Valmiera FC returned to game action with two matches in which the team managed to earn two victories in really confident showings. In the first match of the day, we clutched a 3:2 victory over FC Akron Tolyatti. Game number two brought an even more impressive victory – 5:1 against FK Orenburg.
The opener against the Akron team was fulfilling and action-packed for both teams, however, we managed to take charge early on in the game. In the 21st minute of the game, Eriks Punculs opened up the scoring after a rebound. Just two minutes later the scoreboard showed a 2:0 lead as Stepanovs caught the opponents naping and forced the goalkeeper to make an error to then send the ball into an empty net. The opponents managed to get one goal back to end the first half.
In the second half, the trend continued, things were tight between the sides. Our opponent created some dangerous opportunities but Denis Popov was clutch when it was the most necessary. During the 71st minute of the match, Alioune Ndoye extended our lead to two goals. Nine minutes later the opponents got their last say in this match which led to the end score – 3:2.
Starting 11 vs FC Akron Tolyatti: Denis Popov, Rudolfs Zengis, Kristers Neilands, Roberts Veips, Olgerts Rascevskis, Kristers Cudars, Ivan Zhelizko, Vladimirs Stepanovs, Eriks Punculs, Alioune Ndoye, Ingars Pulis.
Substitutes: Klavs Lauva, Maksims Tonisevs, Valeri Chupin, Artjems Saboha, Kristers Lusins, Kristians Kauselis, Aleksandr Gapechkin and two testable players.
Game two began with Valmiera FC taking a very early when just two minutes in Luka Silagadze shot a beauty past the opposing goalkeeper shortly after entering the penalty area. Our pressure continued and in the 24th minute of the match, our captain Raimonds Krollis scored his first of the game after a pass from Djibril Gueye. A goal for the opponent at the very end of half-time sent both teams to rest with a score of 2:1 in favor of Valmiera.
Our offensive efforts continued – a penalty was assigned to the opponent’s net and our captain stepped up to the plate once again. Although the initial shot was turned away by the keeper, Krollis followed up with a precise shot which extended our lead further. He managed to get one more goal to complete the hat-trick. Niks Dusalijevs who came on the pitch from the bench rounded things out to assure a convincing 5:1 victory for Valmiera FC.
Starting 11 vs FC Orenburg: Rihards Matrevics, Pape Fall, Roman Yakuba, Daniels Balodis, Alvis Jaunzems, Masaki Murata, Djibril Gueye, Daisuke Yokota, Luka Silagadze, Camilo Mena, Raimonds Krollis.
Substitutes: Vjaceslavs Kudrjavcevs, Niks Dusalijevs, Ivan Zhelizko, Maksims Tonisevs, Kristers Lusins, Olgerts Rascevskis.
On February 24th we will have another double game day – first against the Krasnodar-2 team (10.00 Latvian time) which will be followed by a face-off against FC Torpedo Moscow (16.00 Latvian time).