FK Riga takes close derby match

  • 2005-07-06
  • By Justin Wally
RIGA - FK Riga beat local rivals Olimps 1-0 to win the all-Riga derby in front of a boisterous crowd at the University Stadium on July 3.

Inspired by their new Ukrainian striker, Miroslavs Bundas, FK Riga should have gone ahead in the 25th minute when Roberts Mezeckis blazed over the bar with only the keeper to beat from six yards out.

Two minutes later, Olimps player Edizs Jvasko cleared off the goal line from a shot by Jurijs Zigajevs.

It was the live-wire Ukrainian, Bundas, who created the only goal of the game with a pin-point 40 yard pass which sliced open the Olimps defence. Zigajevs ran on to his pass and brilliantly dispatched the ball into the roof of the net from the box's right hand angle.

Just before half-time Olimps almost replied as its man of the match, Jvasko, turned two players in the FK Riga box before forcing a great save from Andrejs Pavlovs. From the resulting corner the same player saw his volley hit the crossbar and bounce to safety.

Bundas was the next player to be cursing the woodwork when his spectacular shot hit the crossbar from 30 yards out in the 53rd minute. But the Ukrainian, making his debut after signing from Lvov, must have been impressed by the vocal level of support from the crowd. FK Riga are earning themselves a reputation for having the most passionate fans in the Latvian men's league 's their crowd recently outnumbered that of champions Skonto when they played at Skonto stadium.

But on July 3, FK Riga fans were almost rewarded with a second goal in injury time when a superb 25-yard free kick by the inspirational Zigajevs smacked the underside of the crossbar.

The team is now fourth in the table, just six points behind Skonto.

One sour note to the game was the ejection of a visiting English fan who ran onto the field and lay in the center circle after the final whistle.

In other fixtures, Liepajas Metalurgs went seven points clear at the top of the table following their 3-1 win over FK Jurmala in front of a crowd of 1,200. The Liepaja goals came from Katasonovs, and a brace from Kalons.

Meanwhile, Venspils' 5-1 thrashing of pre-season title contenders FK Venta means champions Skonto Riga now find themselves third in the table.