Match № 8
The match № 8, (first group stage) second tournament day
MOLDOVA – LITHUANIA 0:1 (0:0)
January 4th, 2015, St. Petersburg, SC Zenit, 50 spectators
Referees: Yevgeniy Kukulyak, Aleksandr Kuznetsov, Vasiliy Yakovlev
Moldova: Timbur, Andriuhin, Bobrov (Cobet, 87), Ciornii (Cusnir, 46), Apostol (c), Bejenari, Matei (Caruntu, 75), Gorban, Gustiuc, Mardari, Urvantev
Head coach: Ghenadie Pusca
Lithuania: Adamonis, Valvonis, Miklovis, Bracevicius, Sveikauskas (c), Lasickas (Donela, 57), Baniulis (Blazevicius, 61), Jurgelevicius (Juska, 90), Matulevicius (Barauskas, 89), Virksas, Megelaitis
Head coach: Darius Butkus
Goal: Matulevicius (85)
Yellow cards: Virksas (20), Lasickas (43), Valvonis (68), Sveikauskas (82), Jurgelevicius (82)
Red cards: Apostol (33), Head Coach Ghenadie Pusca was sent off on the 88 minute for showing discontent with the referee's decision and assaulting the latter.
Best players: Nicolae Matei, Marius Adamonis
After match comments
Head coach of team Moldova Ghenadie Pusca:
– The red card given to our player was the key moment of the game. We are very sorry about it. That is not in my rules to discuss and dispute the arbitration but I'm sure the referee had other choice rather showing a red card. He could show it to the opponents as well. Now I find it difficult to choose correct words, and I will find it still more difficult to encourage my players. We've played two very hard matches within two days, but that is more of moral weariness than physical. We have here the youth playing, they haven't grown to the big sport yet.
– However, being in minority Moldova team didn't fall back...
– Right, and that's for what I want to thank my players: for not giving up and fighting to the end.
– Perhaps these words are words of encouraging?
– I'll try it. I need to calm myself down. I really want to thank my guys for these two matches. They have shown their best. Two games, unusual coverage were additional challenges for us. But we've tried to play offensive football. You've seen how many moments we had. Two moments one to one with the goalkeeper, long-distance kicks, free kicks.
– At previous tournaments Moldova's team main problem was "short" reserve and injuries. What about this year?
– This year we don't have such problems. We came in a full line-up. Concerning the injuries, doctors will check it out today. Nevertheless, there must not be serious losses. I believe we will recover for the next matches.
Head coach of team Lithuania Darius Butkus:
– A very hard game. The first game is always hard, but this one is super hard. A strong opponent, a new coverage, non-stop game – all of these demands a lot of energy.
– We are accustomed to Lithuania team playing on counterattacks. And here you got advantage in quantity. How did you manage to change your schemes?
– I was forced to. It's true. You noted right that we usually play from defense, and now we got an advantage with one player. To tell the truth, we were not prepared for this. Moreover, the rivals would not pull back. I would even say we were lucky. Our goalkeeper has showed at least two miracles today, saving the gates one to one.
– How were you preparing for the game?
– We watched the game Moldova vs Russia yesterday. Russia is very strong, still the Moldovans were not looked like boys to beat. They are sound in physics and techniques. Look, they played 4 halves in 2 days, and still they worked flat out on the pitch till the very last minute. Now we face the same task. Tomorrow we have a match against Russia.
– Will you have a special preparation?
– Russia hosts the tournament. Their team is the favorite. Add to this that they have recovering day today and we don't. The main preparation for tomorrow for me and my guys is psychological one. The ball is still round and there are still two teams on the pitch.