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Riga United FC


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16 / 08 / 2016

Riga United FC
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SK Babīte 2

A wonder goal from Mārtiņš Klincārs in the 55th minute gives United the win.

Date published: 16/08/2016 - 21:43

Riga United 1-0 SK Babīte 2
Klincārs, 55'

Riga United can consider the win a “job well done” last night.  A 1-0 victory was enough to see their 2nd double over a team in the league (first being Olaine). The performance was a complete transformation from the debacle that unfolded last Thursday. The goal came from Mārtiņš Klincārs midway in the second half but this was most certainly a team victory.

Any concerns from the decent crowd that showed up to watch the game, that it might be a repeat of last week, almost certainly disappeared in the early stages as Riga United came out ‘firing on all cylinders’.  There was an air of confidence throughout the team with Graham Williams and Alex Alunāns commanding from the back and player/coach Justin Walley directing from the sidelines.

Babīte were definitely having the better of the early exchanges but they weren’t getting anything substantial on target due to the workrate of United.  Riga looked strong in defence and were not flustered on the ball, the only thing probably holding them back, they were looking to make complicated moves or passes when it was unnecessary.

This was very much the story of the first half; Riga United would look good going forward and they were much the better team, they just lacked cohesion. When simple passes and combinations were made, they played their way through Babīte with ease. Though, all too often they looked to try and be clever and would lose the ball. That’s when they let Babīte back in, as too many players just gave up after losing the ball.

It was United going into half time, who were the happier of the two though.  Over the course of the half Babīte disappeared more as United pressured the ball well and forced Babīte into mistakes.

If people thought the pace was quick in the first half, both teams took it to another level in the second.  The defence was holding shape and the defensive midfielders were tracking well. Perkons looked to be creating chances going forward.

In the 55th minute, Schauer played a good ball out to the left where Klincārs was waiting and after taking a couple of touches, launched a rocket of a shot into the top corner of the goal; it would have taken a world class keeper to save the shot. The relief from the players and fans and frustration from the opposition was noticeable.

Babīte, over the course of the second half, brought on more attacking-minded players. This started to leave gaps at the back for United’s fast players to exploit.  It was almost 2-0 eight minutes later when substitute, Artūrs Meisters, who had a very good second half, however, missed a glaring opportunity with a header from 5m out.

Slava Melņiks almost came close with a good channel ball from midfield and Edgars Arakelyans worked tirelessly on the right side of midfield, despite the referee choosing to ignore the numerous bad challenges on him.

Babīte put a lot of pressure on United towards the end. Riga could be accused of panicking too much with the ball, they would have done well to slow the play down rather than hurry. This gave too many chances to Babīte to try and equalise. Graham Williams was only really called into the action quite late on in the game.  Despite that, Babīte ran out of time and the victory belonged to United, quite rightly too!

Tempers seem to flare in the second half within the United ranks and overall, which is something needed to be looked at. Though, United could be forgiven for getting frustrated with the decision making from the referee. One such example one of our players getting kicked in the head, challenging for the ball and bizarrely the referee giving the decision of a free kick to Babīte. 

United should and can push on from this victory as they take on longtime rivals FK Upesciems. 

Thoughts from Graham Williams:
“The lads put in a much improved performance, sticking to the game plan for the most part. There are a number of aspects that we still need to improve on but this game was about getting a result.”

He continued: “I felt collectively we played well and pressed the opposition better than in previous games. A special mention to Ede Schauer, who was instrumental in the midfield, also Ervins Perkons who had his best game for a while. This was a team performance and we need to take the this into our next game on Monday.”

Man of the Match:  Ede Schauer. Ede worked very hard in midfield. Up until his substitution, he was everywhere in midfield doing his very best to not only create chances, but also to stop Babīte. His pass set up Klincārs for his goal and overall was the most instrumental player in a game where everyone played their part.