Dragun does damage as Belarus thwart Slovakia

Slovakia 0-1 Belarus
Stanislav Dragun's goal put the champagne on ice for Ján Kozák's men, who must now win in Luxembourg to be sure of a finals place.

Highlights: Slovakia 0-1 Belarus
  • Stanislav Dragun header gives eliminated Belarus a shock win
  • Third successive game without a goal for Ján Kozák's team
  • Aleksandr Martynovich dismissed on 65 minutes for visitors
  • Andrei Gorbunov in fine form in the Belarusian goal
  • Final qualifiers: Luxembourg v Slovakia, Belarus v FYR Macedonia (Monday)

Slovakia missed a great opportunity to seal a place at their first UEFA European Championship, Stanislav Dragun's header for Belarus causing an upset in Group C.

Needing a win to be certain of making it to UEFA EURO 2016, Slovakia instead failed to score for the third qualifier in succession. With Michal Ďuriš leading the line, Slovakia were unable to find the target with their first five shots on goal, but thought they had taken the lead when Marek Hamšík teed up Róbert Mak. However, while his strike left goalkeeper Andrei Gorbunov with no chance, Dragun cleared off the line.

The visiting defender did even more damage within a matter of seconds, Dušan Švento failing to prevent Dragun's header going into the Slovak net. Belarus kept threatening and Pavel Nekhaychik blazed over the bar from around eight metres, with the home side losing their shape in midfield.

Martin Škrtel is deflated after the final whistle
Martin Škrtel is deflated after the final whistle©AFP/Getty Images

Despite a sixth consecutive half without scoring, Slovakia went into the second period with hope. Vladimír Weiss's free-kick drew a fine stop from Gorbunov, and as the Slovaks carried on pushing, Juraj Kucka fired against the post and Hamšík missed the target from a decent position.

Aleksandr Martynovich's dismissal for a second bookable offence meant Belarus played the last 25 minutes with ten men, yet Slovakia were unable to seize on that advantage. Ján Kozák's men threw everything they had at their guests, but Gorbunov was on his game, his stoppage-time save from Ďuriš's header meaning Slovakia must still beat Luxembourg on Monday to be sure of a place in France.