AN UNDER PAR PERFORMANCE SEES RĪGAS FS DOMINATE UNITED
06 / 06 / 2016
Riga United Ladies had a record loss of 7-1 yesterday as they visited leaders RFS
Date published: 06/06/2016 - 17:20
Rīgas FS 7-1 Riga United Ladies
J. Ņikiforova og. 16'
In a game most people will want to forget in a hurry, Riga United Ladies played their rivals RFS in the hope of creating an upset. With promising results before hand, if all had gone to plan, they may have done it. However, the exact opposite happened and from a poor first half performance it led to a 7-1 defeat, which is an new record since the team’s inception.
Everyone, including the manager, knew it was going to be tough with the first 3 goalies out and only 11 players to field, that said United had been through tough times before and had come out the other side with positives.
The game didn’t start off well, with the first goal coming in the 2nd minute from a free kick and the second from a penalty in the 14th minute. That said, set pieces with RFS have always been dangerous. There was a small possibility of hope with an almost instantaneous response from Riga, after a good passage of passing, saw Vāciete take the ball on the left and with a good cross, found its way into the box and from a wayward clearance, the RFS defender put it out of reach for the goalie and it was very quickly 2-1.
It almost 2-2 5 minutes later when again a simple channel ball found its way for a one-on-one opportunity but inexplicably it was unable to be converted as the ball was kicked high into the air and found its way safely into the goalie’s arms. It was a turning point, as 5 minutes after that, in the 25th minute, it was 3-1 as no one had the back post covered and directly from the corner kick, the ball went into the goal.
The fourth and fifth goals before half time were both down to poor defending and they were incredibly soft to concede. Both long shots came in, the ball came loose and both times players weren’t there tracking the attackers or covering the goalie so both were simple finishes.
The first half came to a close with Manager Justin Walley clearly very annoyed. The team was not playing simple balls or not followed instructions. The ball was given away far too easily and positionally players found themselves out of place. Looking back on the game, Walley was frustrated: "I was hugely disappointed by the way we applied ourselves for certain periods of the first half and the start of the second period. The defensive line played too high and badly out of shape, we didn't play simple balls behind their high line into the channels as I had asked, talented individuals did not keep the ball as I had asked. We allowed them to compress play and then stretch it whenever they wanted. It was simple but effective football from RFS and they made us look second rate at times.”
The second half didn’t start much better. In 6 minutes the game and rout was complete. In the 48th minute the 6th goal was scored when again the ball was lost in midfield and RFS just had to play a simple ball to the striker. The 7th, arguably the player who crossed the ball was offside, however. It wasn’t given and another simple finish.
The remainder of the half saw some ill temper between the two team and small fouls here and there. United did play some better football and some of the players had much improved half. Vāciete also had a chance which came of the post, which summed up United’s day. They were still unable to really play how Walley wanted them to play and with RFS taking their foot of the gas, the game came to its conclusion.
United will have to learn from this and fast. People will need to take responsibility and show what the team is made of in the next fixture on Saturday, when they play Rēzekne, in what is a “6-point-game”.
Following the game, with comments from Walley, he concluded: “Yes, we only had 11 players available and Jevgenija [Arzubova] kindly standing in as goalkeeper as we have lost all three of our keepers, but we played at times like we had 9 out there. There were harsh words from me at half time. I didn't like the attitude of some players on the day. If everyone had listened to what I had asked of them before, during the game and at half time, it would have been very different, I am certain of that. The last half hour was much improved but overall I feel very hurt at losing 7-1. During half time and last night, a couple of hours after the game, I said some harsh things to the girls. They've never heard me speak like that before and I know many of them felt a bit hurt by what I had to say. I think they should take it on board and respond on the training ground and on the pitch. I am looking for a reaction in training later this week and in the two games before the summer break. We are not realizing our potential and I want to see a big improvement in the remaining league and cup games we have this season."