EUROPA LEAGUE: Liepaja boss confident against Crusaders ‘warriors’

Arturs Karasausks celebrates securing a vital away goal for Liepaja at Crusaders. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Arturs Karasausks celebrates securing a vital away goal for Liepaja at Crusaders. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Liepaja manager Tamaz Pertia remains confident his team can overturn Crusaders on home soil and secure Europa League progress.

The Crues fly out this week for the second leg of the first qualifying round aiming to protect a 3-1 advantage.

Philip Lowry, Michael Carvill and Jordan Owens each found the net in the Seaview success before Arturs Karasausks handed Liepaja hope for the return leg.

Pertia’s faith in his players has been bolstered by both the away goal and a strong final half-hour display in Belfast which left Liepaja as the dominant force.

“We do not think it is over as a 3-1 defeat means a 2-0 win at home will be fine for us,” said Pertia via an interpreter. “In the first half we suffered due to some misunderstandings but we are looking forward to the next game.

“We wanted the first half to be more like our second but in Liepaja we think the grass pitch and bigger field gives us an opportunity to win.

“We knew how Crusaders would play in terms of game style.

“They play like warriors with a great attitude.

“In Latvia we play more on the grass not in the air.

“The tie is still alive.”

The winners of the first qualifying round will be Shakhtyor Soligorsk of Belarus or Lithuania’s Sūduva across July 13 and 20.