January 6th, 2016, St. Petersburg, Peterburgsky SCC, 150 spectators

Best players: Roberts Uldrikis, Sandi Ogrinec

Post match comments


Alexander Basov, Head coach of team Latvia:

– The match was intense and interesting. Slovenia is a strong team and we were preparing for them. It's difficult to analyze now coming here right from the pitch and I'd like to see the video. But I have an impression that our guys followed the game plan. They were aggressive trying to get the ball on our side. We created several good chances that we had to convert. We could win but came for the second half tired. In the whole, I am happy with my players, everyone did well.

– Slovenia was better in the beginning, and your team was defending and playing on your own half mostly. You didn't expect such aggression from your opponents?

– On the contrary, we were expecting such play from Slovenia and I had asked the guys before the match to go back in this case, to meet their attacking players and to impose pressing. You lose less energy this way since you don't need to run on the whole pitch. You meet in the center and you try to get the possession back.

– You said that you team was tired in the second half but it seemed to us that they started to play more aggressively than in the first half. Did you ask them to play tougher in half-time?

– Surely, we wanted to win. But we understood that Slovenia was a strong team and that they would force us to play second role. That's why I asked to be very aggressive with pressing. You should note that we had minimal amount of fouls though, especially on our side. I would still say that Slovenia was better in the second half. They had more chances. But in general my team did very well executing the game plan.


Igor Benedejcic, Head coach of team Slovenia:

– This was a hard game, for team Latvia is very well organized. We had plenty of good chances which we failed to convert into goals. And though we would like to get three points, one point today is also a good result, and we are satisfied with the game.

– In the first minutes of the match you demonstrated many pretensions to your forward Kevin Zizek. Why were you discontent?

– He can play much better. He can be more active in pressing. But he was indifferent to the game and wouldn't show much desire to gain control over the ball. So I had to guide him and to make him act, and it worked.

– In the second half you increased aggression and had more duels. Did you decide to play to win?

– The desire to win was very high, and we went for the second half with this intention. I told my players in the half time that we must score.

– But your players were so tough in fighting that they got injured themselves. There were about 5 or 6 moments when the Slovenians needed medical attention after such incidents.

– Yes, there were as many, indeed, but we should take into consideration that the season in Slovenia ended in the end of November and the guys spent a month without playing. Perhaps this is the reason they are poorly prepared for such fights.

– On the 63rd and 90th minutes you could have gotten the necessary result and win the match. What did you feel when you saw that the ball wouldn't cross the goal line?

– Well, this is football, and we wanted to win. But we have what we have. For us it would have been better to score in the first 10 minutes, but anyway we are satisfied with the result of the match.


#12 Latvia – Slovenia

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