FC Gomel 1-0 HJK Helsinki
A solitary Viktar Barel goal on the hour was enough to give FC Gomel a slight advantage in their UEFA Cup qualifying round tie with Finnish visitors HJK Helsinki.
Gomel thought they had taken the lead 26 minutes into a quiet first half of this first-leg tie, but Henadzi Blizniuk's smart header was met with a superb stop by Andras Vilnrotter. The breakthrough finally came 15 minutes after half-time when Andrei Marozau's shot hit a defender and fell to Blizniuk. His effort was stopped on the line by Tero Penttilä, but Barel was on hand to score from close range.
HJK's best chance to equalise came ten minutes from full time when Hannu Haarala made a fine solo run through the Gomel defence and unleashed a drive from 15 metres. Viatcheslav Dousmanov was beaten, but the post saved the Belarussians.
Gomel coach Serguei Podpalyi said: "We prepared a special 4-3-3 tactical scheme to play the Finns, and it worked. I am only disappointed about the fact that we wasted so many chances. Also, you can be sure that we will not be playing defensive football away from home."
Despite defeat, HJK coach Keith Armstrong was upbeat. He said: "We wasted three or four chances in the game as well. Anyway, we are not despairing, as there are still 90 minutes left in this match."