Upon learning of his rivals in the qualifying group, Belarusian fans began to dream of the first top tournament in the history of the country.
We knew that we would not be able to hope for the positive result against Spain but what about Slovaks and Ukrainians?
The start of Euro 2016 qualification began under the slogan "The collapse of all hopes." Our team scored only one point in three games and the resignation of Georgi Kondratyev followed.
While negotiations about a new coach of Belarus were underway, Belarus for the first time in 14 years was knocked out of the top 100 FIFA national teams. Later Andrei Zygmantovich held the game against Spain and a friendly against Mexico. We lost away to Spain. We had been waiting for the victory of our national team in official matches for 760 days.
Anarchy in the national team continues. But only until 4 December, Alexander Khatskevich was appointed chief coach of the national team of Belarus. By the way, one of the contenders for the post of head coach was Maradona himself.
In his first game against Macedonians the team got the first victory. It was in an away match. The first victory in qualifiers since 2012. But the real test was waiting for Khatskevich in the game against Spain. We still lost to Spaniards though narrowly - 0-1.
Then Belarus lost to Ukraine and lost even theoretical chances to compete for entering the Euro Finals.
The national team of Belarus beat Luxemburg and for the first time in the 2016 qualifying did not concede a goal. Then followed the sensational, without exaggeration, away victory over the Slovaks. A drab 0-0 match against the Macedonians was not the icing on the cake. The qualification ended.
The match Belarus v Macedonia was attended by only 1,500 spectators. This is the new anti-record of attendance.
By the way, Khatskevich is one of the leaders among other coaches in terms of the percentage of points scored in official matches. The story with the change of the national team's coach attracted more attention of experts and fans, perhaps even more attention than the game of the national team itself. There was a flash of love for football with the arrival of Khatskevich but it faded by the end of the qualifying cycle. Maybe the thing is in Belarusians themselves? And fans who have shown the worst average attendance in the history of qualifying games. Journalists are increasingly looking for negative things rather than enjoy rare successes. Moreover, players do not behave in a worthy way. After the home match against Luxembourg Pavel Nekhaychik was the only player to come to the few fan sector to thank the audience.