The Malta Independent 20 June 2021, Sunday

UEFA Europa League: Tedesco joins squad in Latvia as Gzira take on Ventspils

Chris Cassar Wednesday, 24 July 2019, 21:11 Last update: about 3 years ago
Photo: Gzira United FC
Photo: Gzira United FC

Gzira United manager Giovanni Tedesco has joined the squad on Wednesday after failing to make the trip with the squad on Tuesday evening. Tedesco who had already boarded the plane, felt unwell just before the charter flight to Riga took off from Malta, and only joined the squad on Wednesday with another flight together with president Sharlon Pace.

Gzira will be facing FK Ventspils on Thursday afternoon in the first leg of the second qualifiying round of the UEFA Europa League. Gzira United hit the headlines last week after sensationally eliminating Croatian Hajduk Split with a stunning 3-1 victory in Split with striker Kone scoring two breath taking goals.

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Gzira will be hoping for another good performance and result today to try to make it to the third round. FK Venstpils is one of the leading clubs in Latvia and was founded in 1997 with the merger of two former Ventspils clubs - FK Venta and FK Nafta. Its predecessor, Venta, was one of the leading clubs in the Latvian league in the 1960s.

FK Venstpils play in the Ventspils Olimpiskais Stadions in Ventspils city, which is a two-hour drive from the capital Riga. Venstpils won six Latvian championships and seven times the Latvian Cup. In the previous round Ventspils eliminated Albania's Teuta Durres with a 3-0 win in Latvia and a narrow 1-0 defeat in Albania.

Yesterday afternoon the Maroons had their training session in Riga in FK Leipaja's stadium who in turn are in Sweden to face IFK Norrkoping. The Gzira staff opted for this solution rather than going to Ventspils and back to Riga for the training spin.

The Maroons are in good spirits and all players are at Giovanni Tedesco's disposal for this afternoon's match. The squad will leave Riga for Venstpils this morning and will return to Malta early tomorrow. 


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