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Ten-man Slovakia frustrate Lithuania

Published: Friday 7 September 2012, 23.10CET
Lithuania 1-1 Slovakia
A combination of resolute defending and inspired goalkeeping ensured Slovakia, down to ten men for the last 35 minutes, earned a Group G draw.
Ten-man Slovakia frustrate Lithuania
Lithuania defender Marius Žaliūkas celebrates his first international goal ©Valdas Knyzelis
Published: Friday 7 September 2012, 23.10CET

Ten-man Slovakia frustrate Lithuania

Lithuania 1-1 Slovakia
A combination of resolute defending and inspired goalkeeping ensured Slovakia, down to ten men for the last 35 minutes, earned a Group G draw.

Lithuania failed to make the most of numerical advantage as ten-man Slovakia held on for a point in their 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying Group G opener.

Csaba László's team were a man to the good for the final 35 minutes in Vilnius following the dismissal of Viktor Pečovský, but failed to find a second goal after Marek Sapara had cancelled out Marius Žaliukas's header for the hosts. Lithuania ended with ten men themselves following a red card for substitute Tadas Labukas deep into added time.

Slovakia, playing their first competitive fixture under Stanislav Griga and Michal Hipp, started positively, Pečovský pressing Žydrunas Karčemarskas into service inside two minutes.

It was a mistake from Karčemarskas's opposite number, Ján Mucha, that led to Žaliukas marking his 17th cap with his first international goal. The Slovakia No1 failed to deal with a seemingly harmless delivery from Edgaras Česnauskis, allowing the Heart of Midlothian FC defender to break the deadlock.

Having equalised four minutes before half-time, when Sapara scored with the aid of a deflection, Slovakia squandered the chance to seize the initiative through Marek Bakoš. Lithuania piled on the pressure following the dismissal of Pečovský, sent off for a foul on Česnauskis, but ran into the inspired figure of Mucha, keen to atone for his first-half error.

Last updated: 08/05/14 8.43CET

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