After the national team break, Valmiera FC resumed the Optibet Virsliga championship. A responsible game ahead in the fight for bronze medals, a ticket to the Eurocups. A long trip to Kurzeme, where a duel with the FK Liepāja team took place in the windy city. This time, a sea of mistakes in the performance of the opponents and a convincing victory (4:1) for Valmiera.
Jurgis Kalns had brought a relatively shorter bench to the game, as usual, still disqualified Alioune Ndoye, and this time Gustavo could not help the team either. Leo Gaucho and Andriy Korobenko went on the pitch instead of them. Goal security was entrusted to Carlos Olses.
Valmiera’s team started the game better, sharp attacks alternated with a sea of corner kicks, which drove FK Liepāja, who dreams of vertical football, into a corner. One corner, two, three, but the lucky one was the fourth. Fraj Kairmani stood at the corner flag and crossed into the penalty area, where Gaucho rose into the air. In flight, the ball found the striker’s head, with which he powerfully hit the ball into the goal, putting his team in the lead.
In the continuation, Liepaja was forced to look for its own opportunities, while Valmiera continued to demonstrate a convincing performance—chances for both Meissa Diop and Korobenko, but silence. The silence continued until the 39th minute when Eduards Tidenbergs made a gross mistake in his penalty area. Gaucho was at the ball again and the ball landed in the net for the second time. The home team’s response took a few moments, but the attempt went over the goal from five meters.
Diop continued his speed raids, this time through the penalty area and towards the goalkeeper, who made the decision to play the ball. It failed and Meisa was tripped – the referee pointed to the penalty kick mark. Without question, Gaucho came to the ball and also made the attempt. The goalkeeper triumphed in this episode, preventing the Valmiera striker from scoring a hat-trick.
The second half went in the same manner as the first – the visiting team had a lot of possession, but the goalkeepers of both teams had to do their job. A curious episode occurred at the opponent’s goal, Diop played the ball in front of the goal, where the opponent worked brilliantly with his head, unfortunately for him – the ball flew into his own goal, which made it 3-0.
The people sitting in the stands of Stadium Daugava could continue to snicker at their curiosity because their mistake was also on the defensive side of Valmiera FC. Kairmani got close to the opponent’s player and in a little panic tried to pass to Robert Veips, unfortunately, the ball did not reach the midfielder. The ball was stolen and Olses was also beaten in this match.
Emotions and duels rose to a new level from time to time. After a clash in the air, one of the opponents decided to punish Veips by hitting the player on the head. Andris Treimanis warned Veips with a yellow, but a moment later he was already jogging at a high pace at the VAR screen. After a small test, there was also a turning point – the kick was noticed and the opponent was expelled from the game with a straight red card.
It seemed that Liepaja had given up, but Valmiera was waiting for the final whistle. Out of nowhere, the fans started clamoring for the fourth and Gaucho had no second thoughts – in the counterattack, the ball hit his leg again and it was sent into the top corner of the goal, making the final score of the game 4:1.
We will play our next game on Sunday (24.09) when our next rivals in the fight for the top spot – FK Auda – will be hosted at the Janis Dalins Stadium. The game starts at 14:00.