First lap ends in a loss

30 April 2023

The 9th round and the final game of the Optibet Virsliga first lap brought Valmiera FC on the road. First time back at the Mezaparks since the 4:0 win against Auda brought a disappointing finish (0:3) against Riga FC.

The hosts had the best of everything during the first half. Best offensive maneuvers, the best defensive and that counted for something. The sixth minute brought the opening goal of the game. Marko Regza got past Kristers Cudars, while Carlos Olses had zero business making a save.

17 minutes later it was already 0:2. This time around Cudars was there to counter Regza, but his efforts got nullified as the player put the ball in his own goal. With a lead Riga FC didn’t slow down and the game continued in similar manner. As the game went on Olses got involved in the game more and more, making key saves to keep his team within reach.

During that stretch VAR got itself involved in the game – something that never had happened before for Valmiera FC, as this was the first game for the team with the technology and it worked quite well. Regza had scored an apparent hat-trick but after video check it was decided that the play was off-side.

In the second half things were more promissing for the visiting side. Ingars Pulis was right into action and made an intensiely beautiful attempt on goal but it was missed. Now it was Valmiera creating chances and Riga responding with counters.

In total Jurgis Kalns made five substitutions, sending out Ruan Ribeiro, Juan Penaloza, Gustavo Silva, Pape Yare Fall with latter playing in an unusual position where he was responsible for the attacking half. Niks Sliede stepped on the pitch already in the first frame.

The best moments that the visitors could squeeze out were by Ruan Ribeiro and Alvis Jaunzems, however, in both situations the goalkeeper was better and managed to stay untouched.

Our next game will be played on Thursday (04.05), when we will be visting LNK Sporta Parks to play against FK RFS. Notably – this will be the first game of the season that Valmiera will play on natural grass pitch.

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