We decided who will be the champion

13 November 2023

Optibet Virsliga’s most important day – the 36th round of games. The battle for a possible title was played at the Janis Dalins Stadium, where the table leaders at that time, Riga FC, visited Valmiera FC. In a taut, intriguing match, the game ended in a draw – 1:1.

For this match, Jurgis Kalns was forced to make several changes, as Niks Sliede and Kristers Cudars had to miss the meeting with the Riga team due to disqualification. Kristers Alekseiciks and Maksims Tonisevs went to the pitch in their positions. Emils Birka also went to the pitch in an unusual right-back position.

At the start of the match, our team took the field and showed enthusiasm, starting very actively and being able to control the course of the game. The deeper the game, the more initiative belonged to the opponent. Riga slowly but surely took over the reins of the game. In the 15th minute, Gustavo had to stop the opponents’ dangerous effort on the goal, receiving a yellow card, after a foul against Marko Regza.

In the following minutes, Carlos Olses and his defensive barrier had to sweat, but after the first half, the scoreboard announced a draw – 0:0.

Also in the second half, it was evident that Riga FC was looking for their opportunities to win the Virslga title, but Carlos had other plans – a successful save from a corner kick cross. A few more scoring chances followed but to no avail.

The 60th minute of the game allowed Leo Gaucho and Alioune Ndoye – both of them cut off almost the entire team from Riga in the counterattack, Gaucho deftly passed to Ndoye in the penalty area, who needed only one touch to beat Rihards Matrevics. For Valmiera, this game did not decide anything, but the celebrations on the side of the field and in the stands proved that no one is going to give anything away in such a game.

In the remaining minutes, a lot of pauses, violations, and standard situations. One of the corner kicks was successful for the guests – Eduards Daskevics found Anthony Contreras with a great cross, who beat our goalkeeper and equalized the result – 1:1. This meant that the Champions Cup did not go to Valmiera anyway, leaving Riga FC in second place, while Valmiera ended the season in fourth place.

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