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Cauņa fires Latvia victory in Georgia

Georgia 0-1 Latvia
Aleksandrs Cauņa's second-half free-kick earned the visitors only their second win in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group F.

Latvia players celebrate the only goal
Latvia players celebrate the only goal ©Badri Ketiladze

Latvia gained their second win in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group F courtesy of Aleksandrs Cauņa's second-half goal against Georgia.

Almost a year to the day since a 2-0 win against Malta gave them their first points of the campaign, Aleksandrs Starkovs‘s team triumphed on the road again, this time in Tbilisi. The win does little to improve the Baltic nation's standing in the section, however, with Latvia still one place off the bottom but now two points behind their opponents.

Georgia can consider themselves unfortunate, meanwhile. Things could have been very different had Otar Martsvaladze, from an acute angle, and David Targamadze not struck a post inside the opening 20 minutes. At the other end, Cauņa – whose added-time goal salvaged a draw for Latvia in the reverse fixture – rattled the upright with a free-kick five minutes later.

Latvia goalkeeper Andris Vaņins made saves from Guram Kashia and substitute Shota Grigalashvili either side of the break before Cauņa made the difference on 64 minutes. The PFC CSKA Moskva midfielder caught Giorgi Loria by surprise with a free-kick which the goalkeeper could be forgiven for thinking was destined for the penalty area.

Then, in added time, Vaņins ensured his side of the three points by keeping out a long-range effort from Jaba Kankava. Latvia host Greece on Tuesday, when Georgia will be visiting Malta.

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