2011 Latvian Higher League

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Latvian Higher League
Season 2011
Champions FK Ventspils
Relegated JFK Olimps/RFS
Champions League Ventspils
Europa League Metalurgs
Daugava
Skonto
Baltic League Ventspils
Metalurgs
Daugava
Skonto
FC Jūrmala
Matches played 144
Goals scored 453 (3.15 per match)
Biggest home win Metalurgs 7–1 Olimps/RFS
Skonto 6–0 Olimps/RFS
Biggest away win Olimps/RFS 0–8 Ventspils
Highest scoring four matches, eight goals each
Longest winning run 8 matches[1]
Metalurgs
Longest unbeaten run 12 matches[1]
FK Ventspils
Longest winless run 21 matches[1]
JFK Olimps/RFS
Longest losing run 21 matches[1]
JFK Olimps/RFS
2010
2012

The 2011 Latvian Higher League (Latvian: Virslīga 2011) was the 20th season of top-tier football in Latvia. It began on 15 April 2011 and ended on 5 November 2011.[2]

The competition was won by FK Ventspils, who thus qualified for the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League. Runners-up Liepājas Metalurgs and third-placed sides Daugava Daugavpils earned spots for the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League. On the bottom end of the table, JFK Olimps/RFS were relegated after losing their play-off series against Spartaks Jūrmala.

All nine clubs played every other club four times during the course of the season: twice at home and twice away. In addition, there will be no direct relegation to the Latvian First League this year.[3]

Teams[edit]

Jaunība Rīga finished the previous year's competition in tenth place and were relegated to the Latvian First League. This ended a one-year stay in the top flight. Promoted to the Higher League from the First Division automatically were the previous season's First Division champions, Gulbene 2005, who are taking part in the top flight for the first time in their history in 2011.

FC Tranzit finished 9th in the 2010 Higher League competition and were supposed to compete in a promotion/relegation playoff against the runners-up of the First Division, FC Jūrmala. However, before this playoff took place, Tranzit informed the Latvian Football Federation that they were forfeiting their place in the Higher League altogether, ending a two-year stay in the top flight.[citation needed] Therefore, FC Jūrmala were promoted to the Higher League automatically. Like Gulbene, they are competing in the top flight for the first time in their history in 2011.

Finally, SK Blāzma decided to withdraw from the league during the off-season. This ended a three-year stay in the top flight. At a meeting on 28 January 2011, the LFF decided that they would not be replaced in this year's competition.[3]

Team summaries[edit]

Location of teams in the 2011 Latvian Higher League
Club Location Stadium Capacity Current manager
FC Daugava Daugavpils Daugava Stadium 4,500 Russia Leonid Nazarenko
Gulbene 2005 Gulbene Gulbenes SC 1,500 Latvia Mihails Koņevs
FK Jelgava Jelgava Zemgales Olimpiskais Sporta Centrs 2,200 Latvia Dainis Kazakevičs
FC Jūrmala Jūrmala Slokas Stadium 5,000 Latvia Igors Stepanovs
FK Jūrmala-VV Jūrmala Slokas Stadium 5,000 Latvia Jurijs Popkovs
Metalurgs Liepāja Daugava Stadium 5,500 Latvia Vladimirs Osipovs
JFK Olimps/RFS Riga Daugava Stadium 6,000 Georgia (country) Tamaz Pertia
Skonto FC Riga Skonto Stadium 10,000 Latvia Marian Pahars
FK Ventspils Ventspils Olimpiskais Stadium 3,200 Ukraine Sergei Podpaly

League table[edit]

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Qualification or relegation
1 FK Ventspils (C) 32 22 5 5 75 19 +56 71 2012–13 UEFA Champions League Second qualifying round
2 SK Liepājas Metalurgs 32 22 4 6 74 26 +48 70 2012–13 UEFA Europa League First qualifying round
3 FC Daugava Daugavpils 32 19 6 7 58 30 +28 63
4 Skonto FC 32 17 9 6 62 21 +41 60 2012–13 UEFA Europa League Second qualifying round 1
5 FC Jūrmala 32 12 8 12 45 42 +3 44
6 FK Jelgava 32 13 4 15 47 54 −7 43
7 FB Gulbene 32 7 7 18 39 67 −28 28
8 FK Jūrmala-VV 32 5 6 21 34 75 −41 21
9 Olimps/RFS (R) 32 1 3 28 19 117 −98 6 Relegation play-offs

Updated to games played on 5 November 2011.
Source: Latvian Football Federation (Latvian)
Rules for classification: 1st points; 2nd head-to-head points; 3rd head-to-head goal difference; 4th overall wins; 5th goal difference; 6th goals scored.
1The winners of the 2011–12 Latvian Football Cup competition (Skonto Riga) qualified for the second qualifying round of UEFA Europa League.
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.

