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WINDS OF CHANGE: UNITED RECORD FIRST BACK-TO-BACK WINS

20 / 06 / 2016

Riga United Ladies
3 : 1 View report
VRS Optimists Rēzekne

Against stormy winds on Saturday, Riga United Ladies beat Rēzeknes BJSS/VRS Optimists Rēzekne 3-1.

Date published: 20/06/2016 - 21:31

Riga United FC Ladies 3-1 Rēzeknes BJSS/VRS Optimists Rēzekne
Gjerde 35', 63'
Vāciete 71'

Amongst the swirling, stormy winds at Rīgas Vidusskola 49. on Saturday, Riga built on their win from last week and recorded a 3-1 victory against Rēzekne.  This is not only the first victory against Rēzekne, it is also the first time they have recorded back-to-back victories in the league.

This was the best possible send off for the Ladies’ Star player, Kristin Aune, who is returning back to Norway.  She was unable to score, but she put in a great performance up front with Liene Vāciete. She will be missed by the team; not only off the field, but for her stand out performances on it, including, amongst other things, scoring the first ever goal for Riga United Ladies.    

The goals came from in-form pair Marit Gjerde and Liene Vāciete for the second week running. The brace from Gjerde brings her up to 6 goals for the season, closing in on Bidermane’s record of 7. Vāciete’s goal brings her up to 5.

The first half was a little bit of a dull affair as both teams struggled to get their football going at times and committed plenty of fouls as a consequence. The game was not helped by the horrible weather conditions; however, United were unable to keep the ball long enough to do anything with it.  

The ladies were comfortable enough in their own half, but struggled to break through the Rēzekne back line. However, once they drew Rēzekne forward by dropping deeper, they found success in exploiting the gaps in the opponent’s defence. After a couple of chances, the captain, Marit Gjerde, broke the deadlock in the 35th minute as she sent a free kick flying into the top left-hand corner of the goal much to the delight of the players and fans.

The second half started in the most bizarre fashion.  A minute after play had restarted, there was a corner to Rēzekne. The ball was floated into the area; however, nature thought it would have a say on the matter and inexplicably the strong wind blew the ball straight into the goal catching everyone off guard.  It is often falsely claimed of a misfortune that “there is nothing anyone could have done about it”. This time though, it is absolutely true.   

Riga started to find some momentum and success in the centre of the park as their passing game got going and they held on to the ball for longer periods.  The second half was dominated a little more by United’s left flank players, who made a lot of progress going forward. At one point, Ronja Penkkala picked up the ball at the halfway line and made a storming run to get in the box, only for the goalie to take the ball from her feet.

The second goal for Riga did indeed come from the left in the 63rd minute. A well worked short-corner between Gjerde and Penkkala led to Gjerde taking the ball on the edge of the box and firing a rocket into the opposite side of the net in true Riga United fashion.

From this point on, it was all Riga United.  Rēzekne did have some dangerous looking counters; however, the defence were equal in concentration and physicality to see off the threat from their forwards, leaving Jevgenija Arzubova with nothing much to do in goal.

Liene Vāciete made it 3-1 in the 71st minute after a second successive corner for United.  Swung in by Gjerde, it was Vāciete who rose highest and scored with a great, solid header.

The vastly improved second half from Riga United Ladies was the major factor which won this game.  They got it together at halftime and despite the minor setback at the restart, it was a fantastic display of football from the team.  They have a month’s break now before the next game, when they’ll take on Cerība for a 3rd and final time, hoping to make it 3 wins in-a-row.

Player of the Game: Marit Gjerde.  For a second week running, she has been the star player of the team.  There was a tireless energy from her in the game for the full 90 minutes, which at points galvanised the team into action.  The 2 goals and 1 assist to her name, were just rewards.