By Denis Orlov
FC MTZ-RIPO Minsk were beaten by Ferencvárosi TC at home this evening but progress to the UEFA Cup second qualifying round with a 3-2 aggregate win thanks to Artyom Kontsevoi's goal tonight.
Having won 2-0 in the first leg in Hungary on their European debut, MTZ-RIPO opted for a more cautious approach for the second encounter, deciding to invite attack while hoping to hit on the break. Ferencváros, who reached the group stage last year, thus had the upper hand early on with midfielder Péter Lipcsei the outstanding performer, while neither team created any clear-cut chances.
The first real opening came after 31 minutes when Dénes Rósa found space to release a biting effort, only for goalkeeper Aleksandr Sulima to save. Seven minutes later it was Milán Udvarácz's turn to rescue his team as he parried Gia Todua's shot from close range.
Ferencváros managed to break the deadlock shortly before the interval, with Lipcsei quick to fire in a rebound from 18 metres after MTZ-RIPO failed to clear a corner.
MTZ-RIPO responded soon after the break - on 48 minutes Armenian Hamlet Mkhitaryan crossed high for Kontsevoi to place the ball into the bottom corner, this time leaving Udvarácz helpless and massively enhancing the home side's chances of progress.
The goal boosted the Belarussian side who then created a number of chances. Ferencváros now needed two goals to advance and might have scored after efforts by Krisztián Timar and Krisztian Budovinszky, but neither player could find the target. Rósa raced clear in the dying minutes to make it 2-1 and ensure a frenetic conclusion, but it proved too late for the Hungarian outfit.