When Latvia hosts Liechtenstein at the Daugava Stadium on Monday evening, they will be seeking to make it two wins in a row to start their UEFA Nations League campaign in Group D1.
With a win over Andorra on Friday, the hosts are off to a fantastic start, and they will be expected to keep it going when they welcome another lesser team on paper to Riga.
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Despite the 3-0 scoreline seemed to be a simple win for Latvia on Friday, it did not reflect the game’s balance throughout the majority of the time in Riga.
Following Roberts Uldrikis’ opener just nine minutes in, Dainis Kazakevics’ team held an undeserved 1-0 lead at halftime, with their guests routinely troubling Pavels Steinbors’ goal.
Latvia, on the other hand, played a much tighter second 45 and restored the expected control, despite having to wait until the final 13 minutes to score two more goals and end the tie, In order to get off to a flawless start in Group D1, Monday’s hosts will be asked to repeat the feat in front of their own fans.
The next challenge for Kazakevics’ side in their quest for promotion is Moldova, which appears to be a considerably more attainable target this time after only picking up seven points.
The visitors’ 2022 Nations League campaign began with a setback on Friday evening, as was expected.
Despite a valiant defensive performance, Martin Stocklasa’s team was defeated 2-0 by Moldova in the Rheinpark Stadion..
However, things could not have started much worse for the visitors, with Ion Nicolaescu scoring from the penalty spot just five minutes, although Liechtenstein managed to stay in the game until the end.
Vadim Bolohan clinched the points for Moldova in second-half stoppage time, condemning the visitors to their sixth straight international defeat since a dramatic 1-1 draw in Armenia in September.
In fact, Liechtenstein’s 0-0 tie in Yerevan is the only match in which they have avoided defeat in their last 15 appearances, and it is just one of three goals they have scored in that period.
Stocklasa’s players, on the other hand, will return to the pitch on Monday with pride in serving their country, and while they are unlikely to end their losing streak, they will surely show plenty of fight and desire in their quest for a memorable result.
When Latvia takes the field against the minnows of Liechtenstein on Monday, they will be expected to coast to back-to-back Nations League victories.
We’re aiming for a repetition of the win we had against Andorra last time out, though it should be a much easier challenge this time around.