Latvia national football team


Latvia national football team

Infobox National football team
Name = Latvia
Badge = LatvianFF.png Badge_size = 132px
FIFA Trigramme = LVA
FIFA Rank = 63 |1st ranking date = August 1993
FIFA max = 51
FIFA max date = December 2003
FIFA min = 111
FIFA min date = July 2007

Elo Rank = 82
Nickname =
Association = Latvian Football Federation
Confederation = UEFA (Europe)
Coach = flagicon|Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs, 2007-
Captain = Vitālijs Astafjevs
Most caps = Vitālijs Astafjevs (147)
Top scorer = Māris Verpakovskis (23)
Home Stadium = Skonto stadions

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leftarm1=98233f|body1=98233f|rightarm1=98233f|shorts1=98233f|socks1=98233f

pattern_la2=_whiteupper|pattern_b2=_adidasliberowhite|pattern_ra2=_whiteupper| leftarm2=98233f|body2=98233f|rightarm2=98233f|shorts2=FFFFFF|socks2=FFFFFF

First game = Flagicon|Latvia Latvia 1 - 1 fb-rt|Estonia (Riga, Latvia; 24 September, 1922)
Largest win = Flagicon|Latvia Latvia 8 - 1 fb-rt|Estonia
(Tallinn, Estonia; 18 August, 1942)
Largest loss = fb|Sweden 12 - 0 Latvia Flagicon|Latvia (Stockholm, Sweden; 29 May, 1927)
World cup apps =
World cup first =
World cup best =
Regional name = European Championship
Regional cup apps = 1
Regional cup first = 2004
Regional cup best = Round 1, 2004
The Latvian national football team ("Izlase" in Latvian) is controlled by the Latvian Football Federation, the governing body for football in Latvia and represents the country in international football competitions, such as World Cup and the European Championships.

History

Latvia played their first match in 1922, a game against Estonia; the result was a 1-1 draw. Latvia are the only Baltic team that has qualified for a European Championship and have won the Baltic Cup 19 times. Latvia in its pre-war period from 1922 to 1940 played 99 official games.

In 1937, the Latvian team participated in the first qualification tournament for the FIFA World Cup 1938. Latvia was seeded in Group 8 with Austria and Lithuania. Latvia won Lithuania 4-2 in Riga (Goals: Fricis Kaņeps 9', 52', 83'; Iļja Vestermans 50' - Gudelis 79', Pavilionis 90') and than later 5-1 in Kaunas (Kaņeps 4', 45' (penalty); Vaclavs Borduško 11', 30'; Vestermans 67' - Pavilionis 72'), but lost 1-2 in the decisive match with Austria. Goals by Iļja Vestermans at the 6th minute for Latvia, and by Binder at 33' and Jerusalem at 15'. In April 1938 the Austrian Anschluss relegated the Austrian team, but the team of Latvia was not invited by FIFA as the group's runner-up.

In 1940, Latvia was annexed by the Soviet Union; the country regained its independence in 1991 and played their first match as a new nation against Estonia on November 16 of that year in the Baltic Cup, and their first FIFA-recognized match against Romania on April 8, 1992, a 0-2 loss at Bucharest.

Latvia were surprise qualifiers for the 2004 European Football Championship. After coming second in their qualifying group (ahead of Poland they defeated 2002 World Cup semi-finalists Turkey in a playoff to reach the final tournament. They were drawn into group D with Germany, Czech Republic, and the Netherlands. On June 15, 2004, Latvia played Czech Republic and took half-time lead with a goal from Māris Verpakovskis. The Czechs would later come back to win the game 2-1. Four days later Latvia earned a respectable draw 0-0 against Germany to earn their first point in a major tournament. Latvia later lost to the Netherlands 3-0 and were eliminated with one point from their draw and two losses.

