Fight in Minsk for the next Qualifying Round
Today on July 18 in Minsk, Belarus at the Stadium “DINAMO” FK Liepaja will play return match against FC Dinamo Minsk.
Liepaja got it by drawing lots to play against FC Dinamo Minsk, who in front of audience pulled off a surprise win over St Petersburg Zenit scoring 4:0, though during the regular time in return match lost with the same score, and during the extended time surrendered with 1:8 score.
The first game in Liepaja was a draw 1:1, however even though there are no winners feelings are ambivalent about it. Liepaja broke the match open straight in the beginning, when Amansio Fortes was illegally held in the penalty field, after which there was an 11 meter penalty kick done by Janis Ikaunieks. The course of the game was equal, however Liepaja had a good opportunity to extend the lead, which was not done and at the end of the game the guests scored once, however it was not the end, as on the last seconds Vadims Zulevs breached the rules in his penalty field that meant that FC Dinamo had a chance to leave Liepaja town as the winners, which would make it more complicated for FC Liepaja to get into the next round. Valentins Ralkevics saved Liepaja from badly loss by beating off 11 m penalty kick, which meant that Liepaja could go to Minsk with a hope to get into next round.
Today Liepaja must score in order to keep struggling at least for the next round, as if the game will be a draw, then due to scoring in away matches FC Dinamo Minsk will go forward. The Opponents this year are not same team they were last year, when they put Russian powerhouse Zenit tie up in knots, though nevertheless being the favourite in this fight. FC Dinamo Minsk have overcame significant changes, like change of many players, players from other team played, and the Club management changed.
FK Liepaja team is not expecting significant changes, as all the main powers are healthy and ready for fight, after good enough performance in Liepaja, there is a good mood in the team and all believe that this hurdle can be taken. It is very likely that already today we will see Martins Kigurs on the field, who missed last game due to trauma, though is unclear whether Janis Ikaunieks will perform after he got trauma at training, and it is also unclear whether one of the team leaders would be able to come back.
Liepaja surprised the opponents with their fast game and control of the ball, which were the main factors in the match. Liepaja has very fast and good attack players that bring many problems to the opponent’s goalkeepers. Will Liepaja show today good performance and score the opponent’s gates? We will know that tonight, the match starts at 19:30.
Photo: Martins Silis