Losing with minor margin but leaving bright impressions
Belarusian footballers lose to acting champions of the continent — Spain — in a selective match of 2016 European Championship
A moment of match between Belarusian and Spanish national squads: Alexander Hleb in action. Photo: Alexander Kulevsky
The Belarusian national team’s coaches failed to send the strongest line-up to the match against Spain. Due to different reasons, Timofey Kalachev, Maxim Zhavnerchik, Sergey Balanovich and some other footballers of the key line-up did not attend. Nevertheless, the Belarusian players gathered at overcrowded Borisov-Arena to fight severely against their more experienced rivals. In the first half, Spaniards fully led the initiative but Alexander Khatskevich’s trainees skilfully performed in defence, while goalkeeper Andrey Gorbunov well coped with his task. However, in the last minute of the first half, Andrey made a mistake in a side attack and Spain’s experienced forward David Silva immediately used the situation. After the break, Belarusians demonstrated a more active game which was really unexpected by their star guests. The hosts several times confidently attacked the goals of ‘red fury’ — defended by goalkeeper Iker Casillas; sadly, they failed to equalise the score.
After the match, journalists at the press centre voiced a view that the game truly lacked Timofey Kalachev who secretly left the team on Saturday. Moreover, Alexander Hleb demonstrated not his best performance and Sergey Kornilenko — who celebrated his 32nd birthday of June 14th — was probably too much excited. However, all those facts were not so much important.
Our team is unlikely to rise higher than the fourth place in the table, although it is to play against Ukraine, Luxembourg, Slovakia and Macedonia. However, its fans applauded in standing for around ten minutes after the match against ‘red fury’ — crying: ‘You are great!’ With this in view, it’s possible to assert that not only Spaniards won the Borisov-Arena match on June 14th.
By Alexander Grishin