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Ekranas champions again in Lithuania

Published: Sunday 1 November 2009, 0.59CET
FK Ekranas retained their Lithuanian title on a dramatic final day of the season, winning 2-1 away to the only side that could have overtaken them, FK Vėtra, thanks to two goals from striker Valdas Trakys.
by Kestutis Gimbutas
from Vilnius
Ekranas champions again in Lithuania
Ekranas celebrate the successful defence of their title ©Mindaugas Kulbis
Published: Sunday 1 November 2009, 0.59CET

Ekranas champions again in Lithuania

FK Ekranas retained their Lithuanian title on a dramatic final day of the season, winning 2-1 away to the only side that could have overtaken them, FK Vėtra, thanks to two goals from striker Valdas Trakys.

FK Ekranas retained their Lithuanian title on a dramatic final day of the season, winning 2-1 away to the only side that could have overtaken them, FK Vėtra, thanks to two goals from striker Valdas Trakys.

Victory crucial
Vėtra began the day three points adrift of the champions meaning they had to win to force a play-off for the crown. They took control from the beginning but were not able to break the deadlock in the first half. After the interval, Nikolaj Mašitšev missed a great opportunity from close range and Ekranas punished the hosts with their next attack, captain Deimantas Bička swinging in an excellent cross from the right wing for Trakys to score after 52 minutes.

Trakys winner
The home side levelled in the 65th minute when substitute Evaldas Grigaitis was first to the rebound following Tomas Ražanauskas's long-range shot. However, the decider was scored ten minutes from time when the A Lyga's top goalscorer Trakys struck his 20th goal of the campaign to confirm a fourth title since Lithuanian independence.

Key moment
"I have received more evidence that defending the title is twice as difficult as winning it," said Ekranas coach Valdas Urbonas. "The key moment of the match was Trakys's first goal. We controlled the game after that." Despite the defeat, Vėtra coach Virginijus Liubšys was not totally disappointed after leading the club to their highest ever league finish. "We were unlucky at the end of the season," he said. "Ekranas won today and that means they earned the right to finish first."

Last updated: 21/02/11 14.53CET

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