After losing to Ukraine in Lviv in the September 5 UEFA Euro 2016 qualifier, Belarus lost even a theoretical chance of progressing to EURO finals from third place in Group C. Belarus went down to Ukraine 1-3 at Arena Lviv in front of 32,548 spectators.
Belarus were defeated by Ukraine because of serious problems in defense, which resulted in three goals in the first half.
Ukraine’s Artyom Kravets opened the scoring in the 7th minute receiving a long pass from the goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov and capitalizing on the mistake of Belarus’ defense.
Goalie Andrei Gorbunov of Belarus tried his best in the goal and made a couple of saves but could not play for the entire defense and soon Belarus conceded a second goal though Andriy Yarmolenko’s effort. It was his 20th goal in the 50th match.
Late into the first half Mikhail Sivakov fouled against Yevhen Konoplyanka, who scored from the penalty spot for 3-0.
Belarus replied with only one goal in the second half. Forward Sergei Kornilenko earned a penalty and scored Belarus’ first goal in the six official head-to-head matches against Ukraine.
Defender Alexander Martynovich received a late yellow card and will miss the next game against Luxemburg.
After the game the coach of Belarus, Alexander Khatskevich, said his decision to field the duo Sivakov-Mayevsky in the central zone was a mistake. However, he noted that the Belarus squad included almost all the best players at the moment, while many other first-team players were unavailable because of suspensions and injuries.
In other Group C matches, Slovakia lost to Spain 0-2 last night, while Luxemburg beat FYR Macedonia 1-0 at home.
Belarus are still fourth in the tournament table, but Luxemburg have the same number of points, four.
Spain top the table with 18 points, on a par with second-placed Slovakia. Ukraine are three points behind them and are eager to win against Slovakia away in the next match.