Matchday 15 saw FC Žalgiris Vilnius face off against one of their biggest rivals in the championship race, FK Trakai. The host came out victorious after scoring all the goals in the second half of the encounter.
Episode in the match
This was the fifth encounter between the two teams this season. In the previous matches both teams each had one win against each other in the league, meanwhile FC Žalgiris proved their superiority over FK Trakai in the LFF Cup and Super Cup finals.
The match started off with the home side being more cautious and the visitors more aggressive. FC Žalgiris were forced to hold off multiple attacks in the first ten minutes of the match up, as Nerijus Valskis threatened the goal with a few shots. The hosts' goalkeeper Armantas Vitkauskas was up to the challenge though as he kept everything out.
Žalgiris had their dangerous opportunity in the 15th minute, as Linas Pilibaitis forced a difficult save by the FK Trakai goalkeeper Marius Rapalis. A few minutes later Bahrudin Atajic, who came back to the starting line up after being sidelined, tried his luck from the edge of the area with a shot, which was blocked.
After a heated start of the match and successfully defending their goal, the home team started to take control of the proceedings. In the 27th minute Linas Pilibaitis broke away in a dangerous counter attack, but was stopped by the opposition defenders on time. Fast forward four minutes and Linas Pilibaitis attempts to head the ball into the net after a corner kick, but Marius Rapalis of FK Trakai keeps it out.
FC Žalgiris had a few more attempts to take the lead before the end of the first half, courtesy of Bahrudin Atajic and Marin Matoš, yet were unsuccessful in their quest.
The beginning of the second half would change it all, though, as Linas Pilibaitis found the back of the net after a Vytautas Lukša pass in the 46th minute of the match. 1-0 to the hosts.
A few minutes later Vytautas Lukša once again caused havoc down the right wing and found Atajic this time, but the Bosnian missed the target, as did Linas Pilibaitis, who nearly doubled the lead in the 54th minute of the encounter.
Bu Pilibaitis were not to be worried, after a short and calm spell FC Žalgiris once again fired up in the 62nd minute. A counter attack led to Bahrudin Atajic finding Pilibaitis, who headed the ball into the net and consequentially doubled the lead of the home side. 2-0.
Two newcomers made their debuts in the second half - number 27, midfielder Matija Ljujic, and number 99, forward Andrija Kaludjerovic. The latter tried to score in the 68th minute after quick break away, but was unsuccessful.
The former, on the other hand, did what he had to do in the 72nd minute, when he got an opportunity to mark his debut with a goal after another Vytautas Lukša pass. 3-0 to the home team.
Linas Klimavičius could have scored a fourth for Žalgiris, were it not for FK Trakai captain Deividas Česnauskis. Instead, as the second half went on to its dying minutes, it was Dmitrijus Rekišas of the away side who pulled one back in the 86th minute to make it 3-1.
In the end, that was the last goal to have been scored, as FC Žalgiris Vilnius claimed a vital victory over their rivals for the championship title with a final result of 3-1, reducing the difference between the two teams to one point.
FC Žalgiris Vilnius - FK Trakai 3:1 (0:0)
SMScredit.LT A League, Matchday 15, Vilnius
46' [1:0] Linas Pilibaitis
62' [2:0] Linas Pilibaitis
72' [3:0] Matija Ljujic
86' [3:1] Dmitrijus Rekišas
Bookings: 71' Matija Ljujic (FC Žalgiris Vilnius).
FC Žalgiris Vilnius line-up: Armantas Vitkauskas, Egidijus Vaitkūnas, Linas Klimavičius, Mamdou Mbodji, Donovan Slijngaard, Marin Matoš, Mantas Kuklys (80' Justas Lasickas), Tautvydas Eliošius (58' Andrija Kaludjerovic), Bahrudin Atajic (66' Matija Ljujic), Vytautas Lukša, Linas Pilibaitis.