Finishing football season with spirited victory

Belarus’ national team footballers defeat Mexico’s national squad

By Yegor Glebov

Belarus’ national team footballers defeat Mexico’s national squad

After a major defeat (away match against Spain — 0:3), the Belarusian team has played its last match this season, as part of the Euro-2016 qualification round. The Mexicans arrived in Belarus after an away victory (against Holland — 3:2) and, although they seldom play in temperatures of below zero, the match was dynamic, with good combinations and fast passes. The Belarusian squad also played well, with more aggression and initiative than of late.

Belarusian footballers end season with defeat of Mexico — 3:2
Belarusian footballers end season with defeat of Mexico — 3:2

In the first half, the teams went beyond simply defending their nets, actively attacking. Both squads enjoyed several opportunities to score but their goalkeepers were on perfect form. It was not until after halftime that four goals came to pass: two each, with the Mexicans leading all the way. However, our Belarusian footballers pulled out another goal in the 81st minute, thanks to Pavel Nekhaichik (who had came from the substitutes’ bench a minute beforehand). With the final score at 3:2, our team showed that they can play strong rival teams on an equal footing, and achieve success, if they set their minds to the task.

The Belarusian team began this season under the leadership of Georgy Kondratiev, who resigned after a poor start in the selective round of the 2016 European Championship. In Group С, Belarus initially tied away — against Luxembourg (1:1) — but then suffered three defeats: by Ukraine (0:2) and Slovakia (1:3) at home; and by Spain away (0:3).

Playing against Spain, the Belarusian squad was headed by Andrey Zygmantovich, who previously assisted Mr. Kondratiev. The match against Spain was his last experience as head coach, as the Belarusian Football Federation are planning to appoint a new trainer.

Overall, this season, the Belarusian national team has played nine matches: with three wins, two draws and five losses (with a 17-5 goal difference). The squad’s next qualifying match for the 2016 European Championship is against Macedonia, on March 27th, in Skopje. Our footballers initially aimed to join the Euro-2016 final stage but, after their unsuccessful start, this goal looks unachievable.
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