Eurocup ticket booked

5 November 2023

Optibet Virsliga is fast approaching its conclusion. This weekend, Valmiera FC went to the Janis Lusis Stadium in Jelgava, where they faced the local FS Jelgava team. Although a minimal victory of 1:0 was achieved in this match of the 35th round, it was very eventful.

Jurgis Kalns was forced to make changes for this game, Maksims Tonisevs was forced to miss the game due to suspension, so both Pape Yare Fall and Emils Birka went on the pitch from the first minutes. Also, the duo of Leo Gaucho and Alioune Ndoye went on the attack lines.

From the start whistle, the game was taut, attacks alternated with defensive actions. There were a lot of free-kicks, corners, and throw-ins, and a lot of plays that gave options to score goals for both one and the other team. The nervous duel led to a flurry of mistakes.

Perhaps the most painful event could have been the awarded penalty kick on our goal. Ndoye tried to squeeze the maximum in the penalty area and overdid it, stumbling the opponent, Andris Treimanis did not hesitate and indicated that the kick should be taken. In this situation, Carlos Olses took on the role of hero, eliminating the chance by keeping the scoreless draw.

A few moments later, Raivo Sturins was already baptized in the penalty area. Gaucho shone in both moments, but the second chance was the fate of this match. Gustavo’s cross to the Brazilian striker, who first handled the ball with his chest and then made it 1-0 with an accurate shot.

In the continuation of the first half, a few more episodes where moments arose for both parties involved, but nothing came out of those. Valmiera FC took the lead at the break.

The hosts started the second half very briskly, Olsess was again forced to demonstrate his best qualities, and his efforts were crowned with success. Our attack didn’t disappoint either, there was no lack of opportunities, but the accuracy faltered.

Kristers Alekseiciks experienced a wintry moment in this match, he returned to the Virsliga pitch after a long injury and entered the game with burning eyes. Several successful moments in the attacking third. The game was suddenly transferred to the other side of the green field. Two more substitutions followed, after which the thriller was on.

In the 90th minute, the match referee went to the VAR screen to check a potential handball by Fall, but nothing, the shoulder was involved in the duel, and an 11-meter penalty wasn’t given. However, in the sequel, two episodes made all Vidzeme club representatives nervous.

First, the second yellow card for Kristers Čudars, but five minutes later we were also without Niks Sliede, who ended up in an identical situation. Dejavu and huge pressure from FS Jelgava. Whatever their efforts were, both Olsess and our joint teamwork allowed us to keep the score and win important three points.

After the final whistle in the match, it became known that in this Optibet Virsliga season, we have guaranteed at least fourth place and a Eurocup ticket, which will allow us to participate in the UEFA Conference League tournament qualifier next year. But nothing ends here, because we have to play the final game of the season against Riga FC on November 11. We will host this opponent at home, in Valmiera.

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