Yegor Filipenko was overcome by "so many emotions" after scoring the 88th-minute winner against the Czech Republic in Saturday's play-off that earned his side a place at the Olympic Games for the first time.
The 23-year-old has been a key member of the Belarus squad which came into the tournament as underdogs but were within a minute of reaching the final. They progressed through a difficult group containing hosts Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland before suffering semi-final heartbreak against Spain. Indeed, it would have been easy for Belarus to fold after that, but Filipenko ultimately made it a tournament to remember for all the right reasons.
The Czechs started strongly, but in the second half we got it together and came out with a new strength and overcame them. It was a very hard game considering that we played 120 minutes against Spain two days ago but fortune shone on us this time. Last time we conceded in the 88th minute, but here we scored in the 88th minute.
We are very happy. There are just so many emotions.
By the time of the sending-off we were already in full control of the game, and we had taken the initiative. I think that the goal being scored was just a matter of time and it was the most positive feeling. Belarus have made it to the Olympics for the first time;
it's a great achievement for our whole nation. It's brilliant.
The Czechs have a lot of fast players, and at the end they started attacking us in numbers. We did get a bit nervous, but the main thing was to keep the winning scoreline, and we did that. My first emotions after the final whistle were hard to express in words. This day will always be big in the history of Belarusian football.
We have achieved something really big, it is a historic day for Belarusian football.
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