Published: Wednesday, 18 January 2017 10:01

LATVIA – SLOVENIA

   

Match for the positions: 5-8

January 18th, 2017; Saint Petersburg, St. Petersburg Sports and Concert Complex, 300 spectators

Best players: Saveļjevs, Gnezda

 

Post match comments

Aleksandrs Basovs, Head coach of team Latvia:     

– The match was very hard for us, as it is our fifth game on the tournament and the fatigue takes toll. We understood that Slovenia was a strong team, so we decided to put our bet on defense and our strong sides: counterattacks and set pieces. My guys did a good work, they were fighting and scored twice. Congratulations to the boys!

– You substituted the author of the first goal in the first half…

– He asked me to do that as he has an injury – the back of his thigh. He also missed the previous match due to this. We thought he would recover, but it turned out that he did not.

– Your team was counting on defense. Was it difficult to play defensively having scored in the beginning of the match?

– Such a situation is easier for us. If the opponent concedes a goal, they start rushing to equalize and leave free zones on the field. It becomes easier to send the ball into those zones, to counterattack and to score goals. Exactly this happened in the second half.

– You often play defensively, but Latvia tends to pass a lot on this tournament meaning that the boys are capable of keeping possession of the ball. When will we see your team attacking?

– Yes, the boys can play and control the ball. But it is all about psychology. They are very nervous. I am trying to make them feel their feet and be more courageous. Everything will be fine then. I hope that someday we will polish our skills and show attacking football.

– How will you change the team when you return home?

– The Granatkin Memorial is a great experience for us. We can watch the players, especially how they behave on the pitch or in their everyday life. I will make conclusions about the selection of players. There are boys who already form a basis of the national team. But there is also a group of players I’ve got questions to.

 

Igor Benedejčič, Head coach of team Slovenia:

– I cannot say what happened yet. The team played well creating dangerous moments at the opposing goals. But they managed to use only one chance to score. I consider it right that if you do not use your moments, you lose a match. Maybe our today’s loss is caused by fatigue…

– Your team had one day less to recover. Is it significant?

– Yes, of course. With a tight schedule like this each day is important.

– You made just few substitutions in the second half…

– Yes, we were. We sent just a couple of fresh players to strengthen the play and to try to win in the regulation time. We did not want the penalty shoot-out.

– A stony silence fell on your bench after the match. Were you that disappointed?

– I’ve started to work with this team only recently. So it is very important to win every match with regard to our future. I should strengthen confidence in my players. Of course we did want to win today. And the loss is very bitter for us.

– Can it be said that Slovenia was unsuccessful on the Granatkin Memorial?

– We came here with a good squad. Our team is showing nice performance. But a couple of key players stayed at home. So we did not show the result that we were counting on. However, I am very glad we came here, because during six matches we have an opportunity to form our view on the team and to get closer acquainted with the players. 

 

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