FK Žalgiris Vilnius moved up the league table to second, after Mamadou Mbodj's headed goal on Saturday was enough to secure three points against FK Atlantas Klaipėda.
Both teams started very actively from the moment the whistle was blown. The visitors organised most of their attacks down the right flank, where the duo of Markas Beneta and Donatas Kazlauskas was trying to break down Žalgiris' defence. The hosts, meanwhile, attempted multiple counter attacks, but Linas Pilibaitis was caught offside mutiple times.
Žalgiris took the lead in the 18th minute of the encounter, after Mantas Kuklys took a free kick with a long pass towards the penalty area, where Mamadou Mbodj's header connected with the ball and gave the home side the lead 1:0. It was his fourth goal in the league this season.
Some 5 minutes later Linas Pilibaitis made a great turn and tested FK Atlantas goalkeeper's reaction with a powerful shot into the far corner. Moments later Simonas Stankevičius had a great opportunity to double Žalgiris' lead, but just missed the goal.
The visitors did not accept the role of the underdogs and actively pressed during the first half, albeit not creating many dangerous chances. Maksimas Maksimovas tried his shot luck multiple times, but Žalgiris' Armantas Vitkauskas was always up to the challenge.
Right at the beginning of the second half FK Atlantas went on a dangerous counter attack, which, luckily for the home team, ended up with Donatas Kazlauskas missing the target.
Maksimas Maksimovas was lucky enough to stay on the pitch after a rough tackle on Žalgiris' captain Egidijus Vaitkūnas. The referee decided not to hand Maksimovas the second yellow card.
Saulius Mikoliūnas came on as a substitute and started causing havoc down the wings. On one of those occasions Žalgiris' players were convinced that Linas Pilibaitis was brought down in the box and a penalty should have been awarded. Moments later Elivelto nearly made FK Atlantas' defender Kazimieras Gnedojus score an own goal, but the keeper managed to keep the ball out.
Markas Beneta was forced to bring Saulius Mikoliūnas down from behind to stop him from getting away, and the resulting free kick nearly ended up being a Mantas Kuklys goal, had it not been for the keeper. Mikoliūnas, on the other hand, was forced to be subbed off after 19 minutes on the pitch after suffering an injury.
FK Atlantas brought another striker onto the pitch and moved all of their forces forward to equalise as the match was reaching its end. But it was Žalgiris that came closer to scoring their second when Linas Pilibaitis went one on one with the goalkeeper, unfortunately missing because of good pressure from the defender.
The final whistle saw FK Žalgiris Vilnius secure all three points.
FK Žalgiris Vilnius - FK Atlantas Klaipėda 1:0 (1:0)
SMScredit.LT A league, Matchday 13, Vilnius
18' [1:0] Mamadou Mbodji
Bookings: 18' Maksimas Maksimovas, 78' Markas Beneta (FK Atlantas Klaipėda); 59' Elivelto (FK Žalgiris Vilnius).
FK Žalgiris Vilnius line-up: Armantas Vitkauskas, Egidijus Vaitkūnas, Linas Klimavičius, Mamadou Mbodj, Donovan Slijngard, Marin Matoš, Linas Pilibaitis, Mantas Kuklys, Elivelto (89' Marius Žaliūkas), Vytautas Lukša, Simonas Stankevičius (61' Saulius Mikoliūnas, 80' Elton).