LATVIA – SLOVAKIA 2:2 (1:2), pen. 4:3
Match for the 5th place
January 12th, 2016, St. Petersburg, Peterburgsky SCC, 200 spectators
Best players: Lubomir Tupta, Nikita Jankovskis
Post match comments
Alexander Basov, Head coach of team Latvia:
– We started the match uncertainly, made many silly mistakes which led to the conceded goals. Then we leveled up the game, created good moments and several attacks. I liked how the guys showed themselves after the conceded goals. They found forces to make a comeback and to show their character. Well, and the penalties is just a lottery. We took the shots better than the opponents. I congratulate all the guys and all the coaches for the work done on the tournament, since in the end we haven't lost a single game. We lacked one goal to get into the top four.
– And did you have such a dream?
– Of course we want to win. And I tell my guys that everything lower than the first place isn't interesting. So they need to have an incentive, to have their psychology changed. We have good players who show good football.
– And still, haven't you been ready for such an aggressive match from the side of Slovakia?
– How can you define ready or not ready? We did wrong and were punished. Today I gave another goalkeeper an opportunity to play – to Deniss Perkons. Maybe it was because of the nerves that the Slovaks caught us on that mistake by the goalkeeper and the defender. This happens. Maybe we really were not ready, I don't know. We had three off-match days and we could have fallen out of the tournament's tempo.
– You see, looking at the players, they started gaining tempo only after the second goal. They began to encourage each other with the phrase "We are playing!" There were only hints before.
– The guys did well, they haven't lost their spirits, leveled up the play and were able to equalize.
– You let your second goalkeeper to play but for the penalty series you let the first one.
– Yes, he has already taken penalty kicks during the match. And I decided he is worth of a chance to take part in this lottery. I thought he was able to take one or two kicks. And it happened so.
– Your players were quite confidently taking penalty kicks. Had you trained them before the match?
– No, we hadn't. The guys decided themselves who would be kicking, who was ready, they chose five kickers. They know better who is tired and who has spasmus. And our five made it brilliant, I think. The Slovaks seemed not to have coped with emotions. But, once again, penalty kicks are a lottery.
Milan Malatinsky, Head coach of team Slovakia:
– We had a goal to play high pressing and the match scenario was in our favor in the first half. Everything was working out for us and we scored two goals using mistakes of the opponent. But then we started to play worse and conceded two goals. Latvia also knows how to play football. But we managed to create more chances that we were unable to convert. As for the penalties, this is a lottery.
– Can it be so that you spent much energy in the beginning of the match pressing your opponent and lacked this energy for the end of the match?
– I absolutely disagree with this. We did create a number of good chances in the second, but we were not able to score.
– Did you substitute Denis Baumgartner who looked good on the pitch because he got a yellow card? Or did you have other reasons?
– Yes, one of the reasons is a yellow card. But we also wanted to see other players on this position.
– You named the best player before penalties, and it was him who missed from the spot. Was it a bad luck?
– It were the players who chose who would take the penalty shots. And there is no direct link with my opinion. I called him the best. He missed.
#33 Latvia – Slovakia