FC Skonto 5-0 Barry Town AFC
Latvian champions FC Skonto have every reason to be confident after an emphatic 5-0 victory over Welsh side Barry Town AFC in their UEFA Champions League first qualifying round first-leg tie at the Skonto stadium.
Five different Skonto players registered on the scoresheet with Mihails Zemlinskis's goal from the halfway line the highlight of an impressive display. Barry had to sustain intense pressure early on as a Mantas Samusevas header hit the upright after just four minutes, and Mihails Miholaps saw a close-range effort fly just over the bar.
Kolesnicenko's solo goal
Young Latvian international Vladimirs Kolesnicenko's fine solo effort gave the hosts the lead on 13 minutes. Barry started to look more positive later in the half, but were still overly cautious and failed to create a worthwhile chance.
Nightmare for Rayner
The second half was one that Barry's Canadian goalkeeper Simon Rayner will want to forget. First, Zemlinskis's speculative effort from the halfway line beat him and minutes later the 19-year-old deflected Levan Korgalidze's long-range shot into his own net.
Skonto pouring forward
In the dying minutes, Skonto continued to pour forward hunting more goals, and Viktors Morozs set up Audrius Ksanavicius, who netted with a precise shot to make it 4-0. Alksandrs Elisejevs's lob completed the rout, as the Latvian champions practically ensured a tie with Bulgarian side PFC Levski Sofia in the next round.
"Barry did not create much, but I decided to adjust our game in the second half, bringing on Korgalidze. This aided our attacking game, which led us to victory," Skonto head coach Aleksandrs Starkovs said after the game. Barry counterpart Kenneth Brown added: "We had the task of keeping the intrigue alive, but unfortunately we could not carry it out. I can't find excuses for the way we played tonight."
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