On this day in sport: 17 August

1932 LFLS Kaunas team, Antantas Lingis pictured second from bottom row.

Day 1:

Earlier in the tournament, Lithuania would come from behind to defeat Estonia 2:1 thanks to goals from Antanas Lingis and Jaroslavas Citavičius.

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Day 2:

The following day inaugural champions Estonia would be left chasing Latvian stars Ēriks Pētersons and Voldemārs Žins who combined for two early goals.

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Though Estonian Friedrich Karm would be able to level the scores for his nation, it would be Latvia’s day thanks to a matching winning kick from Frics Dambrevics.

Day 3:

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The scene was set on August 17, 1930 in Kaunas as 5,000 spectators made their way to the Kariuomenės stadium to see their nation go to battle with Latvia.

Romualdas Marcinkus would make way for youngster Ričardas Bukšaitis, a noble act as his nation’s captain, before Citavicius would register the opening goal at the 32nd minute mark.

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Lingis would kick another goal to hand Lithuania a lead at halftime; considered by many as Lithuania’s greatest footballing talents between wars.

However by the time Pētersons kicked his first International hat trick the Latvians would take out the lead (3:2) with less than twenty minutes remaining.

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The home nation desperately needed to kick a goal as a win or draw would see Lithuania take the title on percentage.

And, on this day in sport, Stepas Chmelevskis would kick his first International goal on home soil; handing Lithuania a 3:3 score line a minute before the final whistle was sounded by Georg Muntau (German referee).

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Aftermath:

When reflecting on the significance of this national team, eight of the twelve Lithuanians would play their club football with the Klaipėda based side SpVgg Memel including Ričardas Rutkauskas, a key figure in Lithuania’s domestic league.

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It is believed that the German influence of the club influenced the appointment of Austrian born Otto Dittrich as Lithuania’s national manager.

Jaroslavas Citavičius was Lithuania’s sole representative from the Šančių Kovo (Kaunas based) and Jonas Brazauskas was also singled out in his alliance with KSS Klaipėda.

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However the nation’s most famous club of the era, LFLS Kaunas (Lietuvos Fizinio Lavinimosi Sąjunga), produced the names of Marcinkus and Lingis; both considered destined for greatness.

Eight years earlier the club had featured the talented defensive skills of Steponas Darius (aviation hero) and, by the end of the decade, Artūras Andrulis (EuroBasket champion) would also switch his choice of sports to play for the club.

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Sadly, both Marcinkus and Lingis would pass away during World War 2.

The former Lithuanian captain was aged 36 on March 29, 1944 while Lingis lost his battle with a serious illness at the age of 35 on 6 June 1941; a notable date for WW2 veterans, relatives and historians on the Eastern front.

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