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Premium Member
19,861 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

'Great pleasure'​
Mežeckis is well known in Latvian football for his professionalism, discipline and good humour and, while the 2008 campaign in Latvia has not been an easy one, he has taken pleasure in resolving issues wherever possible. "Every year brings you something new," he told uefa.com. "There are a lot of problems to solve and when you do that you feel a great pleasure."

Rīga bankruptcy​
The most trying issue of all was that of FK Rīga, who struggled with financial problems all year and were eventually declared bankrupt a few days ago. "This is a very painful situation and a first in Latvian history," Mežeckis said. "We are not the first country to have faced such a problem. The LFF did all it could. We will work on a mechanism to help prevent such things in the future."

Format problems​
Another negative for Mežeckis was the reaction to the new format for the Virsliga, which split into two groups – one of six and one of four – after the first part of the season. "I agree that the experience was not positive," he conceded. "I think that we will play three rounds next year, but I cannot say at the moment how many clubs will participate in Virsliga."

Calendar changes​
The new season will start earlier than usual, in March rather than April, in order to ensure that more local players are up to full speed in preparation for international fixtures. "We made this change to the calendar for the sake of the Latvian national team and I am really grateful to the management of the clubs who agreed to play in early spring," Mežeckis said.

Positive aspects​
While 2008 was challenging at times, Mežeckis sees reason for optimism. "We had an interesting season," he said. "For the third season in a row FK Ventspils proved to be the best club in the country. I liked that they used a lot of young academy players which helps the whole of Latvian football. We did not have any problems with the young and inexperienced referees. However, we have a lot of work to do and our priority is to bring more fans to stadiums."

Premium Member
19,861 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
A number of stellar names will be missing when the 2009 Latvian season gets under way in the spring after the champions FK Ventspils released Russian midfield players Zakhar Dubenskiy and Sergei Zangareev while Skonto FC bade farewell to domestic legends Marians Pahars and Vitalis Astafjevs.

Heading home
"My contract with Ventspils has expired and I've decided to return to my hometown of Volgograd," outgoing captain Dubenskiy told uefa.com. He leaves after helping Ventspils to three championship triumphs with countryman Zangareev, who is also heading home. Defender Pavels Mihadjuks, meanwhile, is on the move having agreed a loan to Scottish club Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC until 1 June.

Century of goals​
In the capital, Skonto have lost one of their most decorated players as Astafjevs has taken up an option to become player-coach at JFK Olimps. The 37-year-old central midfielder played his first league game for the club back in 1992, and went on to enjoy spells with clubs in Austria, England and Russia before returning to Skonto in 2006. Astafjevs, who captained Latvia at UEFA EURO 2004™, departs having scored 102 times in 287 outings for the club.

Pahars decision​
Meanwhile, Pahars is contemplating whether to retire from football at the age of 32 as 14 years in the professional ranks have taken their toll on his ankles. "I've had several offers and things are in progress," he told uefa.com. "I definitely won't play in Latvia, although if Skonto asked me to stay I would, even for a token amount of money." Capped 75 times, Pahars is one of Latvia's most famous exports after scoring 43 times in 137 English league games during a lengthy spell at Southampton FC. Finally, Skonto have decided not to take up an option to sign Edgaras Jankauskas after the Lithuanian international joined midway through the campaign as a free agent.

Premium Member
19,861 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here are the teams which should be involved in the next season :

FK Ventspils
SK Liepājas Metalurgs
Skonto FC
FK Dinaburg
FC Daugava (Daugavpils)
Jūrmalas pilsētas komanda
SK Blāzma (Rēzekne)
FK Daugava (Rīga)
FC Tranzīts (Ventspils)
JFK Olimps (Rīga)

First round will be :

14.03.2009. FC Daugava Daugavpils – JFK Olimps
14.03.2009. Jūrmalas pilsētas komanda – FK Dinaburg

15.03.2009. SK Blāzma Rēzekne – Skonto FC
15.03.2009. FK Daugava Rīga – SK Liepājas Metalurgs
15.03.2009. FC Tranzīts – FK Ventspils

Premium Member
19,861 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
From the latvian federation website :

In 2009 the strongest Latvian championship LMT Virsliga will be played in four rounds with nine clubs as financial problems have struck many and effect is seen also in football. In 2008 LMT Virsliga season there were ten clubs in two rounds and then first to six place fought for the medals and seventh to last place fought for staying in the highest division, but the system did not satisfy as second group lost viewers interest and the decision was made not to divide the league anymore.

LMT Virsliga started with great opening press conference on 10 March at general sponsors - Latvian Mobile Telephone - house and two matchdays prior to FIFA international dates at the end of March - on 14/15 March and 21/22 March. These two matchdays were played on the indoor pitches at Olympic Sports Center - new headquarters of Latvian Football Federation. Nine clubs participate this year: "Ventspils", "Liepājas metalurgs", "Skonto" (Riga), "Dinaburg" (Daugavpils), "Jurmala City", "Blazma" (Rezekne), "Olimps" (Riga), "Daugava" (Riga) and "Tranzits" (Ventspils).

First league or second division championship will start on 1 May and doubles will be linked up. Until November two rounds will be played.
Look like it is a step back.

Premium Member
19,861 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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.

