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Ventspils secure fourth Latvian crown

Published: Saturday 5 November 2011, 16.47CET
"I hope the coach will allow us to have a little champagne," said Oļegs Laizāns after FK Ventspils earned a 0-0 draw against Skonto FC to secure the Latvian First Division title.
by Mihail Korolev
from Riga
Ventspils secure fourth Latvian crown
Coach Sergei Podpali is hoisted aloft by his Ventspils players as they celebrate their title success ©Roman Koksharov
Published: Saturday 5 November 2011, 16.47CET

Ventspils secure fourth Latvian crown

"I hope the coach will allow us to have a little champagne," said Oļegs Laizāns after FK Ventspils earned a 0-0 draw against Skonto FC to secure the Latvian First Division title.

FK Ventspils earned a nervy 0-0 draw against defending champions Skonto FC on the final day of the season to win the Latvian First Division by a single point from SK Liepājas Metalurgs.

The second-placed side defeated FB Gulbene 2005 1-0 to keep the pressure on to the end, but Ventspils held their nerve to win their fourth title, and claim a league and cup double.

The success comes in the club's first season under Russian coach Sergei Podpali, who told UEFA.com: "Everyone at the club did a great job and I am very happy that we can remind our fans, and the whole city, what it is like to be champions. We had to come through a difficult spell and I'm grateful to the lads for their determination and their will to succeed.

"This was hardly possible to imagine early in the season when we started to create the team anew," added the 48-year-old. "We need to start thinking how to become stronger next season and must prove our double was no fluke. Now the UEFA Champions League is looming."

"Right now I am just delighted," said key midfielder Oļegs Laizāns who made his international debut for Latvia this year. "This is my first title. I have been dreaming about this since I started to play football. I hope the coach will allow us to have a little champagne to celebrate our success."

Last updated: 06/11/11 17.24CET

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