FC Riga with 1:0 overplayed Liepaja at Skonto stadium and is the winner of the Virslīga “Optibet” football championship. The only one goal made a Ukrainian football player Miroslav Slalov who has recently joined the team, however the game was significant because of Valdimir’s Kamesh bow in the team and return of Ivan Lukyanov back to the first eleven of Riga. Latvian Championship has made a lot of changes in team squad taking into account very busy timetable EuroCup, though the most significant change was the return of Ivan Lukyanov. Former Latvia national team midfielder for the first time in this season played in the first eleven of FC Riga, so that he in total played only two games in the season. Same with Vladislav Gabov being in first eleven also played not much in the season.The Rumanian football player Danu Spataru played as wing back instead of Raivis Jurkovsky who got maximum cards. At the beginning of the match Riga tried to use the fast player Aleksey Vishnyakov, however same fast Sparatu managed to cope with the rival in defensive play. The first attack of Liepaja ended in nothing dangerous. The first possible goal Riga had in the 14th minute when Deniss Rakels made a kick from the penalty area line. The ball rebounded from a goal post and was out-of-bounds. Liepaja which lost two previous matches did not have a success in attack by destroying each their attack in first 20 minutes. In the 27th minute of the match Riga football players were slow with kicks. Lukyanov same as Gabov could make shots on goal, however both players decided to make a pass, and then Rakels fell over and gave Liepaja an opportunity to counter attack. After Dodo’s pass Vugars Askerov got the ball and Roberts Ozols turnув the rival’s ball away. Quite often both teams players slipped on Skonto stadium grass, moreover often handled badly the slippery ball. This got in on the act as first half an hour none of the teams scored the first goal. In the 35th minute Gabov by centering the ball put Lukyanov at shooting position, however due to long time missed the player’s heading missed the gates. Soon later Oleg Laizan had the opportunity, though his kick by uncomfortable foot flew right in the hands of Valentin Ralkevich. Right at the end of first half Liepaja started to play more energetic and thanks to Askerov Liepaja had a lot of corner kicks. Nevertheless, none of three corner kicks was a success and both teams went for a break with a draw. Since the second half started with two Riga players that recently joined the team and took the field. In the heat of Latvia Championship a Ukrainian player Miroslav Slavov started the attack, who have already played in the first half. In addition Vladimir Kamesh made his debut in Riga team, who has joined the team soon before and made his debut in the first eleven of Riga. Riga after the corner kick pushed Liepaja to the penalty area where Slavov made a pass with heading to Elvis Stuglis who could not overplay Ralkevich, though even in case of a goal the result would not had changed, as the referee has already raised penalty flag. Dodo who is the author of Liepaja’s attack suffered a painful play due to his repeated hand injury. However soon after the Brazilian returned to the field. Half an hour before the end of second half Mihail Konev made his final player change, replacing Lukyanov after he played for 60 minutes. Riga many times tried to block Rakel in kick positions, though Liepaja’s defence was a success against one of the leading players and let Ralkevich applause to a successful performance of his teammate. Aleksandr Starkov made his first change in 73th minute and replaced Askerov by young player Raivis Vilumsons. 15 minutes before the match ended Martins Kigurs made a brilliant attack and could have scored, but was stopped only by Raivis Vilumsons’s breach. Sparatu did the penalty kick, though Ozols managed to catch the ball securely. Within last 10 minutes of the match Dodo knocked over Gabavs so giving Riga a penalty kick opportunity. The ball was caught by Vyacheslav Sharpara in the penalty area who found Slavov coming to be replaced and then Slavov scored for his first time being in Riga team. In such a way Riga opened the lead with the score 1:0. Starkov tried to save the game by sending to the field wide men for replacement. During three minutes of the extended time Slavov could score for the second time, however he fell over and shot wide from close range. Upon the end of the match the result did not change, and Riga kept moving towards the league title for the second time thanks to the third victory in succession. So the Riga’s advantage over the closest rivals has increased by 6 points in the championship table. However, Liepaja had suffered already third loss in succession, and as a result could not rise higher than 6th position in the Virslīga championship table. “Riga” – “Liepāja” 1:0 (0:0) Goals: Slavov 82′ Cautions: Rugins, Sharpars, Gabov – Strumia Riga: Ozols, Gabovs, Chernomordijs, Stuglis, Rugin, Laizans, Lukyanovs (Brisola 61′), Shapars, ViShnyakov (Kamesh 46′), Bilinskis (Slavov 46′), Rakel. Liepāja: Raiļkevich, Keita, Tober, Ivanov, Spataru, Fortesh (Fraidejs 87′), Chudars, Strumia, Kigurs (Smetanov 87′), Askerov (Viļumsons 73′), Dodo. Head Coach: Andris Treimanis author : sportacentrs.com PHOTO : Martins Silis