appoints a free kick and the player doesn't understand anything and strikes the ball with his hand. They hadn't had any trainings for the tournament, what can you expect of them? What can they perform?

– The Asian teams participating in the tournament are distinguished by being a little bit of ballistic; hope they won't take it as offence. Your team is very pragmatic. Maybe you lack some part of their recklessness to win?

– What for our team, we lack a player who could be a leader. A creative one who would be able to initiate the game. But we can't distinguish anybody. It's good to have such a player, or, better, two of them. We don't need many, but a couple wouldn't be out of place. Now it's all as transparent as an open book.

– One of your reserved players applied a basketball toss when passing the ball for throwing in. So, you have brought basketball players?

– You see, we finish the football tournament in a day and go to the basketball competitions. I don't think we will perform worse.

– If it hadn't been for the goals scored in full time there would had been a penalty shootout. Were you prepared for this lottery?

– We didn't train it. Of course we would kick the penalty shootout, but it's hard to play in such tournaments without preparation. The load is too high, too much energy is demanded. Surely we would have performed penalty kicks if it were not for the last five minutes.


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