FC Žalgiris staged a training camp in Turkey in preparation for the new season. The team arrived to the city of Side on February 2nd. During the camp, Žalgiris had played four friendly games so far with teams from Slovakia, Belarus, Russia and Georgia.
Klimavičius scored the game deciding goal Photo: Arūnas Kisielius
On February 3rd, Žalgiris met with Slovan from Bratislava in Side. It was a tight contest and Vilnius side’s centre-back Mamadou Mbodj scored the only goal to open the training camp with a hard-fought victory 1:0.
The team then moved on to Belek. On February 6th, Žalgiris lined up against Dinamo Minsk from Belarus. At the begining of second half Darvydas Šernas had great opportunity to score, but his shot on goal went wide. For 89 minutes teams fought equally, but in the end, Dinamo took one of their chances and won the game 1:0.
On February 9th and 10th, Žalgiris played two games in a row. The first one, against Russian side Sibir (Novosibirsk), was won 3:2. Žalgiris were down 0:2 after 79 minutes, but with 10 minutes to go, Šernas hammered the ball into the net and started an epic comeback. Žalgiris piled on the pressure and soon Matija Ljujič equalized. But this wasn‘t enough for Lithuanians as during the stoppage time, Mantas Kuklys took the last corner of the match and defender Linas Klimavičius made the best of his chance to give Žalgiris a stunning comeback win.
Next day Žalgiris played against FC Samtredia and the coaching staff made plenty of changes to the lineup. They decided to give a chance to the youngest member of the squad – 16-year old Karolis Uzėla and to the newcomer Komnen Andrič. Forward from Serbia joined Žalgiris before the game and went straight to work. On 17 minutes Andrič found some space near the opponent‘s goal and put the ball into the back of the net. Žalgiris dominated the game, but failed to to take their chances and were punished. Samtredia used their counter-attacking threat to level the score, and in the dying minutes of the match, scored the winner.