On Saturday, January 22nd Valmiera FC traveled to Riga and played two exhibition games against FK Auda and SK Super Nova teams. If the first game showed no goals whatsoever, the second match provided both teams with a total of six between them.
The first match of the day at the Olympic Skonto Hall was played between Valmiera FC and Auda teams. The game began with a big advantage in ball control for our team. Just seven minutes in Djibril Gueye had an amazing opportunity to put the team ahead but the opposing goalie made a decent save to stop that attempt. The only thing Auda could offer were counters that were stopped point-blank.
The second half brought changes in the squad as substitutions were made. The pressure only increased and we managed to have positional attacks which only increased our goal-scoring opportunities. Eriks Punculs was very active up-front trying to put the ball into the net on multiple occasions but it was never enough. The game ended with a scoreless tie as FK Auda side managed to live through the pressure, while our goalie Rihards Matrevics had a lonely time on his side of the pitch as he didn’t have much work to do.
Valmiera FC squad for the game against FK Auda (0:0):
Starting 11: Rihards Matrevics, Daniels Balodis, Roman Yakuba, Alvis Jaunzems, Pape Fall, Aleksandr Gapechkin, Daisuke Yokota, Masaki Murata, Alioune Ndoye, Meissa Diop, Djibril Gueye.
Substitutes: Kristers Neilands, test.player #1, test.player #2, Rudolfs Zengis, Vladimirs Stepanovs, test.player #3, Luka Silagadze, Kristers Lusins, Eriks Punculs.
As the second game of the day came the venues were changed – this time we took on SK Super Nova at the Rimi Olympic Center. Now a much younger squad represented the colors of Valmiera FC. The match began with the team going down 0:1 five minutes into the game. Opponents continued to control the match up until the end frame of the half when a penalty was awarded in favor of us and a testable player equalized the score. Eight minutes later Valeri Chupin scored a beauty from a long-distance – ball that soared into the left upper corner of the net.
The second half once again went in favor of Super Nova as they got their chance to try to shoot from the penalty spot which led to a tie. Misfortunes continued, a foul committed by our defender assured that a successful free-kick was taken by the opponents and the ball was sent past the wall and into the left side of the net. As the game approached the end another one was put past us to reach the final score of the game 2:4.
Valmiera FC squad for the game against SK Super Nova (2:4):
Starting 11: Denis Popov, Kristers Neilands, Valeri Chupin, Martins Bokta, test.player #4, test.player #2, test.player #5, Vladimirs Stepanovs, Ralfs Kragliks, test.player #6, test.player #7.
Substitutes: test.player #8, test.player #1, Ronalds Gackis, Ritvars Zauska, Karlis Patriks Libietis, test.player #3.
The last exhibition game before the training camp in Turkey will be played next Sunday in Viljandi.