HARD WORKING UNITED LIMIT CARAMBA TO A DRAW
12 / 05 / 2016
Riga United sent a loud message to the rest of the league as they keep defending champions to a 1-1 draw with 10 men.
Date published: 14/05/2016 - 14:40
Crowd att: 87
Riga United FC 1-1 FC Caramba Riga
If Caramba thought they were coming for a ‘walk in the park’ like last year; Riga United have sent them away to think again. This was a strong team performance from Riga and even with 10 men for 55 minutes of the game, they showed a stalwart performance that will test most teams this year.
The goals came in either half of the match, the first was when Riga United took the lead in the 28th minute as both teams were looking for a breakthrough and testing each other. It was Riga United, who found the deadlock after some pressure, defender Matehus Johansen shot the ball and after a scramble and deflection in the penalty area, it was left to ‘The Moroccan Magician’ Karim Gouglou to poke home from close range. Caramba equalised though in the second half just after the hour mark as a dominant looking Caramba, at that point, found a man on the back post to score from 6 yards out.
The only real negative from this game, would have been Gouglou’s sending off with two yellows in the first half. The first yellow was harsh as it appeared Gouglou was pushed into the goalkeeper as it looked like he tripped him but the second would have been disappointing as he inexplicably handled the ball following a fantastic goal line clearance from Johansen as Riga were on the counter.
Both teams had chances and going in at half time 1-0 to Riga was
fair reflection on the game. It was even overall but United
definitely had the better chances as the look to mix up the attack
and utilise the hard working wingers. Caramba came back in towards
the end of the first half and two fine saves from goalkeeper Graham
Williams keeping them ahead. In the second half, it was
logical the onus would have been on Caramba to get back into the
game and for Riga to hold out. However, with Riga working
solidly as a team, Caramba were limited to very chances in the
second half and the whole defence stood up as a unit and worked
incredibly hard to keep Caramba out. As time was running out
in the game, Riga looked full of self believe and with the
introduction of Klincars to the game, Niels Krause, who also made a
goalline clearance in the second half, had someone to work on the
counter and indeed United could have even one it had Klincars
beaten the goalie in one-on-one. Still despite that, there
was absolute joy from the fans and the players alike as the full
time whistle blew.
Man of the match: Matehus Johansen.
Words from Matehus Johansen:
“The game plan we had was perfect and we managed to stick to it all the way which shows great discipline in the group. As for the game it was no pretty game, but we showed everyone when it comes to it we can put up a fight with everyone. Being choosed to the man of the match makes me happy, and I couldn't done it without my teammates.
The game turned into a battlefield, and I wouldn't choose anyone else to fight this battle by my side me. We are not only riga United and football players, but we are warriors that fights for each other and never give up"
What the manager said:
After the game, the Supporters’ group caught up with manager Mo Awada for a quick interview, this is what he had to say:
RUSG: “Great result! Though on reflection, probably a fair result. You must be feeling very happy with the team?”
Awada: “I am so proud of the players , This was the one of best performances I have seen in my 8 years at the club, they deserved it and dare I say they even deserved to win the game. This was down to 3 months of hard work in preseason. I asked for passion, desire and work rate and I got that in bucket loads from the players.. I'm very happy, and every player who took part should be proud.”
RUSG: “Matehus Johansen got man of the match. Great performance from him tonight? “
Awada: “Matehus got man of the match and fully deserved it, he won every header, put his body on the line and defended very well, he had great partner in Toni [Maderbacher] along side him and they worked so well together. The full backs were great, Ugis [Romanovs] did a great job not being a natural left back.. Toms [Cinglers] had one of the best players in the league in his pocket. For me the whole team was the man of the match, it's very difficult for me to pick out one player as they were all did a fantastic job.”
RUSG: “What do you think attributed to Riga digging in like that?”
Awada: “I think the work we did in preseason and the bond the guys have this season is very special, They all want to work for each other.. Its great to see the spirit in the changing room, my captain Alex [Alunāns] has a lot more to do with that than I do.
RUSG: “Next game is on Thursday, how does the team about moving forward?”
Awada: “We will enjoy this result but my focus is now fully on [Optibet] Traktors and another positive performance and getting our first 3 points of the season.”
RUSG: “You had a decent turnout from the fans, anything to say to them?”
Awada: ”I would like to say a big thank you to the fans who turned out, their cheering and support got us over the line in the final 10-15 mins when the team needed a lift... I know the players really appreciated the support”.