Cup battle begins
Minsk Dinamo and Soligorsk Shakhtyor hold first matches of qualifying round of Europa League
Dinamo has hosted Spartaks Jurmala at Minsk Traktor Stadium, with the hosts leading for the first half of the game, though most of their strikes went wide. Just 18 minutes into the match, Artem Bykov sent the ball into Vladislav Kurakin’s net and, although Dinamo’s rivals had every chance to tie the score, Sergey Ignatovich defended his goal effectively. He replaces Alexander Gutor as goalie, following Gutor’s transfer to Russian Orenburg.
During the Dinamo (Minsk)-Spartaks (Jurmala) match
In the second half, Spartaks went on the attack, obliging the Minsk team to focus on defence. In the 80th minute, Daniil Ulimbashev scored. Fortunately for Dinamo, just one minute later, the Latvian team’s goalkeeper allowed Artem Bykov to score again, leaving the final score at 2:1.
Soligorsk Shakhtyor played their first match of the first qualifying round of the Europa League away, visiting Faroese club NSÍ. In Toftir, the Soligorsk team played without injured top scorer Nikolay Yanush, but still won, dominating the match. They qualified for a penalty twice, at the end of both halves, with both penalties successfully converted by Shakhtyor captain Artem Stargorodsky. The home team played poorly, receiving four yellow cards and one red. The final score of the game was 2-0.
By Kirill Karin