Turshavna, Oct. 11, LETA. Although the Latvian men’s national football team played in a draw for the third time in a row in the UEFA Nations League Group D tournament on Saturday, the head coach Dainis Kazakevičs said at the post-match press conference.
It has already been reported that the Latvian men’s national football team in the first group match of UEFA Nations League D on Saturday was a draw 1: 1 (1: 1) with the Faroe Islands, which lost their first points in the tournament.
Jānis Ikaunieks scored the only goal for the Latvian national team.
“We really wanted to win today – we came here after three points, so we are really disappointed that it didn’t work out,” Kazakevich said after the third draw. “When it comes to the quality of the game, I think the team’s performance was a good game. We are making progress and moving forward in many respects. Unfortunately, this progress does not allow us to win games like today – against a fairly well-organized opponent.”
“However, as a coach, it is obvious to me that we are moving in the right direction. We showed an active game, an active game without a ball, an aggressive game. Until the last minute we looked for our opportunities in the attack. Unfortunately we failed to score and win, but we continue the League of Nations. We will continue to make progress, we will continue to work and there will be no victories. “
The head coach pointed to a lack of shots on the goal. The Latvian national team made 13 strokes in the game against the Faroe Islands, but only two flew in the goal frame. Ikaunieks successfully performed one of them with his left leg in the 25th minute.
“We were looking for a lot to enter the penalty area, but in several episodes there was a lack of a decisive decision to hit the goal. There was a bit of lack of enterprise and more aggressive approach at the end of the attacks,” Kazakevich explained in more detail. “The opponent started the game aggressively and caused us problems. It took time for our plan to start for us to enter the game.”
The coach gave his players an extra tactical briefing during the break, and after that Faroe Islands had solid organization.
“It was our position that at least one support midfielder had to be in a high position, because often the opposing team’s support midfielders missed defensive positions. So we tried to raise at least one of our players higher in the areas between the lines,” explained the national team coach.
“I ask the team to play more actively in the deprivation stage. In this respect, we still have room to move forward so that we can read situations better.”
The Faroe Islands previously celebrated 3: 2 victory over Malta and 1: 0 over Andorra in the League of Nations. The Latvian national team played against Andorra in a draw, but in a duel with Malta 1: 1. Kazakevich stressed that calculation is not yet thought out.
“One thing is clear – we will definitely not do the calculation of theories. As long as we have the theoretical ability to fight for the first place in the group, we will do it,” Kazakevich said about the goals of the sample. “Obviously, the first two games, in which we won only two points, quite significantly affect the situation in the tournament table.”
“We will fight for the first place in the group as long as we can, but at the same time it is not our only task for eight matches in the fall. It is important for us to progress in game quality, line-up and we do it. We prepare for each game separately, we want to win and let’s do our best to finally win. ”
After three games, the Faroe Islands are leading the group with seven points, Latvia has three points, and Andorra and Malta have scored two points each.
Latvia met with the Faroe Islands in the qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, where they first lost 0: 2 at home, but fought in a draw 0: 0. In March 2018, both teams played a test game, which ended in a draw 1: 1, with Vladislav Fyodorov scoring the only goal for the Latvians.
Among the candidates for the national team are 27 footballers, of whom Krister Tober, Daniel Ontuzhan and Eduard Tidenberg had no midfielders in the previous term. Due to Covid-19, the center defender Kaspars Dubra could not join the national team, and Igors Tarasovs, who was the only goalkeeper of the Latvian national team in the match in Podgorica, was called in his place.
In the game, the Latvian national team could not help the striker Vladislavs Gutkovskis, who was rejected from the field in the first match of the League of Nations for a gross violation. The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Commission decided to disqualify the attacker for two games.
The Latvian national team in the FIFA rank is divided into 137th place, but the Faroese national unit occupies the 107th position.
The winner of the first group of the League of Nations D will secure a place in the C league of the next season or in the third level by force. The weakest national teams play in the D league.
The last games of the League of Nations are scheduled for Latvia in November.
The composition of the Latvian men’s football team for the game against the Faroe Islands:
goalkeepers – Pavel Steinbor (Belastock “Jagiellonia”, Poland), Robert Ozols (“Riga”), Davis Osh (Jurmala “Spartacus”);
defenders – Igors Tarasovs (Kuopio “Palloseura”, Finland), Elvis Stuglis, Ritvars Rugins (both – “Riga”), Roberts Savaļnieks (RFS), Mārcis Ošs (“Lugano”, Switzerland), Krišs Kārkliņš (“Valmiera”), Raivis Jurkovskis (“Liepāja”) ‘;
midfielders – Artūrs Zjuzins, Jānis Ikaunieks (both – RFS), Eduards Emsis (“Noah”, Armenia), Andrejs Cigaņiks (Luhansk “Zorja”, Ukraine), Vladislav Fyodorov (“Riga”), Alvis Jaunzems (“Valmiera”), Gleb Klushkin (Marijampole “Sūduva”, Lithuania), Mārtiņš Ķigurs (“Liepāja”), Kristers Tobers (Gdańsk “Lechia”, Poland), Daniels Ontužāns (Munich “Bayern”, Germany);
attackers – Roberts Uldrikis (“Sion”, Switzerland), Dāvis Ikaunieks (“Mlada Boleslav”, Czech Republic), Raimonds Krollis (“Metta”).