Published: Saturday, 21 January 2017 09:31

LATVIA – SLOVAKIA

   

Match for the positions: 5-6

January 21th, 2017; Saint Petersburg, St. Petersburg Sports and Concert Complex, 300 spectators

Best players: Bozenik, Savčenko

 

Post match comments

Aleksandrs Basovs, Head coach of team Latvia:     

– The match was good, both teams created moments. I am satisfied with the attitude shown by my boys. Yes, we have problems in transition from defense to attack and also with technique. But we will work on them. Congratulations to team Slovakia on a win. A year ago we defeated them in the match for the fifth place, but this year they took revenge!

– Jānis Grīnbergs and Marko Regža were not in the starting line-up for the second match in a row. Why?

– Regža is injured, and Grīnbergs went for a trial to German Bundesliga.

– Daniils Isačenko was shouting a lot of assuring words to the team today, and it seemed like you shouted less. Was it your demand or just his style?

– Both of it. I asked him to help the boys, but mostly in defense. Most of players got tired by the sixth match in a row, so a little help from the goalkeeper was of much importance.

– It seemed like your team was trying to play as the first number in the very beginning of the match, but then it looked like it lost the initiative. Were there any reasons for that?

– I can’t say we tried to play as the first number. It was Slovakia that forced us to do this. They played aggressively in the previous match against Bulgaria and pushed a lot, however, they changed their tactics with us. We are used to playing as the second number, but if we want to change that, we should teach our players how to attack.

– How do you estimate the timing of the Granatkin Memorial? Would you like to play in February or March?

– A hard question. Maybe it would be ideal if we could change the dates and hold the tournament closer to the season start. If the timing does not correspond to the official UEFA windows, the players are not let to come by their clubs and the line-up is not that strong. We have another scheme of championship in Latvia – spring-autumn, so February will be the most suitable month for us.

 

Milan Malatinsky, Head coach of team Slovakia:

– We enjoyed the match today, as our team was holding the initiative during entire 90 minutes, and we made no mistakes. I am satisfied with the way we represented Slovakia on this tournament, and with our fifth place in the final standings.

– Your team did not lose to anyone in the main time. The only loss you suffered was from team Saint Petersburg as they beat you in the penalty shoot-out. Is it bitter to be without medals?

– That’s tournament regulations. We are glad to participate here and compete against good teams, representing different styles of play. We are also pleased that the General Council of Slovakia appreciated our performance, and we also hope that the fans liked the football that we played. We’ll keep getting better with each match we play!

– A year ago your team lost to Latvia in the match for the fifth place. Did you want to take revenge today?

– Was it a draw back then, no?... Oh, right, we lost in a penalty shoot-out. We did not think about revenge today. Each new match is a new story. Last year our team consisted of players born in 1998, and this year we have all the boys born in 1999.

– Compared to other teams, it can be said that your team kept playing better as the tournament progressed. How did you do the trick?

– We analyzed each game of our opponents before the match. We also figured out drawbacks and advantages of our play, considered the tactics. We are lucky to test ourselves by playing with strong national teams. I think that we played well, had good quality tempo. We will be happy to participate here again!

– What about the tournament timing?

– February or March would be problematic for us, as our championship starts those months. The clubs will not let young players play for the national team. There will be qualification matches in March, so we consider the actual timing the most appropriate.

 

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