Footballers begin with victory

First matches show vividly that Belarus has great chance of reaching next stage
By Vladimir Dmitriev

A thrilling match against New Zealand marked our debut at the Olympic Games, keeping the audience in suspense from the first to the last minute. Both sides had plenty of opportunity to score but Belarus was the only one to send a ball into the net — in extra time. Within the first half minute, Dmitry Baga had headed the ball from Renan Bressan’s pass.

The Brazilian with the Belarusian passport made a huge contribution to our victory over New Zealand and, in the match against Brazil, Renan opened the score. Although coach Georgy Kondratiev will be disappointed to have seen his team lose its second match, having let in three goals, even sceptics admit that Belarus gave iconic Brazil a run for its money over the 90 minute game. Moreover, Brazil had sent its ‘dream team’.

If our Belarusian squad can maintain the lead begun by Bressan, reaching the next stage could become reality. The next match, against the strong Egyptian team, will decide our fate. Well-coordinated and serious, but lacking consistency (as is common in young teams) the team is not unbeatable. Our team’s desire for victory and obvious discipline can only be a subject of envy at the Games, despite their lack of experience and skill. Even the Brazilians consider us a worthy opponent.
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