In the qualifying for World Cup 2006, Latvia were in group 3 with Portugal, Slovakia, Russia, Estonia, Liechtenstein, and Luxembourg. Latvia were considered as a small threat for the playoff spot. However, they failed to show any surprises as they did in Euro 2004 and failed to qualify for World Cup 2006 finishing fifth with 15 points from four wins, three draws and five losses.

Vitālijs Astafjevs has played for Latvia more times than anyone else, with 144 caps currently. Māris Verpakovskis is the nation's top goal scorer with 23,Marians Pahars has 15 goals.

World Cup record

*1930 to 1934 - "Did not enter"
*1938 - "Did not qualify"
*1950 to 1990 - "Did not enter, was part of USSR"
*1994 to 2006 - "Did not qualify"

European Championship record

*1960 to 1992 - "Did not enter, was part of USSR"
*1996 - "Did not qualify"
*2000 - "Did not qualify"
*2004 - Round 1
*2008 - "Did not qualify"

Results and fixtures

Forthcoming fixtures

Recent results

This is a list of match results from the past year. Goal scorers in brackets.
*Euro 2008 Qualifying Group F:
**Latvia 4-1 Liechtenstein, 17 November 2007 at Latvia
**Denmark 3-1 Latvia, 17 October at Denmark
**Iceland 2-4 Latvia, 13 October at Iceland
**Spain 2-0 Latvia, 12 September at Spain
**Latvia 1-0 Northern Ireland, 8 September at Latvia
**Latvia 0-2 Denmark, 6 June at Latvia
**Latvia 0-2 Spain, 2 June at Latvia
**Liechtenstein 1-0 Latvia, 28 March at Vaduz, Liechtenstein (Liechtenstein: Frick 17)
*Cyprus International Tournament 2007:
** Latvia 0-2 Hungary, 7 February at Limassol, Cyprus (Hungary: Priskin 31, 52)
** Bulgaria 2-0 Latvia, 6 February at Larnaca, Cyprus (Bulgaria: Surņins 15 o.g., Yovov 30)
* Euro 2008 Qualifying Group F:
**Northern Ireland 1-0 Latvia, 11 October at Belfast, Northern Ireland (Northern Ireland: Healy 35)
**Latvia 4-0 Iceland, 7 October at Riga, Latvia (Latvia: Karlsons 17, Verpakovskis 18, 28, Višņakovs 54)
* Friendly:
**Latvia 1-2 Moldova, 22 August at Latvia
**Luxembourg 0-0 Latvia, 6 September at Hesperange, Luxembourg
* Euro 2008 Qualifying Group F:
**Latvia 0-1 Sweden, 2 September at Riga, Latvia (Sweden: Källström 38)
* Friendly:
**Russia 1-0 Latvia, 16 August at Moscow, Russia (Russia: V. Berezutskiy 51)
**USA 1-0 Latvia, 28 May at Hartford, USA

Famous players

Before 1940:
* Ēriks Pētersons
* Jānis Lidmanis
* Alberts Šeibelis

After 1991:
* Aleksandrs Koļiņko
* Igors Stepanovs
* Vitālijs Astafjevs
* Māris Verpakovskis
* Andrejs Rubins
* Marians Pahars
* Juris Laizāns

Top Latvia goalscorers

Recent call-up

The following players have been called-up for Latvia squad within last 12 month.

Previous squads

On May 29, 2004, Latvia named a 23-man squad.

Head coach: Aleksandrs Starkovs

2010 FIFA World Cup qualification

2010 FIFA World Cup qualification - UEFA Group 2
expanded = yes
fixtures = yes
tiebreakers =

External links

* [http://www.lff.lv Official site of national football federation]
* [http://www.rsssf.com/tablesl/let-intres.html RSSSF archive of Latvia national team results]
* [http://www.rsssf.com/miscellaneous/let-recintlp.html RSSSF archive of most capped players and highest goalscorers]
* [http://www.uefa.com/Competitions/EURO/Teams/Team=56558/index.html UEFA.com]


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