January 21st, 2016, St. Petersburg, Peterburgsky SCC, 300 spectators

Best players: Sergejs Vorobjovs, Jahongir Aliev

Post match comments

Dainis Kazakevics, Head coach of team Latvia:

– It was quite hard for us to play, but we didn't expect anything else. All the teams playing on the tournament have approximately the same level, maybe except for the team of Russia. Our today's opponents are very fast and technical. I was happy when we scored two goals, for it made our task easier a bit. But then I wasn't satisfied with the actions of some players. In particular, despite we had to be playing close to each other acting quickly on counterattacks, our team got too close to our own penalty area. And we paid for it. In the end they did well showing their character and led the match to a win. Unlike the game against Russia, for example, I think we've got the "debt" back, for then we failed to convert our chances and now we have done it.

– Have you been playing on counterattacks on purpose?

– I repeat that team Tajikistan is very fast and technical and it enjoys controlling the ball. There was an instruction from our side to play a bit closer to the goals and more compact. Another thing is that we are not quite satisfied with our attacking line because the central forwards haven't completed their task. Of course, a certain reason is connected with our two central forwards who cannot come on the pitch already in two matches in a row: Gutkovskis, our leader, who got disqualified for two matches and Ikaunieks who had been injured. But we hope that they will be able to help us already in the next game.

– And still, what was the main factor of the win today: successful substitutions or a character shown?

– I wouldn't be pointing out anything of these. Maybe it was everything in total. And besides, I will agree with the coach of team Tajikistan on the episode with our third goal. There may have been a not justifiable foul from the opponent's side, then a high ball from a free kick and the winning goal. In a whole, substitutions haven't weakened the game, but neither of the players who were sent to the pitch could fulfill what we'd told them to.

Roman Pylypchuk, Head coach of team Tajikistan:

– Frankly, I only have one opinion to share – it was not Latvia who scored three goals today, it was us and more precisely our goalkeeper who conceded all of them. I don't have pretentions almost to any of the field players either in play organizational component or in devotion. Our biggest problem was the lack of a goalkeeper! The rest is OK, including ball possession and speed. Even two goals behind I was still saying to the guys that we are going to break through Latvian defense and score. And later... you've seen everything yourselves. We got an unnecessary free kick against, but the goalkeeper did not save us again. I have nothing to add!

– It seemed your players often abuse individual activities. Are skillful players a drawback for your team?

– I wouldn't agree with you. Yes, we keep on saying to the folks that you cannot possess the ball for too long in modern football and you have to make a pass making a prompt decision. But in our case the reason of our losses on this tournament is not connected with individual activities of the players. We lost our central back in the very first match. He had his nose broken. He was a key player in all the formations we were training. I had to rebuild the entire play during the first game already. Our defensive midfielder took this position instead. I wouldn't agree with you with regard to our slow passing. Just take a look at how our players move being close to the opposing penalty area. They won't let you stand and think there for a long. It was exactly near the opposing goal area where we were acting fast. We scored the goals exactly from the tense areas.

– You made only one substitution in this game. Didn't you have candidates to come on the pitch?

– I didn't. There were only defenders on the bench. The substitution I made did not strengthen our activities. On the contrary, an 18-year old went in and made an unnecessary foul that led to a free kick and a third goal against. At the same time I don't want you to make an impression that I am complaining. It's the opposite, as we are very happy to have come to this tournament. We revealed our main problem – the goalkeeper position. Our team showed that it is in love with attacking football and that we are capable of playing this way. But unfortunately at this point we all have to look back all the time while attacking.

Copyright 2011 Международный турнир по футболу «Кубок Содружества» / International Football Tournament "Commonwealth Cup" - match-11-en. All Rights Reserved.
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