Latvia: Metalurgs put pressure on leaders after derby win
The Latvian football championship looks set to have one of its more unpredictable seasons this year as the four way battle for the title continued today. All of the top four teams were involved in matches against each other and it has proven to be a great day for two-time champions Liepājas Metalurgs.
Metalurgs faced off against local rivals FK Ventspils in the Derby of Kurzeme, the region of Latvia which lies on the Baltic coast in the west of the country, and saw off their neighbours with a vital 2-1 victory. All of the goals came in the first half with Metalurgs taking a two goal lead thanks to strikes from Jurģis Kalns (9 minutes) and Pāvels Surņins (19) before Ventspils pulled one back through Evgeny Postnikov (27). Although there were no further goals the game saw no shortage of action including a red card for Ventspils defender Jevgēņijs Kosmačovs after the final whistle following an attack on an opponent. Metalurgs held out for the win in front of a healthy 1500 crowd and the three points helped the team into second place in the table.
Table toppers FC Daugava Daugavpils are two points ahead of Metalurgs following a goalless draw at home to record champions Skonto Riga. The second city team, who have defied all expectations this season to top the table, were unable to break down a resolute Skonto side this afternoon and had to be content with a point. Daugava midfielder Vadims Logins saw red in the last minute of the game for a second bookable offence which would’ve compounded the home team’s frustrations further.
Nevertheless FC Daugava still remain top with 47 points from 23 games, two points ahead of Metalurgs who have played the same number of matches. FK Ventspils also lie two points behind the leaders but have played only 21 games whilst Skonto Riga have 41 points from 22 games.