Painful finish to the European season

18 August 2023

UEFA Conference league – 3rd qualifying round, away leg between Valmiera FC and FK Partizani from Albania. A match where miracles could have happened turned into a painful loss for the Latvian side – an unfortunate 11-meter penalty was the lone goal in a game that ended with a score of 0:1, 1:3 on aggregate.

Valmiera started the game offensively, but it did not produce a result. On the other hand, the opponents’ efforts turned out to be more fruitful. In the 15th minute, Arinaldo Rapaj beat Valmiera with the ball in the penalty area, then hit the ball over the goal.

Just five minutes later, Partizani earned a penalty kick. Apparently, Daniels Balodis had used his hand to stop the ball – therefore an 11-meter penalty kick was awarded. Tedi Cara stepped up to the plate and delivered a finisher.

In the continuation of the first half, the result could have changed in favor of both teams: Maksims Tonisevs did not use the opportunities to stand out, and neither did his teammates.

Another good opportunity from a long pass to Meissa Diop, who bolted to battle against the opposing goalkeeper – after the contact Diop fell, but the referee’s whistle remained silent. No call and visible confusion on the visiting bench.

In the second half, there was plenty of effort and scoring opportunities. Valmiera led the charge offensively, with moments from Alioune Ndoye, and Daniels Balodis amongst many others – but there was only one thing lacking, the final finishing touch.

As hard as Valmiera tried, the efforts were cut short and the final whistle was blown to announce that the Latvian club has been eliminated from contention in this year’s European season.

Our next game will be played on Monday (21.08), when at Jana Dalina stadium we will host FK Tukums 2000/Telms for the 1/4 finals of the Latvian Cup.

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