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Liechtenstein frustrate Lithuania for a second time

Lithuania 0-0 Liechtenstein
Lithuania's slim hopes of Group I second place were effectively ended after Liechtenstein secured their fourth point against their opponents.

Deividas Česnauskis skips way from the challenge of Liechtenstein's Franz Burgmeier
Deividas Česnauskis skips way from the challenge of Liechtenstein's Franz Burgmeier ©Valdas Knyzelis

Lithuania are all but out of the race for the second place in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group I after a goalless draw with Liechtenstein.

The home side, unsuccessful in their attempts to avenge a 2-0 defeat in Vaduz three months ago, are now four points behind Czech Republic having played a game more. That gap will increase to seven tomorrow if the second-placed Czechs defeat Scotland, Lithuania's hosts on Tuesday. Edgaras Česnauskis will miss the encounter in Glasgow having been sent off with 15 minutes remaining.

Saulius Mikoliunas and Edgaras Česnauskis were active on either flank for Lithuania, but their only effort on goal in the early stages was a snapshot from the latter straight at Peter Jehle. Instead it was Liechtenstein who nearly opened the scoring on the counterattack, but Martin Büchel's lob was tipped on to the top of the crossbar by Žydrūnas Karčemarskas. Lithuania‘s best chance of the first half came when Tadas Kijanskas's header from a corner was blocked on the line.

Liechtenstein grew in confidence after the restart as they began to stifle Lithuania's advances, and on the hour a defensive clearance fell to Franz Burgmeier, whose shot from 12 metres was parried by Karčemarskas. Frustration then boiled over for Lithuania as Edgaras Česnauskis was dismissed for a challenge on Büchel.

Deividas Česnauskis nearly made up for his brother's aberration with two efforts, the second of which was pushed away by Jehle. The Liechtenstein No1 also kept out a volley from substitute Tadas Labukas. The visitors might have snatched a winner when Karčemarskas spilled a shot by David Hasler, but Marco Ritzberger's follow-up effort was blocked.

Four minutes into added time, Jehle made another vital intervention, denying Tomas Danilevičius after the Lithuania captain had been set up by Labukas. Liechtenstein now prepare for Tuesday's visit to Spain.