First ever victory on European stage

26 July 2023

Valmiera FC arrived at San Marino with one goal in mind – to earn its maiden victory in European competitions. The weather was rather hot and whole different than experience in previous attempts but that did not disturb Jurgis Kalns and his team to earn a convincing (3:0) win against the ST Tre Penne team.

The kick-off gave the host team a chance to try out their luck but that was just about everything they could offer offensively during the first half of the match. A few corners after successful counter attempts but Valmiera FC arrived in passion. Huge ball control mixed with steady attacks and moments came one after another. First up Fraj Kairmani, who received a cross from a corner-kick but the ball was sent wide.

Camilo Mena was spotted attacking on multiple occasions, Gustavo Silva was also in a perfect position to find the opening goal but he was off-side. Finally in the 33rd minute of the match Mena elected to showcase his abilities and a solo dribble after a pass by Ivan Zhelizko resulted in a goal. For the first time in club history, Valmiera was in the lead. Attacks remained noticeable but that was it for the first half.

Coach Kalns remained confident in his starting eleven and decided to not make any substitutions after the first forty-five minutes and kept all players on the pitch. Just a minute into the frame Alioune Ndoye doubled down with a goal from a corner that was addressed to him. Up by two and celebrating but yet another reason to do so was given shortly after. Confidence was gained enough and with opponents offering nothing – one last goal arrived.

Kairmani found Mena in the grasp of the penalty area, initial kick failed but a repeated one resulted in a third goal as he approached the goalkeeper who failed to keep the ball out.

A safe lead and coach followed up with substitutions – Leo Gaucho, Victor Diagne, Ingars Pulis, Adel Ghanem, and Meissa Diop all received an opportunity to contribute.

The pace of the game slowed down and opponents also had their fair share of ball control, however – nothing was allowed for them on the pitch. Attempts were there but the three goals were what decided the game and brought the final result.

Our next game will be played in a week’s time when on Tuesday (01.08) we will host ST Tre Penne for the second leg at Jana Dalina stadium. Kick-off is set for 18:00.

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