Published: Friday, 20 January 2017 10:50



Match for the positions: 11-12

January 20th, 2017; Saint Petersburg, St. Petersburg Sports and Concert Complex, 300 spectators

Best players: Damascan, Paplavskis


Post match comments

Oleg Fistican, Head coach of team Moldova:

– It was a pleasure for me to watch the game today. I liked the way we played both attacking and defending. We finally stopped making mistakes compared to previous matches. We created a lot of chances today, and I think we made an overall step forward. I am not looking at our final standings now. This is a very important win with regard to psychology.

– You were mentioning Damascan many times throughout the tournament, and you were mostly saying words of critics. Has he corrected himself?

– Of course! He scored a goal. This is his direct and primary duty. I was criticizing him in order to help him catch the right stance – a sort of psychological move. He’s got such a character – you need to keep him alert often.

– What are your first conclusions about the tournament?

– The first task was to see the players in action. What would they do in different situations? Can they play under pressure? Can they endure such a load? The game today showed that they can. Tomorrow the players are coming back to their clubs. We all had a conversation yesterday. It was interesting to find out that once I asked the players what we lacked then everyone replied it was tempo. It’s good that we understand the essence of the problems. We’ll make corrections. At this moment I can say that we have twelve key players ready.

– You’re leaving tomorrow. Did you buy tickets in advance? Did you know you would not be in the top four already prior to the tournament kick-off?

– Let’s be realists and have a sober view on our play. Our final place in the standings is the result that reflects our current level.

– Are you comfortable with the timing the Granatkin Memorial is held? Do you have any suggestions to the LOC?

– First of all, I would like to thank the organizers. Everything was good on the tournament. The game schedule was tight and sometimes we lacked time to recover – hence the injuries. It is us who are responsible for the players to the clubs. I think that February would be better for this tournament.


Lars Hopp, Head coach of team Estonia:

– The last game on the tournament appeared to be difficult for our players. We were mostly defending today and had to run without a ball much. Despite the fact that we conceded from a not obvious penalty, I still think that Moldova looked better and deserved to win. My congratulations to them. They scored very late, when just 2-3 minutes left till the final whistle, and we basically had no time to equalize. We are disappointed. But my players are good as they kept on fighting till the end.

– Your player number 17 got injured on the group stage. He was playing today. How are you assessing the way he played?

– Yes, he got his collarbone injured. Our medical staff did a good job. Two days after he was ready to play. He showed his character and said he was ready. It’s a pleasure to work with such warriors. He did not lose practically any of the one-on-one duels today. Such players are very valuable for us.

– What’s your opinion on the team performance on the Granatkin Memorial?

– We had six important matches. This is great for us in terms of experience. These games served a foundation for our year-long activity plan. Our opponents are individually strong and skillful, and we can counter this with discipline, organization and teamwork. So I am glad that our players showed character and got together. The guys have good potential, and we’re on the right track. I would like to thank the organizers for the invitation, for the tournament itself and for the selection of participants.

– The coaches are often saying that players are not ready to play in January. What if the Granatkin Memorial was held in February?

– It happens that we come here right after the New Year. So February would be more convenient for us, because it’s better to have at least two weeks to prepare. Also it would be great to extend the application list by 2-3 spots. We’ll be thankful if you manage to make these changes, but even without them the tournament is great in any case!







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