Results[edit]

First half of season[edit]

Home \ Away[1] DGD GUL JEL FCJ JVV LIE RFS SKO VEN
FC Daugava Daugavpils 3–1 1–1 1–1 1–0 2–1 2–0 1–1 0–33
FB Gulbene 0–22 3–0 1–1 1–1 0–0 2–1 1–0 0–2
FK Jelgava 1–3 3–1 0–2 1–0 1–3 5–1 1–2 2–0
FC Jūrmala 0–2 4–1 1–1 0–2 1–3 4–0 1–2 0–1
FK Jūrmala-VV 1–3 5–3 2–3 3–1 0–5 2–1 0–4 0–3
SK Liepājas Metalurgs 2–0 1–2 0–1 1–0 4–1 4–1 0–1 0–0
Olimps/RFS 0–6 1–3 1–3 2–2 0–0 1–4 0–4 0–8
Skonto FC 1–1 2–1 4–0 0–1 2–0 0–2 4–0 1–3
FK Ventspils 2–1 4–0 4–0 4–0 4–0 0–1 4–0 0–1

Source: Latvian Football Federation (Latvian)
^ The home team is listed in the left-hand column.
2Match took place in Daugavpils. Placed as a Gulbene home match for organizational purposes.
3This match originally ended 1-1. However, it was awarded to Ventspils as an 0-3 win because Daugava fielded an inelligible player.[4]
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.

Second half of season[edit]

Home \ Away[1] DGD GUL JEL FCJ JVV LIE RFS SKO VEN
FC Daugava Daugavpils 2–13 2–1 3–0 2–1 0–1 2–0 0–0 1–1
FB Gulbene 2–4 2–3 0–2 4–1 0–1 3–0 1–1 0–3
FK Jelgava 1–2 3–0 0–2 4–1 3–2 2–1 1–4 1–2
FC Jūrmala 2–1 2–0 2–0 2–0 1–4 6–1 1–1 2–3
FK Jūrmala-VV 0–32 2–2 1–1 0–0 1–2 4–0 2–2 1–2
SK Liepājas Metalurgs 1–3 6–2 2–0 1–1 6–1 7–1 0–0 2–1
Olimps/RFS 1–3 1–1 1–3 1–2 2–1 0–3 0–7 1–6
Skonto FC 1–0 5–0 2–1 1–1 3–0 0–1 6–0 0–1
FK Ventspils 2–1 1–1 0–0 2–0 4–1 1–2 4–0 0–0

Updated to games played on 5 November 2011.
Source: Latvian Football Federation (Latvian)
^ The home team is listed in the left-hand column.
2This match was cancelled and awarded to Daugava 0-3 due to Jurmala-VV being unable to field a team for the match.[5]
3Match took place in Gulbene. Placed as a Daugava home match for organizational purposes.
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.

Relegation play-offs[edit]

At the season's end, the 9th place club in the Latvian Higher League will face the runners-up of the Latvian First League in a two-legged playoff, with the winner being awarded a spot in the 2012 Higher League competition.

10 November 2011
16:00
Olimps/RFS 1–2 Spartaks
Blūms Goal 72' Goal 14' Rua
Goal 21' Panasjuks


13 November 2011
14:00
Spartaks 2–0 Olimps/RFS
Budilovs Goal 32'
Skalenko Goal 49' (pen.)

Top goalscorers[edit]

Source: LMT Virslīga 2011 (Latvian)

Rank Player Club Goals
1 Brazil Nathan Júnior Skonto Riga 22
2 Georgia (country) Mamuka Ghonghadze Daugava Daugavpils 21
3 Latvia Jurģis Kalns Liepājas Metalurgs 16
Latvia Vladislavs Kozlovs Jelgava 16
4 Russia Vadim Yanchuk Ventspils 12
5 Latvia Vladimirs Kamešs Liepājas Metalurgs 11

