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Žalgiris clinch Lithuanian title in dramatic fashion

Published: Saturday 9 November 2013, 17.12CET
"It's a fantastic feeling but it would've been sweeter to win ourselves," said VMFD Žalgiris's Georgas Freidgeimas after clinching a first Lithuanian title in 14 years despite a defeat.
by Vaidotas Januška
from Vilnius
Žalgiris clinch Lithuanian title in dramatic fashion
Žalgiris celebrate their first title in 14 years ©Valdas Knyzelis
Published: Saturday 9 November 2013, 17.12CET

Žalgiris clinch Lithuanian title in dramatic fashion

"It's a fantastic feeling but it would've been sweeter to win ourselves," said VMFD Žalgiris's Georgas Freidgeimas after clinching a first Lithuanian title in 14 years despite a defeat.

VMFD Žalgiris clinched their first Lithuanian title in 14 years despite losing on the final day of the season.

Needing victory to be assured of the title, Žalgiris lost 3-1 at home to FK Sūduva and had FK Banga to thanks for holding second-placed FK Atlantas to a 1-1 draw and subsequently avoid a title play-off. "A few minutes after our game ended we did not understand what was happening," said Žalgiris midfielder Rytis Leliūga. "Someone from the heavens helped us. Now we will have some minutes of praying and then celebrations."

Defender Georgas Freidgeimas added: "It's a fantastic feeling. It would've been sweeter to win ourselves. But when we heard the result from Klaipėda my whole body went numb, I wanted to cry. Thanks to FK Banga for making it easier for us even though I believe we would have won the play-off."

Marek Zub's side had a 12-point lead over Atlantas a month ago but nearly surrendered it after four consecutive draws and a final-day defeat. "It's not possible to analyse it at the moment," said the coach. "Football is amazing because you can lose the game and win the league at the same time. The championship goes from the first to the last whistle. Every small element, every mistake counts. During the course of the season there are some bad games but the final result is the most important thing."

Žalgiris's journeyman defender Andrius Skerla, who has won trophies in the Netherlands, Scotland and Poland, also admitted his surprise at the manner in which the title was eventually won. "It's a strange feeling, I've never celebrated a defeat like that," said the 36-year-old. "We did not think about the other match at all today, but it just happened like that."

Last updated: 09/11/13 23.09CET

Results

Lithuanian First Division 2013

Matches
HomeAway
Last updated: 09/11/2013 15:07 CET

09/11/2013

ŠiauliaiŠiauliai2-5KruojaKruoja

Birskys 35, Tokic 75

Strockis 14, 29, Mačiulis 65, G. Slavickas 81, Beniušis 84 (P)

Venue: Šiauliai

09/11/2013

ŽalgirisŽalgiris1-3SūduvaSūduva

Kuklys 79 (P)

Kiselevskis 41, Chvedukas 49, Brokas 71

Venue: Vilnius

09/11/2013

AtlantasAtlantas1-1BangaBanga

Razulis 13 (P)

Staponka 83

Venue: Klaipeda

09/11/2013

TaurasTauras0-1EkranasEkranas

Slavickas 89

Venue: Taurage

Standings

Lithuanian First Division 2013

ClubsPPts
1VMFD Žalgiris3273
2FK Atlantas3271
3FK Ekranas3264
4FK Sūduva3262
5FK Kruoja3248
6FK Banga3235
7FC Šiauliai3225
8FK Dainava3217
9FK Tauras3211
Last updated: 09/11/2013 15:07 CET

Related information

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Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/memberassociations/association=ltu/news/newsid=2022043.html#zalgiris+clinch+lithuanian+title+dramatic+fashion

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