UNITED BOUNCE BACK WITH NARROW VICTORY
15 / 07 / 2016
First half goals from Karim Gouglou and Slava Melņiks was enough to seal a 2-1 win.
Date published: 15/07/2016 - 21:30
Riga United FC 2-1 Fortūna/Ogre
The Black Cats kept their form going in bouncing back with
victories from defeats after making it a third victory after a
defeat this season. Though this is not a pattern United would like
to keep going for too much longer and would rather this win is
followed by another.
Two goals in the first half saw Riga United finish the night with three points after Karim Gouglou scored the first in the 11th minute and Slava Melņiks in the 27th minute. It was, however, not without a close shave. Both teams had a number of chances to change the course of the game in the second half but fortunately for United they held an Ogre team, who looked like running out of ideas at the end.
The game started out with both teams looking to asses each other and being cautious. There were a few breaks but no one got their game going. It was up to the ever reliable ‘Moroccan Magician’ Karim Gouglou to open up the game and get the first goal. The right side partnership of Toms Cinglers and Mārtiņš Klincārs really picked up some chemistry in this game and the first goal started from them. After some linking play between Klincārs and Cinglers, Cinglers was put through and put in a great cross, the initial shot couldn’t come off but Gouglou was there to pounce and make it 1-0.
United looked to press home on their early advantage. They started dominating the game and pressing the ball every opportunity they could; Ogre were getting one or two chances but overall it was United’s game. Klincārs almost doubled the scoreline after beating his man, fired a shot in from an acute angle only for it to hit the crossbar and down and out of the goal. The referee deemed the ball not to have crossed the line.
Melņiks made sure of the second though and made it 2-0 after Cinglers created his second assist of the game. He took on the opposing player, got passed him and produced a fantastic cross only for a very calm and composed looking Melņiks to score with a diving header.
After this, United relaxed a little too much and switched off. This allowed Ogre to find a foot in the game and get one back to make it 2-1. After having a couple of chances, Ogre finally punished United defence when they stood off from the attacker, with room he hit the shot and the United goalie thought it was going wide only for it to bounce off one post, hit the other post and went in.
United spent the last 10 minutes of the first half in somewhat of a frantic fashion. After being composed in their passing, they started playing the ball first time, without thought. The shape was disjointed and they couldn’t seem to get it together. Fortunately, the defence held firm and Ogre’s finishing was not clinical.
After the very open first half, Awada and the crowd were certainly expecting much of the same in the second, however, the opening of the second half started much the same as the first, very cagey from both teams. IT became very much about how United would cope with Ogre’s pressure. In the opening stages, they handled it well and “weathered the storm”.
The second half only really picked up with 15 minutes to go. Previously, it had turned into somewhat of a stalemate, with neither team gaining an advantage. There were a lot of small fouls and the referee was quite content to keep the cards in his pocket. Though, in the game, there were some dubious challenges. Ervīns Perkons started the offensive after hitting the crossbar and seeing a free kick just sail wide and this was followed up by United hitting the crossbar two more times. They received a number of corners and with Ogre not looking like they had anything going forward, United piled the pressure. Despite the onslaught, they were unable to find a third and the game closed out with a victory to United and a very valuable three points.
Man of the Match: Fabio Possagno. Very hardworking and driven throughout the game. He did very well controlling the midfield and the passing was precise.
Fans’ Man of the Match: Toms Cinglers. The fans were very impressed by Cinglers’s influence on the game. He connected well on the right and it appeared Ogre didn’t have an answer for him. He had two great assists and matched it with some great passing.
After the game, RUSG caught up with Mo Awada to talk about the game: “I'm very pleased with the reaction of the players. We started the game on the front foot and controlled the first 35mins; we scored 2 great goals and should have had another two or three before the break.
We hit the bar five times I think during the game which shows we are creating chances; however we do need to be that little more clinical in converting them. The second half wasn't a classic, but we worked hard and saw the game out.
The center-back pairing had a great game, Alex [Gemin] especially seeing as this was his 1st start of the season. Toms [Cinglers] had a great game popping up with two assists and Fabio, [Possagno] for me, was man of the match for his hard work. Every player performed well and I'm proud of them all. This season we have added a resoluteness to our play and we are not conceding many goals which always gives us a chance.”
It’s on to a tough game next Friday night at FC Caramba. United caused a shock in the early part of this season with a 1-1 draw against them and they will have to be disciplined and focussed to get something again. Awada had his thoughts as we reach the midway point of this season: “Half way through the season, and we have already matched what we achieved last season (six wins). Now we have to keep going and keep working hard. The spirit is in the team and it’ll take us far. It’s a very tight mid-table this year and I really would like us to stay in that chasing pack, possibly surprise a few teams on the way.”