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Liepāja clinch first Latvian championship

A club presided over by former international Māris Verpakovskis, Liepāja have sealed their first Latvian title with a 4-0 victory procession against Metta/LU.

The Liepāja players and management celebrate their championship triumph
The Liepāja players and management celebrate their championship triumph ©Roman Koksharov

Liepāja are Latvian champions for the first time after today's 4-0 victory at bottom club Metta/LU clinched the First Division title with three games to spare.

Viktor Dobrecov's confident and consistent side had looked like champions-elect for a number of weeks but their win against Metta/LU took them over the final hurdle and out of reach for Skonto, Jelgava and Ventspils.

Attacking midfielder and the league's leading marksman Dāvis Ikaunieks opened the scoring with his 14th of the season. Dmitrijs Hmizs and Kristaps Grebis extended the advantage after the break, with an own goal completing the rout – and, with it, the title procession.

While this is a first national crown for FK Liepāja, the now-defunct Liepājas Metalurgs had been Latvian champions twice. Former international Māris Verpakovskis has been a key figure in their success, with Liepāja requiring just the two years of his club presidency to reach the top.

Viktors Dobrecovs, Liepāja coach: "This is a big day for the club, our fans and the city. I'm grateful to my players, but the season isn't over yet. We will celebrate only after our last home game, in front of our fans. Tonight I didn't touch the cup. I will do so only when we get home."

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