Teams: Stade Rennais, Latvia.
3/15/2009 - The Latvian football season kicked-off with four games on the weekend. Favourites Ventspils and Skonto recorded big victories, Liepaja Metalurgs had to grind out their win against Olimps/RFS, while Tranzits produced a surprise draw against Dinaburg.
FK Daugava Riga 1 – 5 FK Ventspils
This victory for Ventspils did not come as easy as it looks. The Three time champions were leading only 2-1 in 74 minute, but in last 15 minutes scored three times and came back to Ventspils with three points.
No one player scored more than a once - Zurab Menteshashvili, Grigory Chirkin, Jurijs Zhigajevs, Andrejs Butriks, Ritvars Rugins opened their season account for Ventspils and Karim Gomaa scored for Daugava.
Olimps/RFS 1 - 2 Metalurgs Liepaja
Olimps/RFS was very close to the sensation already in the first round. The small Riga lcub took the lead against last year’s runners-up Metalurgs Liepaja in 7th minute after great shot by Aleksandrs Perepechko.
But few minutes before half-time Maksims Rafalskis came up with a flashing drive from long distance that gave goalkeeper Aleksandrs Kolinko no chance (1-1).
The 58 minute was probably the most important in this game, because the home side striker Andrejs Stolcers was given a second yellow card and straight after this Metalurgs started to show much better football.
Unfortunately for Olimps, the hero of this match was Kristaps Grebis, who scored an acrobatic goal with few minutes remaining and snatched a very hard victory for guests from Liepaja.
FC Tranzits 1 – 1 FC Dinaburg
One of the most interesting first round matches were played in Ventspils, where Dinaburg only scored a goal in the last seconds and avoided an unexpected defeat to a young and ambitious Tranzits team.
Edgars Karklins was the player who opened the scoring in the 83rd minute, but 10 minutes later Dmitrijs Vorobjovs grabbed a late equaliser.
Skonto 7 – 0 Blazma
Skonto Riga was the biggest winner in the first round, as the capital club demonstrated great team play and brushed off opponents by scoring seven times.
Ivan Lukjanovs scored the first goal of Virsliga season, while Vladimir Dvalishvili took the plaudits as the first hat-trick hero.