Latvian first for Ventspils

FK Ventspils are celebrating their first Latvian title after a 1-0 victory against BSK Dižvanagi saw them outpace FHK Liepajas Metalurgs with one match to spare.

FK Ventspils are celebrating winning their first Latvian title after a 1-0 victory against BSK Dižvanagi on Sunday saw them outpace FHK Liepajas Metalurgs with one match to spare.

Simple task
Having lost 4-0 against reigning champions Metalurgs in a league meeting on 21 October, Ventspils' title credentials had been in some doubt, but their situation became much easier as Metalurgs suffered a shock 2-0 defeat in a rescheduled game against SK Ditton four days later. That left Ventspils with the relatively simple task of earning a home win against a Dižvanagi side who had not won a game all season and had already been relegated.

Decisive penalty
However, the game itself was to be anything but a formality as Roman Grigorchuk's side were held at bay by obstinate Dižvanagi who made light of the gap of well over 50 points between the two sides at the start of the game. They finally broke the deadlock eight minutes from time as Igors Slesarčuks converted a penalty following a foul on Vladimirs Kolesničenko and can now look forward to a chance to qualify for the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League.

Second place
Meanwhile Metalurgs, who last year ended Skonto FC's world record 14-year reign and this season defeated that side 2-1 to lift the Latvian Cup, have the consolation of a guaranteed second-placed finish after a 2-0 win against FC Dinaburg. Benjaminas Zelkevicius's side had Tomas Tamošauskas dismissed in the first half but still won thanks to goals from Aleksandr Katasonov and Kristaps Grebis. A 2-1 win at FK Jurmala was enough to ensure that Skonto will finish third as they join Metalurgs in next season's UEFA Cup.

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