FC Dinamo Minsk 1-4 FC CSKA Sofia
CSKA Sofia all but sealed their passage into the first round of the UEFA Cup as they stunned their hosts FC Dinamo Minsk with a stirring four-goal romp in their qualifying round first-leg tie in Belarus.
Three goals before the interval dampened the home team’s enthusiasm as the Bulgarians totally dominated proceedings to record a well-deserved win.
The game was wide open from the start. Svetoslav Stefanov and Velizar Dimitrov could have given CSKA the lead in the opening ten minutes, while Siarhei Karnilenka and Andrei Razin wasted chances at the other end.
CSKA finally settled down to take command of the match after 18 minutes, when Todor Yanchev found João Paolo Brito with a long ball and the Portuguese player immediately pushed the ball on to Macdonald Mukansi, the South African finding the net with a magnificent finish.
Two in three minutes
Brilliant combination play between Brito, Mukansi and Dimitrov resulted in CSKA doubling their lead after 28 minutes through Dimitrov. Three minutes later, Brito was rewarded with the third, when he took control of a ball from Yanchev to beat Yury Tsyhalka in the Dinamo goal.
After the interval, the Bulgarians enjoyed even more freedom in front of goal as Stefanov found Dimitrov with a precise pass. The unmarked striker scored from close range to send CSKA’s confidence soaring still higher.
The visitors took their foot off the pedal and Dinamo managed a consolation goal, Maksim Tsyhalka converting a slide-rule pass from Viktor Sokol.
“We sealed this game in 30 minutes, then we just played on,” said CSKA coach Stoytcho Mladenov. “I am convinced we have solved the problem of reaching the next round.”
Dinamo coach honest
“I single-handedly lost this game,” admitted Dinamo coach Andrei Zygmantovich. “It was a mistake to play with only three defenders against such a good team.”