Awards[edit]

Team of the Tournament[edit]

sportacentrs.com version:[6]

Goalkeepers Defenders Midfielders Forwards
Latvia Pāvels Šteinbors (Liepājas Metalurgs) Georgia (country) Giorgi Chikradze (Daugava Daugavpils) Latvia Valērijs Afanasjevs (Daugava Daugavpils) Brazil Nathan Júnior (Skonto Riga)
Latvia Aleksandrs Vlasovs (Ventspils) Lithuania Marius Činikas (Liepājas Metalurgs) Latvia Oļegs Laizāns (Ventspils) Georgia (country) Mamuka Ghonghadze (Daugava Daugavpils)
Russia Evgeny Postnikov (Ventspils) Latvia Aleksandrs Fertovs (Skonto Riga) Latvia Vladislavs Kozlovs (Jelgava) Coach: Georgia (country) Tamaz Pertia (Daugava Daugavpils/Olimps)
Nigeria Daniel Ola (Jūrmala) Latvia Genādijs Soloņicins (Liepājas Metalurgs) Latvia Jurģis Kalns (Liepājas Metalurgs)
Russia Georgi Ulyanov (Daugava Daugavpils) Russia Konstantin Belov (Jūrmala)
Latvia Ritvars Rugins (Ventspils) Latvia Mihails Ziziļevs (Daugava Daugavpils)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Latvian Football Federation version:[7]

Goalkeepers Defenders Midfielders Forwards
Latvia Germans Māliņš (Skonto Riga) Latvia Pāvels Surņins (Liepājas Metalurgs) Latvia Valērijs Afanasjevs (Daugava Daugavpils) Brazil Nathan Júnior (Skonto Riga)
Latvia Aleksandrs Vlasovs (Ventspils) Latvia Antons Kurakins (Ventspils) Latvia Ritvars Rugins (Ventspils) Russia Vadim Yanchuk (Ventspils)
Russia Evgeny Postnikov (Ventspils) Latvia Aleksandrs Fertovs (Skonto Riga) Georgia (country) Mamuka Ghonghadze (Daugava Daugavpils) Coach: Ukraine Sergei Podpaly (Ventspils)
Nigeria Daniel Ola (Jūrmala) Latvia Andrejs Prohorenkovs (Liepājas Metalurgs) Latvia Vladislavs Kozlovs (Jelgava)
Latvia Pāvels Mihadjuks (Liepājas Metalurgs) Latvia Oļegs Laizāns (Ventspils)
Latvia Igors Savčenkovs (Ventspils) Lithuania Tomas Tamošauskas (Liepājas Metalurgs)
Latvia Vladislavs Gabovs (Ventspils) Russia Eduard Sukhanov (Ventspils)
Lithuania Marius Činikas (Liepājas Metalurgs) Latvia Jurģis Kalns (Liepājas Metalurgs)

Individual nominations[edit]

Players selected by sportacentrs.com:[6]

Best foreign player: Nigeria Daniel Ola (Jūrmala)

Best young player (U-21): Latvia Armenia Arevshat Khachatryan (Gulbene)

Best coach: Georgia (country) Tamaz Pertia (Daugava Daugavpils/ Olimps/RFS)

Surprise of the season: Latvia Oļegs Laizāns (Ventspils)

Player of the season: Latvia Jurģis Kalns (Liepājas Metalurgs)

Players selected by LFF:[8]

Best goalkeeper: Latvia Germans Māliņš (Skonto Riga)

Best defender: Latvia Pāvels Mihadjuks (Liepājas Metalurgs)

Best midfielder: Latvia Oļegs Laizāns (Ventspils)

Best forward: Brazil Nathan Júnior (Skonto Riga)

Best coach: Ukraine Sergei Podpaly (Ventspils)

Top scorer: Brazil Nathan Júnior (Skonto Riga) (22 goals)

Best young player (U-21): Latvia Valērijs Šabala (Skonto Riga)

Player of the season: Latvia Oļegs Laizāns (Ventspils)

Team awards[edit]

Players selected by LFF:[8]

Best match organization:Jelgava

Fair-play award:Gulbene

References[edit]

External links[edit]