Premium Member
19,861 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
4/06/2009 - Last weekend four games were played in Latvian football championship. All favorites took the maximum points – Metalurgs Liepaja, Skonto Riga and Ventspils. Olimps/RFS also collected three points with impressive victory against young and ambitious Daugava.

Tranzits 0 : 1 Metalurgs
The one and only game which ended with close score was played in Ventspils. Home side played well, but made a mistake a fewbefore half time and loost 0-1 against one of the strongest Latvian teams. The goal scorer for in Metalurgs Liepaja was midfielder Pavels Surnins. This was his first goal this season and third Metalurgs victory.

Skonto 3 : 0 Jurmala
Great start by Skonto Riga left the visitors from Jurmala no chances. In the first 16 minutes Skonto scored twice (Vladimir Dvalishvili and Ivans Lukjanovs), and on 34 minutes David Gamezardashvili sealed off an early win for Skonto.

Ventspils 5 : 1 Blazma
Champions Ventspils secured the easiest win, with their opponents from Rezekne failing to put up a fight against the on-form leaders ant losing for the third time this season. Goals were scored by Grigory Chirkin (twice), Vits Rimkus, Aleksejs Visnakovs, Alexandrs Misikovs for Ventspils Janis Jukss for Blazma.

Olimps/RFS 4 – 0 Daugava
In match between two teams from the lower half of the table Olimps/RFS produced a solid victory. The expierenced Andrejs Stolcers scored twice while Andrejs Perepecko and Armands Petersons added a goal each to the rout of the visitors.

Premium Member
19,861 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow, i have not updated that one for a long time. Shame on me !

20th match day - 4th of July
18.00 - Ventspils - Olimps/RFS 5:3
18.00 - L. Metalurgs- Blāzma 6:0
18.00 - Skonto - Tranzīts 4:1

19th match day - 30th of June, 1st of July
30th - 18.00 - Daugava - Ventspils 0:5
1st - 18.00 - Blāzma - Skonto 0:1
1st - 18.00 - Olimps/RFS - L.Metalurgs 1:5

Standings :
1 Liepājas Metalurgs 19 45
2 Ventspils 19 45
3 Skonto 19 44
4 Jūrmala 17 25
5 Dinaburg 16 25
6 Olimps 19 19
7 Tranzīts Ventspil 18 10
8 Blāzma 19 9
9 Daugava Rīga 18 7

The championship is surprinsigly close this year. Maybe Skonto will finally snap it in the end !?

Premium Member
19,861 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Virsliga: Dinaburg surprise Skonto in Riga

8/03/2009 - Last weekend three 22 round matches were played in Latvian football championship. Daugavpils Dinaburg sprung a surprise by taking maximum of points in Riga from Skonto.

Before the game only a few football experts could predict such end of the game. Skonto as usually were more active in the first minutes while opponents just tried to find their game. Home side controlled ball well, but did not create any dangerous situations near the opponents net.

Nothing changed in the second half - Skonto looked a little bit better, but players were tired and just couldn’t to show the best what they can. As an answer for this Dinaburg made a great attack at the end of the match, which was finished with a great shot from Valerijs Afanasjevs. In the last seven minutes result stayed same and game finished with really sensational result - 1-0 for Dinaburg.

In the two other games situation the favorites took the wins - Metalurgs Liepaja easily beat Jurmala with 4-1, while Blāzma took over Daugava 3-0.

16th round statistics:
Skonto 0 - 1 Dinaburg
Goal: Afanasjevs 83‘

Metalurs Liepaja 4 - 1 Jurmala
Goals: Surnins 19’, Ivanovs 28’, Grebis 61’ (penalty), Rakels 72’ - Kalns 87’

Daugava 0 - 3 Blazma
Goals: Novozhilovs 21’, 90’, Ivanovs 45’

Premium Member
19,861 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
8/31/2009 - Last weekend four 26th round matches were played in Latvian football championship. This time Metalurgs, Dinaburg, Jurmala and Skonto achieved victories.

The most attention from the press and spectators was to the showdown in Ventspils, where last year champions played against visitors from Liepaja Metalurgs. Ventspils started the match unusually bad and went down after nine minutes, when forward Kristaps Grebis opened the score.

After a little bit more than ten minutes Metalurgs capitalized on Ventspils mistake one more time, and scored again. This time goal scorer was Intars Kirhners, but Ventspils was shocked - 0-2.

Second half started with Ventspils attacks, and after ten minutes they reached their target - Jurijs Žigajevs was the one who used his chance and scored (1-2).

Both teams had chances for goal in next 35 minutes, but just wasn’t good enough to use them. The final score was 2-1 to Metalurgs. After this victory Metalurgs took the lead in Virsliga.

In other matches Skonto trashed Daugava with seven goals without reply, Jūrmala had it easy against Blazma, while Dinaburg won against Olimps/RFS by a single strike.

Foto: Romualds Vambuts, eSports.lv

Daugava 0 : 7 Skonto
Goals: Pereplotkins 11’, 19’, 68’; Cauņa 48’, 88’; Tarasovs 70’; Hshchanovich 87’ (11m.)

Blazma 0 : 3 Jurmala
Goals: Nesterenko 5’; Chistjakov 85’; Kalns 89’ (11m.)

Ventspils 1 : 2 Metalurgs
Goals: Grebis 9’; Kirhners 22’ - Zhigajevs 55’

Olimps/RFS 0 : 1 Dinaburg
Goals: Gugashvili 37’
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