Baltic Cup 2010: Lithuania champions again (+video)
The 2010 Baltic Cup competition came to a close on Sunday with Lithuania crowned the champions of the region for the eighth time in thirteen post-Independence championships having secured a 2-0 win over Estonia. In the opening match of the tournament, which was played on Friday, Lithuania and Latvia shared the points after a goalless draw which neither side would’ve been truly happy with. Latvia, the defending champions going into the tournament, were to rue their profligacy in front of goal after they also drew 0-0 with Estonia twenty-four hours later and knew that they had effectively blown their chance to successfully keep hold of the trophy. A win of any kind would allow Estonia or Lithuania to take the silverware as they played the final match of the tournament in Kaunas. Mantas Savėnas gave Lithuania the lead after 31 minutes having converted a penalty kick conceded by goalkeeper Mihkel Aksalu and it wasn’t until second-half stoppage time that Lithuania secured the trophy when Artūras Rimkevičius made it 2-0 to allow the home crowd to start celebrating a precious win. Lithuania gained four points from two games with Latvia two points further back and Estonia propping up the others having only scored one point.
The weekend also saw an Under-21 competition in Marijampolė where the host nation would again be victorious. They beat Latvia’s U-21 team by two goals to one on the opening day thanks to strikes from Povilas Krasnovskis and Marius Papšys with the visitors pulling one back in stoppage time through Daniils Turkovs. After Latvia U-21 defeated Estonia U-21 on day two of the tournament by a goal to nil it meant that the hosts needed only a draw against Estonia U-21 to win the trophy. Eivinas Zagurskas gave Lthuania U-21 the lead just before the hour mark but Estonia U-21 made life difficult for Lithuania in the closing stages of the match when Juri Jevdokimov equalized in the 72nd minute. The game finished with no further scoring and allowed Lithuania to win the Under-21 tournament with a one point advantage over Latvia and secure a very proud double for the host nation.
Watch Lithuania v Estonia Highlights HERE: