Torpedo-BelAZ falls out of the race, with Shakhtyor remaining
Belarusian clubs try to get through to the 2nd round of the Europa League qualifications during their return matches in Zhodino and Soligorsk
The Zhodino team faced an extremely tough task: in the away match, it lost badly to Kukesi Albania — 2:0. Playing at home, their performance was patchy; no real chances were created during the first 80 minutes of the match. The visitors had the chance of a penalty goal but Torpedo’s goalkeeper, Pavel Chesnovsky, saved brilliantly. In the last ten minutes of the match, the hosts managed to upset the Albanian team on several occasions: Torpedo attacked but hit a crossbar while Kukesi’s goalkeeper performed miracles. As a result, several unused possibilities led to Torpedo’s leaving the Europa League qualifications.
After the away win (2:1), Soligorsk Shakhtyor continued to demonstrate their confident performance at home. At the beginning of the match, Alexander Yurevich scored a penalty goal and, in the second half, Nikolay Yanush and Dmitry Komarovsky finished the match with a score of 3:0. At the after-match press conference, Shakhtyor’s head coach, Sergey Nikiforenko, said, “The key point is that we’ve won and passed the first round. We are now preparing for our next performance.”
In the next round, Shakhtyor will play against Austrian Wolfsberger. Another team will represent Belarus: Minsk Dinamo will join the second qualification round of the Europa League.
By Yegor Glebov