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17 / 02 / 2016
Riga lost 1-0 but showed a lot of character and potential in the process.Date Published: 15:28
Authour: Richard Youatt
Last night, Riga United went to Ķekava to take on 1. Līga team Auda FK in the first preseason friendly. On a frozen pitch and with both teams looking to experiment with players, it was Auda who came out on top with a 1-0 victory.
Riga United and manager Mo Awada always knew this was going to
be a tough game, they knew the opponent and the conditions didn't
help. They set out, from the outset playing quite deep and
looking to contain Auda and counter when possible. For just under
30mins, Riga United were holding up their side of the deal well,
they were coping well with Auda and broke one or two times, coming
However, it was in the 29th minute when Auda got their break, showing their class and skill, they outwitted the backline and broke through to score. They had a chance to go 2-0 but the ‘Hero’ Murat Kelkit, kept up his reputation as a penalty specialist and saved it.
Half time came and went and changes were made by both teams and Riga looked solid. The second half saw a couple of chances for both teams, especially when Riga switched formation. Manager Mo Awada, speaking after the game, said “The players followed the game plan very well and also when we changed the system. In the last 10 or 15mins we looked the more likely to score and 1-1 I believe would have been a fair result.”
Indeed 1-1 would have been a fair result but the final whistle blew. Auda, to their credit looked strong and it shows how much credit Riga United should get for keeping them at bay. Awada continued “People should know, this was Auda's 4th game of preseason and our 1st on what was a very tricky and cold pitch, with a little fine tuning and hard work we will put it right.
I'm proud of the players, we have great material to work with
this season and I strongly believe we will only get better.”
Reflecting on the match as a whole, Awada added “We expected a hard game and that is exactly what we got, Auda are a top, top team with some brilliant players but on the whole we coped well with any threat they posed. I expected Auda to have the lion share of possession but in all honesty for all their possession our keeper was hardly troubled throughout the game. With a little bit more luck and composure we could and probably should have scored 1 or 2 goals of our own.”