By Yuri Karpenko
The national team has played in Antalya against Kazakhstan’s major squad, which was defeated in home and away matches by Bernd Stange trainees in the previous selection round for the 2010 World Championship. The current FIFA World Rankings are 36th and 137th respectively, which didn’t envisage a very difficult struggle, but the match ended in a 1:1 draw. The impressive Belarusian team’s territorial and playing advantages failed to bring a more victorious conclusion.
The game was one of the last before the forthcoming away match (on March 26th) against the Albanians as part of the 2012 European Championship selection round.
Meanwhile, the country’s junior team is training for the 2011 European Championship finals. It has played two matches in Antalya, against Turkey’s second team, losing both times — 0:2 and 0:1. However, the head coach of the Belarusian junior team, Georgy Kondratiev, sees benefits even in these defeats, since we did well in the initial matches of the new season. Our opponents were not our peers, but reserve players from the Turkish national team. The new junior squad has also played a friendly match in Belek, against their peers from Moldova, which ended in a 1:1 draw.