The official website for European football

Historic night for Latvia

Published: Sunday 12 October 2003, 0.19CET
Sweden 0-1 Latvia Maris Verpakovskis's goal gives Latvia a play-off place for the first time ever.

Match statistics

SwedenLatvia

Goals scored0
1
Yellow cards1
 
1
Red cards0
1

Standings

Last updated: 27/06/2012 11:57 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Sunday 12 October 2003, 0.19CET

Historic night for Latvia

Sweden 0-1 Latvia Maris Verpakovskis's goal gives Latvia a play-off place for the first time ever.

Latvia will be in Monday's UEFA EURO 2004™ play-off draw after defeating Group 4 winners Sweden 1-0 at the Rasunda Stadium in Stockholm.

Late drama
Latvia held on despite finishing the match with ten men after the 72nd-minute dismissal of Dzintars Zirnis and survived a late scare. Marcus Allbäck was brought down inside the penalty area three minutes from time but the Swedish striker's spot-kick was high over the crossbar and the away team held on to take runners-up spot in the section.

Essential three points
The visitors started the game holding a two-point advantage in second place but knowing that victory was essential to ensure they would hold off Hungary and Poland and secure a play-off place for what could yet be their first finals appearance.

Unbeaten run
However, they faced a tough task against a Sweden team unbeaten in 25 matches stretching back to 1997, and the home side duly began the brighter, enjoying the majority of the possession but without being able to take advantage of the chances they created.

Effective combination
At the other end, the pace of Maris Verpakovskis and Vits Rimkus caused problems for the home defence, and it was a combination by the two strikers that led to the only goal in the 22nd minute. Verpakovskis dribbled through a static Swedish defence and exchanged passes with Rimkus before beating Andreas Isaksson.

Rimkus miss
Sweden struggled to break down some dogged resistance from the Latvian side, but the introduction of Teddy Lucic for Mikael Dorsin at half-time gave the hosts a more attacking outlook. Latvia continued to look the more likely scorers, however, with Rimkus running on to a Verpakovskis pass which he could not convert.

Stout defending
The visitors were left hanging on after Zirnis was shown the red card for pulling down Allbäck just outside the penalty area and the home team increasingly threw men forward in search of an equaliser, but Allbäck wasted their best chance and Latvia were able to celebrate a famous win.

'Top class'
"I'd like to praise all the players, especially the excellent Maris Verpakovskis and [goalkeeper] Aleksandrs Kolinko and the defence, who were top class," said Latvia coach Aleksandrs Starkovs.

Last updated: 30/03/04 17.46CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2004/matches/round=1579/match=69002/postmatch/report/index.html#historic+night+latvia

Lineups

Sweden

Sweden

Latvia

Latvia

1
IsakssonAndreas Isaksson (GK)
1
KoļinkoAleksandrs Koļinko (GK)
2
LucicTeddy Lucic
Substitution46
2
StepanovsIgors Stepanovs
3
MellbergOlof Mellberg
3
AstafjevsVitālijs Astafjevs
4
Michael SvenssonMichael Svensson
Yellow Card44
4
ZemļinskisMihails Zemļinskis
Yellow Card36
5
C. AnderssonChristoffer Andersson
Substitution80
5
LobaņovsValentīns Lobaņovs
6
JakobssonAndreas Jakobsson
6
BlagonadeždinsOļegs Blagonadeždins
7
NilssonMikael Nilsson
7
ZirnisDzintars Zirnis
Red Card72
8
A. SvenssonAnders Svensson
8
BleidelisImants Bleidelis
9
KällströmKim Källström
Substitution63
9
VerpakovskisMāris Verpakovskis
Goal22
Substitution88
10
AllbäckMarcus Allbäck
10
RubinsAndrejs Rubins
Substitution80
11
JonsonMattias Jonson
11
RimkusVīts Rimkus
Substitution74

Substitutes

12
HedmanMagnus Hedman (GK)
12
PiedelsAndrejs Piedels (GK)
13
DorsinMikael Dorsin
Substitution46
14
IsakovsAleksandrs Isakovs
Substitution74
15
JohanssonAndreas Johansson
Substitution80
16
PučinskisJurgis Pučinskis
Substitution80
17
IbrahimovićZlatan Ibrahimović
Substitution63
17
ŠtolcersAndrejs Štolcers
Substitution88
14
Anders AnderssonAnders Andersson
13
DobrecovsViktors Dobrecovs
16
LinderothTobias Linderoth
15
SemjonovsIgors Semjonovs
18
SkoogNiklas Skoog
18
SmirnovsMāris Smirnovs

Coach

Tommy Söderberg (SWE) Aleksandrs Starkovs (LVA)

Referee

Massimo De Santis (ITA)

Assistant referees

Vincenzo Mitro (ITA), Andrea Consolo (ITA)

Fourth official

Stefano Farina (ITA)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
  • © 1998-2013 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.