Valmiera FC played the first game of the European season in UEFA Conference League 2nd round qualifier against Macedonian team Shkendija. The outcome in a tight match resulted in a 1:2 loss.
The game began in a rather entertaining manner with Djibril Gueye getting multiple options to score a goal and gain the lead for his team, unfortunately, things went the other way around. In the 9th minute of the game out of nowhere, a seemingly low-scoring kick ended up behind our goalkeeper and made the score 0:1.
Shkendija had another shot at doubling the lead but that chance ended with the ball hitting the post. However, Gueye assured us that things wouldn’t end that way in the first half. During the 45th minute, a corner-kick sent the ball to Djibril who made no mistake and tied things up.
In the second half Macedonian side had slightly taken matters into their own hand and controlled the game. All we could offer for a while were counter-attacks. A few unfortunate events occurred which led to a quick attack by the opposing side by which a cross followed into the penalty area and a header flew into the net to give Shkendija yet another one-goal lead.
Afterward, the game wasn’t as dimensional as one would hope as multiple medical pauses stretched the game longer than anticipated. The referee awarded 9 minutes of added time during which the Valmiera side managed to dominate and create scoring chances – still, no luck and the game ended with a loss.
The second leg will be played on Thursday (28.07) in Skopje. The game will start at 21:00 (Latvian time).
Our squad: Matrevics, Balodis, Yakuba (46’ Yokota), Zhelizko, Krollis (C), Jaunzems, Mena, Silagadze (46’ Ndoye), Gueye (71’ Veips), Birka (46’ Fall (66’ Tonisevs))
Our next game will be played in the Virsliga tournament when on Sunday (24.07) at 14:00 we will play against FK Metta at Janis Dalins stadium.