LITHUANIA – SLOVAKIA 0:2 (0:2)
January 5th, 2016, St. Petersburg, Peterburgsky SCC, 300 spectators
Best players: Linas Megelaitis, Branislav Susolik
Post match comments
Svajunas Cesnulis, Head coach of team Lithuania:
– I want to congratulate the opponent with the victory. I think we still have much to work at. It's not the first game that reveals our problems. The main one is standard kicks. Both in the previous game and now we conceded after them. These are the mistakes we have to correct. We still have 10 months before the European Championship qualifying tournament, and we must work hard on this.
– You've played two matches and now you are able to make comparisons. Are these losses "identical" or is there some progress already?
– I liked second halves better both in this game and in the previous one. We look at how players feel each other, and we change them looking for better interactions. And today, after we made so many substitutions, I saw that these "connections" work better. The same thing was in the last match with Belarus. This means that the players who played in the starting lineup before are not in their optimal form now. Besides, some are playing abroad and we haven't seen them for a long time. So at this point they are not playing at their best level. And our task is to bring everyone to similar conditions.
– After the first half you substituted the goalkeeper. Was he injured, or did you just want to give practice to the second goalkeeper?
– There was an incident in the first half: he was struck in the head by somebody's foot. In half time he said he felt dizzy. We decided not to risk his health and substituted him. Our plans were to let him play the entire match.
– The very fact of such a number of substitutions is due to what? In case of any injury you wouldn't have had an opportunity to substitute.
– We left one player for some force majeure, and when one player got a cramp in his foot we substituted him. And if somebody else had to leave the pitch we would have had a good practice of playing in minority. That's a useful experience, too.
– You said you have international players. Valentin Granatkin Memorial is attended by many scouts from the European clubs. Do you welcome your players leaving Latvia and isn't it too early for them to start playing abroad?
– No, they leave for good championships which are stronger than the Lithuanian Premier League, so I think they become stronger there. They have better conditions for development and better career opportunities. And when they get stronger there, they will be able to strengthen our national team. So I welcome their desire to play in Europe – in Italy and other countries, including Russia.
Milan Malatinsky, Head coach of team Slovakia:
– We've had a great first half. We scored early and had several more chances. Closer to half time we scored again. Second half was a bit worse, however. We were not so fresh compared to the first half. And we need to say good words about our opponent who showed nice football. In the whole the match turned out to be a decent one for us. We could have scored a lot of goals, but left the pitch with only two.
– Your team already has two wins. Do you have an objective to win the tournament?
– Our goal is to prepare players for the next U-19 age group so that they would represent our country in the European Championship Qualifying round to be held in Poland.
– We liked one of your players – Lubomir Tupta. Can you tell more about him?
– I've said some words about him at the previous press-conference. I can add that he's making progress from match to match. But we need to remember that it's more important that he gets into A-team in his club and won't just be playing in reserves.
– You are having matches against St. Petersburg and Belarus next. Who do you consider to be your main competitor for the first place?
– We are not looking at the standings. Every game is important for us. The upcoming match is against the team of St. Petersburg, a very strong team in our view. It's this game that we are preparing for.
#10 Lithuania – Slovakia