Failing to resist Red Fury

Belarus’ national footballers suffer third defeat in a row in 2016 European Championship selection round

Belarus’ national footballers suffer third defeat in a row in 2016 European Championship selection round, losing in away match of Group C 4th round, to Spain — the current European champion
By Igor Grishin

Belarus’ national footballers suffer third defeat in a row in 2016 European Championship selection round, losing in away match of Group C 4th round, to Spain — the current European champion


Gerard Pique (R) challenges Belarus` Sergei Kornilenko
Gerard Pique (R) challenges Belarus` Sergei Kornilenko

Acting head coach Andrey Zygmantovich was heading his first game with the Belarusian squad, playing two new two defenders from Soligorsk’s Shakhtyor, Sergey Matveichik and Alexey Yanushkevich, as well as Pavel Nekhaichik (who hasn’t played for the national team in a long time). These changes in the line-up didn’t improve the squad’s game; in fact, there were few challenges to Iker Casillas’ net. Meanwhile, the Spanish appeared completely relaxed, scoring twice in the first minute of the match!

First, Spain’s Isco made use of a rough mistake by the captain of the Belarusian national team, Timofey Kalachev, as he failed to divert the ball from his penalty area. Isco made an exact kick from 22m, into the right hand side of Yuri Zhevnov’s net. The Belarusians then started to play from the centre of the field, but the Spaniards immediately seized the ball and, after a cross from the right wing, Sergio Busquets hit the lower corner of Zhevnov’s net almost from the same distance — leading to a score of 2:0.

After halftime, the picture didn’t improve. Within ten minutes, the Spaniards had celebrated their third success, thanks to a kick from Pedro. Only at the end of the match did Belarus create some tension near Casillas’ net, provoking del Bosque’s trainees to assert themselves. However, these were insignificant episodes which didn’t influence the end result.

After the game, Andrey Zygmantovich said that he can’t reproach his trainees, since they played to the best of their ability. Spain’s level of play is simply much higher, faster and more accurate. The Belarusian squad cannot compare. 
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