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The A Lyga 2019 is the 30th season of the A Lyga, the highest football league in Lithuania. The season started on March 2, 2019 and is expected to end on November 27, 2019. Sūduva Marijampolė started the season as the defending champion after winning her second league title last year.
National team: Latvia played in 1922 its first game against Estonia, which ended with a 1-1 draw. Latvia has won the Baltic Cup 12 times and played 99 official matches in the prewar period from 1922 to 1940.
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In 1937, the Latvian team took part in the first qualifying tournament for the 1938 World Cup. Latvia was placed in Group 8 alongside Austria and Lithuania. After a hat-trick by Fricis Kaņeps and a goal from Iļja Vestermans, Latvia defeated Lithuania 4-2 in Riga. In Kaunas, they won 5-1 after Kaņeps, Vaclavs Borduško and Vestermans had scored two goals each, but lost in the decisive away game against Austria with 1: 2, although Vestermans had already scored an early goal. In April 1938, the Austrian connection for the Austrian team abated, but Latvia was not invited by FIFA as runner-up of the group to the tournament.
Latvian fans at Euro 2004
In 1940, Latvia was occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union. In 1991, the country regained its independence and played its first match against Estonia on 16 November of the same year in the Baltic Cup and its first FIFA-recognized match against Romania on 8 April 1992 in Bucharest, which lost 2-0 to Latvia.
In September 2003, Latvia surprisingly took second place ahead of Poland in its qualifying group for the 2004 European Championships. Thus they qualified for the play-offs in which they were drawn against Turkey. Latvia won the first leg 1-0 with top scorer Māris Verpakovskis. The second leg ended in a 2-2 draw, with Latvia winning 3-2 to qualify for the tournament. As a result, Latvia was the first and only Baltic team to qualify for a European Championship. In Euro 2004, Latvia was drawn in Group D alongside Germany, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands. Latvia met the Czech Republic in their opening match on 15 June 2004, with Verpakovskis scoring just before the break. However, the Czechs would come back later to win game 2-1. Four days later Latvia scored a 0-0 draw with Germany to clinch the first point in a major tournament. They lost their last game 3-0 to the Netherlands and lost with one point of their draw and two defeats in fourth place.
Latvia has not qualified for another major tournament since then, although it has almost qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. After eight qualifying games Latvia was tied to its next opponent, second-placed Greece. A 5-2 defeat ended virtually all hopes of qualifying and Latvia finished third in UEFA Group 2.
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